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The Office Wife [Lewis Stone]

The Office Wife (1930) starring Dorothy Mackaill, Lewis Stone, Natalie Moorhead, Joan Blondell

The Office Wife is a drama about a married executive, who shortly after his marriage to a younger woman, hires a new secretary. The secretary is determined to be all business … But she unexpectedly falls in love with the older man anyway.

Review

The Office Wife is surprising in a couple of ways. First, it’s a pre-Hays code film. This is shown in several ways, including the sister’s attitude towards marriage. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Cast of characters

  • Dorothy Mackaill as Anne Murdock. The young, attractive stenographer and secretary. She’s promoted to executive secretary, based on her brains and ability, not her looks. But, despite her promise to herself, she begins falling in love with her older boss. A married man.
  • Lewis Stone (Love Finds Andy Hardy) as Larry Fellowes. The older executive. He’s recently married aa younger woman, but still works 12-hour days at the office. Often, he brings Anne home with him for working weekends.
  • Natalie Moorhead as Linda Fellowes. Larry’s new wife. At first, the audience thinks that she’s the stereotypical gold digging wife. But, she’s not. She’s a neglected wife, who finds consolation in the arms of a man closer to her age. Not to excuse her adulterous behavior, but to understand it.
  • Joan Blondell (Nightmare Alley) as Katherine Murdock. Anne’s sassy sister and roommate. She considers marriage to be a trap for a woman. She’s trying to protect her sister throughout the film.
  • Blanche Friderici as Kate Halsey. Writer, who at the beginning of the film Larry is trying to write a new book: The Office Wife. Setting the stage for the entire movie.
  • Brooks Benedict (In a Lonely Place) as Jameson. The handsome young man that Linda is having a “fling” with. He gave her the key to his room … Which her husband finds. It breaks his heart.
  • Dale Fuller as Secretary Andrews. Larry’s first secretary. Unknown to Larry, she’s in love with him. So much so, she suffers a nervous breakdown.
  • Walter Merrill as Ted O’Hara. Anne’s boyfriend. He’s an up-and-coming newspaperman. He likes Anne … he thinks he loves her. She doesn’t love him, though. But, brokenhearted at one point, she nearly marries him.

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