Design for Living (Blu-ray)(The Criterion Collection, 12.6.2011)
Design for Living is not one of Ernst Lubitsch’s masterpieces, but this 1933 film is thoroughly entertaining and provides a wonderful example of the sexual content Hollywood could get away with before the advent of the Production Code. Beyond the title and the basic premise, the film has little to do with Noël Coward’s 1932 play. Gilda (Miriam Hopkins), a commercial artist working for an advertising agency in Paris, meets George (Gary Cooper) and Tom (Frederic March) -- a painter and a playwright respectively -- and falls almost immediately in love with both, while fending-off the advances of her stuffy boss (Edward Everett Horton). Some rash decisions are made, leading to misery for all concerned -- until an unconventionally happy fade-out.