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Design For Living

Where to Watch Design For Living


Design for Living is a delightful rom-com masterpiece from 1933. Directed by the Hollywood giant Ernst Lubitsch, it stars veteran actors Fredric March, Gary Cooper, and Miriam Hopkins. This unique film combines elements of romance, comedy, and drama in an exquisite 1930s urban setting, replete with art deco fashion and interiors. The movie palpates with the vivacity of the era, nuance of human relationships, and the inertia of dreams yet unveils the evolving ethos of love during that age.

Design For Living is set in bohemian Paris, a convivial environment that serves as the ideal playground for the film's narrative to unfold. In the film, we meet our three protagonists - George (Fredric March), Thomas (Gary Cooper), and Gilda (Miriam Hopkins), who become entangled in an unconventional love triangle. Our two leading men, March and Cooper, emerge as brilliantly creative souls with starkly contrasting personalities, while Hopkins shines as a vibrant, independent woman who marches to the beat of her own drum.

Fredric March emanates charm in his role as a passionate playwright George Curtis. March adds complexity to his character's charisma with his ability to oscillate effortlessly between roguishness and vulnerability. Gary Cooper's character - Thomas Chambers, an aspiring yet struggling painter, conveys an air of tranquility with an evident underlayer of fervor for his art and life.

On the other hand, Miriam Hopkins as Gilda Farrell, an independent commercial artist, breathes life into the central narrative. Hopkins dots the movie with her vivacity and spirit, lending significant strength and individuality to her role. Gilda is not only a lover to both men but also more essentially a critic, and friend thus threading the narrative with significant character development.

As the proverbial plot thickens, the trio, who were incidentally brought together by chance, foregoes traditional norms and opts for a 'gentleman's agreement'. This unusual pact promises a shared living arrangement with a focus on platonic friendship – a promise that both the men would not pursue Gilda romantically. This film showcases Lubitsch's ability to tap into the audaciously progressive and also controversial theme for the 1930s while keeping it within the boundaries of then censor policies.

The dialogue of Design for Living, written by Ben Hecht, is sharp, quick-witted, and thoroughly engaging. It reflects the charm of 1930s parlance, giving viewers a humorous yet profound glimpse into the period's ethos. The humor is often sophisticated, filled with innuendos and private jokes, which exemplifies the genre of the screwball comedy, a unique cinematic style of the era.

The visuals of Design for Living carry an aura of elegance and luxury, particularly in the depiction of the bohemian lifestyle and the Parisian art scene. The film also displays the potential of black-and-white cinematography with its exquisite sense of light, shade, and mood. A noteworthy aspect of this film is its costume design, which reflected the glamour and style of the 1930s, significantly elevating the movie's aesthetics.

Moreover, Ernst Lubitsch's distinctive 'Lubitsch touch' is evident all over Design for Living. His masterful storytelling seamlessly combines the eccentric situations and personality dynamics among the characters without coming across as forced or melodramatic. All these make the film one of Lubitsch’s finest works, revealing a sophisticated handling of adult relationships with a light, and yet sharp touch.

Lastly, Design for Living's music score by John Leipold, adds depth to the narrative, effectively accentuating the dramatic moments and complementing the light-hearted sections effortlessly.

Summing it up, Design For Living, released in 1933, is a sophisticated, stylistic film that captures and portrays an unconventional narrative of love, friendship, dreams, and the bohemian ethos of the 1930s. Its combination of a layered fun-filled narrative, a strong ensemble cast, crisp dialogue, and exceptional direction makes it an intriguing classic worth watching for its lighthearted and refreshingly modern take on human relationships.

Design For Living is a Comedy, Romance movie released in 1933. It has a runtime of 91. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.4..

How to Watch Design For Living

Where can I stream Design For Living movie online? Design For Living is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at FuboTV, Philo, Plex, Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Design For Living for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Ernst Lubitsch
Fredric March, Gary Cooper, Miriam Hopkins, Edward Everett Horton
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