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.

Original Page October 2016

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