Design for Living (1933) - Rotten Tomatoes

Design for Living (1933)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Design for Living Trailers & 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.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Romance, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Ben Hecht
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 31, 2005
Criterion Collection - Official Site


Fredric March
as Thomas B. "Tom" Cham...
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
James Donlan
as Fat Man
Jane Darwell
as Housekeeper
Emile Chautard
as Conductor
Armand Kaliz
as Mr. Burton
Adrienne D'Ambricour...
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
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Design for Living

Critic Reviews for Design for Living

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (5)

The script galumphs when it should glide.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Well, maybe it is a little lumpy for Lubitsch, but I think the film more than holds its own.

Full Review… | February 26, 2003
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | December 10, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The "Lubitsch Touch," indeed: edged and between the ribs before you know it's being brandished.

Full Review… | March 12, 2013
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for Design for Living

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. Williams

Super Reviewer

the risque lubitsch comedy was originally a controversial noel coward play about a bohemian menage a trois. fearing that film audiences weren't as sophisticated as those of the theater, the studio hired ben hecht to gut the script and very few of coward's witty lines survived. while this is a crying shame, lubitsch still manages to work a little magic with alot of help from the ever charming miriam hopkins, a free-spirit who can't choose between two friends in love with her. soon they all agree to a rather unconventional living arrangement. the male leads are an impossibly handsome gary cooper, showing some comedy skills that got little use later in his career, and frederic march, who's even funnier imo. definitely worth a watch for the stars and unusual subject matter. it's clever but one can't help wondering what might have been

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Very interesting, very funny and very racy comedy is about the creatively beneficial but sexless menage a toi between March, Cooper and Hopkins.

My least favorite Lubitsch so far, but that doesn't mean this still isn't great.

Great double entendres as well

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

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