Wife vs Secretary - 1936

Wife vs Secretary - Released Feb 28, 1936. Directed by Clarence Brown

Clark Gable (Van) has to make some tough (Hollywood leading man style) choices in this film in which both Myrna Loy (Linda) and Jean Harlow (Whitey) adore him and unintended events and situations put him into a place where the wife (Myrna) is far away and the secretary (Jean) is close at hand. Jimmy Stewart is also available as the jealous and self-defeating boyfriend who can't quite keep up with Jean Harlow's character and wrecks their relationship with an ill-timed ultimatum.

Gable (as Van), for the most part, doesn't detect Whitey's fluttering eyes and tender maternal care until late in the tale, by which time the wife Linda has been fed so many cynical comments by other women about the situation (a handsome, frequently traveling executive with a beautiful secretary in tow) that she finds it hard to believe nothing is going on between the platinum-haired employee and her husband with the hectic work schedule.

Love can prevail, of course, but it will take everyone (including Jimmy Stewart's character of the boyfriend Dave) being perfectly honest with themselves and the other folks in the tangled up affair.

Director Clarence Brown keeps the movie moving and the melodrama of one too many beautiful women also includes an interesting look into corporate operations and the task of an executive trying to think his way through not only company problems but emotional ones, too.


Myrna Loy and Cary Grant - The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, 1947


Myrna Loy: The Only Good Girl in Hollywood

424 Pages

"From the beginning, Myrna Loy’s screen image conjured mystery, a sense of something withheld. “Who is she?” was a question posed in the first fan magazine article published about her in 1925. This first ever biography of the wry and sophisticated actress best known for her role as Nora Charles, wife to dapper detective William Powell in The Thin Man, offers an unprecedented picture of her life and an extraordinary movie career that spanned six decades. Opening with Loy’s rough-and-tumble upbringing in Montana, the book takes us to Los Angeles in the 1920s, where Loy’s striking looks caught the eye of Valentino, through the silent and early sound era to her films of the thirties, when Loy became a top box office draw, and to her robust post–World War II career. Throughout, Emily W. Leider illuminates the actress’s friendships with luminaries such as Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Joan Crawford and her collaborations with the likes of John Barrymore, David O. Selznick, Sam Goldwyn, and William Wyler, among many others. This highly engaging biography offers a fascinating slice of studio era history and gives us the first full picture of a very private woman who has often been overlooked despite her tremendous star power."


Original Page October 2016


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