The Office Wife
|The Office Wife|
|Directed by||Lloyd Bacon|
|Written by||Charles Kenyon
based on the novel by Faith Baldwin
|Music by||Alois Reiser|
|Edited by||George Marks|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||59 min.|
The Office Wife is a 1930 American Pre-Code romantic drama film directed by Lloyd Bacon, released by Warner Bros., and based on the novel of the same name by Faith Baldwin. It was the talkie debut for Joan Blondell who would become one of the major Warner Bros. stars for the following nine years.
Publisher Larry Fellowes (Lewis Stone) believes the personal secretary/stenographer spends more time with the busy executive and makes more decisions than his wife, which creates a stronger bond between secretary and boss than that between husband and wife. He persuades author Kate Halsey (Blanche Friderici) to write a novel based on this premise with these points and promises of riches.
When Larry's secretary (Dale Fuller) learns of his plans to marry Linda (Natalie Moorhead), the secretary has a nervous breakdown because she is in love with him herself. A new secretary, Anne Murdock (Dorothy Mackaill), is hired while Larry is on his honeymoon. She is attractive, intelligent and efficient. Larry, a workaholic, begins to neglect his wife working with his secretary, and they both fall in love. Meanwhile, his wife is seeing another man named Mr. Jameson (Brooks Benedict) with whom she falls in love.
Eventually, Larry kisses Anne while they are working together at his apartment, while Linda makes love with her young gigolo. Mr. Jameson gives her the key to his apartment and says goodnight. Linda returns to her husband (after giving them enough time to compose themselves) and tells Larry that they should go to bed as it is very late. Anne watches as Larry goes to the bedroom with his wife and closes the door behind him. She is heartbroken and decides she will give him her resignation in the morning.
Linda decides to divorce Larry. Both discuss this in a very civil fashion. Meanwhile Anne agrees to marry her long-time admirer Ted O'Hara after giving her resignation. On the final day of work, Anne's sister Katherine Murdock (Joan Blondell) manages to phone Larry and explain the real state of things, bringing about a happy ending.
- Dorothy Mackaill as Anne Murdock
- Lewis Stone as Larry Fellowes
- Natalie Moorhead as Linda Fellowes
- Hobart Bosworth as J.P. McGowan
- Joan Blondell as Katherine Murdock
- Blanche Friderici as Kate Halsey
- Brooks Benedict as Jameson
- Dale Fuller as Secretary Andrews
- Walter Merrill as Ted O'Hara
- Dickie Moore makes an appearance in the scene by the pool.
The film survives intact, preserved by the Library of Congress, and has been broadcast on television and cable. It is available on DVD from Warner Archive made-on-demand as a double bill with Dorothy Mackaill's Party Husband.