12 January 2009

Film Decor: Wife Vs. Secretary

One of my favorite silver screen residences is the Hollywood Regency house of Van and Linda Stanhope in the 1936 MGM Wife vs. Secretary.

The romantic comedy stars Clark Gable and Myrna Loy who are happily married until Myrna begins suspecting Clark of a liaison with his bodacious blonde secretary, Whitey, played by Jean Harlow. A young Jimmy Stewart is also in the film in a supporting role, but the real star as far as I am concerned is this house.

Lets take the tour....

The Entrance. The graphic use of dark and light and geometric designs on the floor and front door make the room pop. The flattening of ornament - such as the reeded column and the military trophy(what IS that?) painted on the wall is very Hollywood Regency.

The Living Room.

Helena Rubinstein would adore this dining room. Mirrored and dead white furniture make this tres a la mode - think Serge Roche. The towering taper candles and white marble statues - not your typical table setting - reinforce that the Stanhopes are a zippy, chic couple.

The hallway of the second floor.

The Bedroom. I want that bedspread. And isn't that "pinwheel" satin pillow on the tufted armchair great?

Linda's Dressing Room. As already mentioned here, this room was my first pick for the cover of RR.

Van's Dressing Room. (Don't you have his and hers dressing rooms?) The stripes and more butch furniture declare this is a man's room.


Jill said...

I would seriously consider murder in the first degree if I could have his and her dressing rooms. I love my house, but it had a previous owner who built it. We have no tub in the Master Bath...which is abhorrent to me. I need to do a major remodel, but I haven't worked myself up to it yet! Great post, as usual.

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Jill, I agree - men (well, most men) don't understand our wardrobe needs - Mr. EEE is constantly asking why I have so many clothes that I never wear. He's actually done a statistical breakdown. EEE

Jill said...

Is he an engineer?! Luckily my husband is as big of a clothes horse as I am, so he has no room to talk or put all of his clothes! Why I add so many exclamation marks online, I'll never know.

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Jill - you are uncanny! Indeed, he was an engineer in his past life! How lucky are you to have a dapper man in your life! Maybe that means he even likes to go shopping? (I know what you mean about the exclamation points) EEE

pve design said...

are why I love that movie. Watch it again and take note of the glorious shadows.

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

Patricia - I will!

Janet said...

I looooove those dining room chairs!

Anonymous said...

I swear I thought I'd seen every great movie interior
( obviously not!) I even did an entire exhibition based on the subject called "celluloid Interiors" many years ago in a NY gallery. Thank you for this blog I cant wait to rent it. Is it also a good movie? I love Myrna Loy!

Emily Evans Eerdmans said...

JS - That exhibition sounds amazing - would you consider sharing the films you featured?

Myrna Loy is the best. The movie - while no The Thin Man - is very enjoyable. (Incidentally it is the same set decorator on The Thin Man as on Wife.)