Design for Living Reviews
My least favorite Lubitsch so far, but that doesn't mean this still isn't great.
Great double entendres as well
It's kind of like "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice" in that it's experimenting with the whole issue of monogamy, love and friendship, jealousy, emotional self control, what's open-minded versus what is kind of helplessly cruel. People struggling to balance passion and honesty with empathy and sensitivity.
So, I definitely liked it, but in an uncomfortable sort of way.
Of the lot, I've only seen [i]Design for Living[/i], so I bought the set. I figure [i]Design for Living[/i] is worth twenty bucks and I got four free movies!!!!
[i]Design for Living[/i] is based on the Noel Coward play of the same name. Ben Hecht wrote the screenplay and apparently discarded all of Coward's work, retaining the basic concept: George, a painter, and Thomas, a playwright, are Americans sharing an apartment in Paris. They meet Gilda, who falls in love with both of them and moves in, acting as muse and critic to their respective arts, but with NO SEX.
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch and featuring Coop, Frederic March, Miriam Hopkins and Edward Everett Horton (as George, Tommy, Gilda and Edward Everett Horton), [i]Design for Living[/i] is a very fun and very funny sex comedy that could only come from the early thirties. Gary Cooper isn't really remembered as a comedian, but he had a wonderfully droll way with a line. Frederic March subverts his usual stentorian self with an unexpected goofiness and appears in boxer shorts in one scene (March had terrifcally sexy legs. Check out his gladiator garb in [i]The Sign of the Cross[/i]. Woof!). Miriam Hopkins is sublime as Gilda; outside of [i]Becky Sharp[/i], she did her best work with Lubitsch and is in top sexy madcap form here.
Lotsa fun. The set also includes [i]Peter Ibbetson, The General Died at Dawn, Beau Geste[/i] and [i]The Lives of the Bengel Lancer[/i].