Design for Living (1933) - Rotten Tomatoes

Design for Living1933

Design for Living (1933)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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
View All

Critic Reviews for Design for Living

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (2)

The script galumphs when it should glide.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

February 26, 2003 | Full Review…

Design for Living is in the true Lubitsch tradition, and I think it his most satisfying sound film.

February 2, 2021 | Full Review…

All this is handled in Mr. Lubitsch's most delightful manner.

January 4, 2021 | Full Review…

Plenty of excitement, excellent acting and sparkle.

October 6, 2020 | Full Review…

The general effect is as if they suddenly realized that they're in a Noel Coward drama, and are stymied by the thought.

June 6, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Design for Living


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 Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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
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
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Design for Living Quotes

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