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Take a Letter, Darling

(1942 b 92')

En: 6 Ed: 5

An advertising executive hires a man as her secretary to keep a client's wife from becoming jealous of her, but she becomes jealous herself.

Tom Verney (Fred MacMurray) applies for a job in advertising, and A. M. MacGregor (Rosalind Russell) hires him as her private secretary for $50 a week. MacGregor started as secretary to Adwater (Robert Benchley) and is now his partner. She sends Tom for three new suits and takes him out in tails, telling him that to prevent jealousy from a prospective client's wife, he is to be her fiancé. Tom dances with Mrs. French (Margaret Hayes) and flirts with her so that MacGregor can get her contract. Tom assures her he won't fall in love with her, and she raises his salary to $100. Adwater tells MacGregor about tobacco president Jonathan Caldwell. While MacGregor tries on clothes, she dictates orders to Tom. They go to her cabin for the weekend, and she hears Tom call Sally. MacGregor studies Caldwell's history of four wives. Tom tells her he is a painter and wants to go to Mexico. She tells him not to fall in love with her; but when he implies she has no heart, she kisses him. She takes him back to town but does not fire him.

Jonathan Caldwell (Macdonald Carey) sees MacGregor is a woman and tells her to go; so she faints. They argue, and she leaves her ad plans. Jonathan calls her and says she must persuade his sister at dinner. MacGregor brings Tom and offers him a $10,000 bonus. She sends him to pick up Ethel Caldwell (Constance Moore), and he dances with her until closing. Ethel invites Tom to Raleigh for two weeks. Jealous MacGregor trips Tom and complains.

Tom plays with Ethel and rips up MacGregor's telegrams. Jonathan calls MacGregor, and they go to Raleigh together. Tom shows her his paintings of artists smoking. Tom tells Jonathan that he does not want to marry Ethel but is making MacGregor jealous. Jonathan urges him to go farther and then asks MacGregor to marry. She says no. Ethel wants to marry Tom, who makes MacGregor more jealous. She tells Jonathan she accepts his proposal. Jonathan tells Tom, who dumps egg on his head. Tom tells MacGregor he is not marrying Ethel and is quitting. Adwater calls on Tom at his studio and says MacGregor is not happy, giving him his $10,000. Jonathan and MacGregor rehearse their wedding but receive a nude painting of her from Tom. MacGregor tells Jonathan she won't marry him. In the final scene Tom with a trailer finds MacGregor walking and picks her up.

This role-reversal comedy reflects the cutting edge of a woman being successful in business and turns into a game of using jealousy to get someone to admit she is in love.

Copyright © 2004 by Sanderson Beck

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