Design for Living


Design for Living

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 14


Audience Score

User Ratings: 884
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Design for Living Photos

Movie Info

In this film, based on the stage comedy by Noel Coward, playwright Fredric March and artist Gary Cooper both fall in love with Miriam Hopkins, an American living in Paris. The girl can't make up her mind between the two men, so the threesome decide to move in together.


Fredric March
as Thomas B. "Tom" Chambers
Gary Cooper
as George Curtis
Miriam Hopkins
as Gilda Farrell
Franklin Pangborn
as Mr. Douglas
Isabel Jewell
as Lisping Stenographer
Harry Dunkinson
as Mr. Egelbauer
Helena Phillips Evans
as Mrs. Egelbauer
James Donlan
as Fat Man
Jane Darwell
as Housekeeper
Emile Chautard
as Conductor
Armand Kaliz
as Mr. Burton
Adrienne D'Ambricourt
as Cafe Proprietress
Wyndham Standing
as Max's Butler
Nora Cecil
as Tom's Secretary
Grace Hayle
as Woman on Staircase
Olaf Hytten
as Englishman at Train
Mary Gordon
as Theatre Chambermaid
Lionel Belmore
as Theatre Patron
Charles K. French
as Theatre Patron
Rolfe Sedan
as Bed Salesman
Mathilde Comont
as Heavy Woman
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Critic Reviews for Design for Living

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (4)

Audience Reviews for Design for Living

  • Aug 20, 2018
    The three main actors have a great chemistry together, which helps hold our attention for some nice time, but truth is, the script is pretty unfunny for a comedy and there is not enough here to engage us or make us care about anything that happens to the characters.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • May 28, 2013
    Noel Coward's subversive (and persistent) dream longing for the halycon days of the court of Caligula's nightly entertainment is toned down slightly by writer Ben Hecht and impresario director Ernst Lubitsch into a coy consideration for the free love movement ... in 1933, no less. The principals are charming, all professing love for the Bohemian experience while desperately trying to leave it behind.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 15, 2011
    "Design for Living" since It's inception has been dubbed a critical failure due to the time and Ernst Lubitsch changing all the original dialogue, save one line. Even though the film was made in 1933, it was very open and expressive in its sexual themes but in a way that it got around the censors. A mere few years later however, it didn't meet the guidelines on the censors and disappeared for quite some time. The film revolves around a sexually free woman and her trials involving two handsome men (played wonderfully by Fredric March and Gary Cooper) that she meets on a train. The two men fall for Gilda Farrell (played by a lovely and beautiful Miriam Hopkins) and she starts relationships with both. They quickly discover each others involvement with Gilda and jealously arises causing Gilda to leave both men for Mr. Plunkett with whom she marries. In the end both men come to terms that the three can work out their complicated relationship and all remain together. The miserable Gilda is saved from her misery by the two men and Mr. Pluckett agrees to a divorce (He's eluded to as being gay although it is never declared). The film pushed the boundaries and censors and that's to be respected in my opinion and the film is a fun and witty watch with hidden meanings to avoid censorship. Recommend!
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 21, 2010
    Movies like that if it were made today would have a lot of stupid music and too many shots of the city surrounding the characters of the film you know? They all meet so quickly. I enjoyed that. Today you would need corny lines. telephone rings and bells before the characters meet. I know it sounds like i dont know what im talking about. well i dont. It's hard to review old movies objectively or whatever. I really like mariam hopkins. She was adorable. But a little stuck up. March & Cooper i thought i gotta see more of their movies. Cooper is such a little boy in a giant mans body. It's interesting to see romance and flirting and sex and all that in those times. Ok heres my point. In the middle of the movie they have this pact "no sex" and that was that no montages or silly music. If it were made today it'd be all about 3 people..i dont know im gonna go have dinner.
    rocko p Super Reviewer

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