TFTMM 2019 & WOIANRA 2018 on… Designing Woman (1957)

We’re back again, this time for the 1957 MGM comedy Designing Woman, starring Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall.

In California for a golf tournament, Mike Hagen (Gregory Peck) meets Marilla Brown (Lauren Bacall), who helps him write an article while he is very drunk. When he is sobered up, they decide to stay in California a few days longer than originally planned, and they end up getting married. When they get back to New York, they both begin to find out just how little they knew about each other. Marilla, being a fashion designer, has a completely different set of friends (including some show business people) than Mike, a point that becomes very evident one night when Mike is playing poker with his buddies while she is there with some of her friends. Mike has been writing about Martin Daylor, a mobster who has been fixing some boxing events, and ends up going into hiding, without Marilla, right after they had a fight over Mike’s ex-girlfriend Lori Shannon (Dolores Gray).

This movie has a number of absolutely wonderful comedic moments. Most of what I had read talks about the moment when Lori shoves a plate of ravioli into Mike’s lap, which is absolutely wonderful to watch his reaction to it. And then there is Randy Owens, the choreographer for the show that Marilla is hired to design for. As played by the movie’s choreographer, Jack Cole, Randy doesn’t quite get on with Mike for most of the movie. However, the fight with the mobsters at the end is absolutely hilarious when Randy gets involved. I really can’t say much more without spoiling the fun, so you’ll just have to watch the movie to find out what happens (it’s ridiculous, but it’s quite fun)!

In most of what I had read prior to seeing this movie, I have seen it compared to the Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn movie Woman Of The Year, since the plots are quite similar. I do see it, and I will agree that, as a whole, Woman Of The Year is probably the better movie. The only point I will give Designing Woman over the other is the film’s ending, as that seems to be the common flaw most find in Woman Of The Year, and thankfully, they didn’t try to repeat it here. I still would recommend Designing Woman, though, so try it out if you get the chance!

The movie is available on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Archive Collection.

Film Length: 1 hour, 58 minutes

My Rating: 9/10

*ranked #8 on Top 10 Disc Releases of 2018

List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections

Roman Holiday (1953) – Gregory Peck

Young Man With A Horn (1950) – Lauren Bacall

The Opposite Sex (1956) – Dolores Gray

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