• “Anyone under the illusion that movies have grown more sophisticated about sex as society has become (allegedly) more open should take a look at Design for Living,” writes Charles Taylor in the New York Times about the classic comedy, now available on Criterion Blu-ray and DVD. “Ernst Lubitsch and Ben Hecht’s loose adaptation of Noël Coward’s great play is, like Shampoo or Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, an American comedy that is utterly grown-up about sex and speaks to its audience on those terms.” Very Short List calls Design for Living “one of the raciest films of the 1930s” and praises its three sexy stars: “[Gary] Cooper, having only just entered his thirties, is remarkably handsome, and [Miriam] Hopkins is ebullient and effervescent . . . But [Fredric] March’s slyness, charm, and impeccable timing carry the day.” For the Chicago Tribune’s Michael Phillips, the film “has scarcely an ounce of flab on it.” And DVD Verdict’s Gordon Sullivan exclaims that it’s “sexy, intellectual, but with that sophisticated ‘Lubitsch touch’ that is still talked about today . . . Each line in the film is like a gem that’s been polished to a high shine.”

    More from Slant and Paper.

2 comments

  • By Johne383
    August 03, 2014
    03:34 PM

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    Reply
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  • By Johnb587
    August 03, 2014
    03:34 PM

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