Design for Living (1933)

  • Let’s talk about how this was written by Ben Hecht, based on a play by Noel Coward, and was directed by Ernst Lubitsch. It also stars Miriam Hopkins, Gary Cooper, and Fredric March. What the fuck. How could this movie be anything but wonderful?
  • (Yep, this is re-watch. Just fyi.)
  • Forgot this started on a train. Beautiful.
  • Fredric March is incredible.
  • This movie is so exquisitely written – every scene is a joy to watch/listen to. It’s the sort of movie that I can’t even pull quotes from, because I’d just end up transcribing entire scenes.
  • Thing of Note: The play is called “Goodnight Bassington.”
  • The scene between Gary Cooper and Fredric March when Gilda (Miriam Hopkins) leaves them both (after Tommy (Fredric March) has returned from London) is maybe the best in the movie. Everything about it is perfect – Cooper and March’s chemistry is too great to properly describe. They just absolutely nail it.
  • Another Thing of Note:

They toast to: Gilda, small pox germs, and Kaplan, and McGuire (separately) (so as not to be hasty).

Failed toast ideas: “Ourselves” (Rejected because “it’s bad taste”), “Nothing” (Rejected because Fredric March “refuses to be silly”), “Uh” (Rejected because…it was).

  • You know what else in this movie is so brilliantly conceived? So much so that it renders me pretty damn speechless? The goddamn Fifth Avenue window shopping scene. Demonstrating the idea that a couple is a couple, and what you’re thinking might be happening is, in fact, DEFINITELY happening – may not have ever been done so creatively. Bravo, team. Bravo.
  • When Cooper & March come in the front door at the Plunkett Party – in their top hats and long-tailed tuxedos……….good lord. “Suave” would be an understatement.
  • Miriam Hopkins’s Plunkett Party dress is all kinds of stunning.
  • “Well, dear me. Look who’s here.” — Gilda, upon seeing her boys.

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