The Office Wife
|The Office Wife|
|Directed by||Lloyd Bacon|
|Written by||Charles Kenyon|
|Based on||novel by Faith Baldwin|
|Music by||Alois Reiser|
|Edited by||George Marks|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
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 that his stenographer/secretary (played by Dale Fuller) spends more time with him and makes more decisions than a wife would for her husband. He persuades author Kate Halsey (Blanche Friderici) to write a novel based on this premise.
When Larry's secretary 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 attractive, intelligent and efficient secretary, Anne Murdock (Dorothy Mackaill), is hired while Larry is on his honeymoon. 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 (played by 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, who 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.[clarification needed][why?]
Linda decides to divorce Larry. 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) phones the confused Larry and explains everything, 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 a cameo appearance in the scene by the pool.
Pre-Code era scenes
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.
- The Office Wife at the Internet Movie Database
- The Office Wife at AllMovie
- The Office Wife at the TCM Movie Database