Design for Living

Synopsis: Two Americans sharing a flat in Paris, playwright Tom Chambers and painter George Curtis, fall for free-spirited Gilda Farrell. When she can't make up her mind which one of them she prefers, she proposes a "gentleman's agreement": She will move in with them as a friend and critic of their work, but they will never have sex. But when Tom goes to London to supervise a production of one of his plays, leaving Gilda alone with George, how long will their gentleman's agreement last?
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director(s): Ernst Lubitsch
Production: Criterion Collection
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min

One of the greatest handicaps

to civilization, and I may say to progress,

is the fact that people speak

with ribbons on their tongues.

Delicacy, as the philosophers

point out,

is the, uh, banana peel

under the feet of truth.

And, uh,

if you've come up here

to raise a fuss about Gilda,

this derby is a thing

of the past.

Mr. Chambers...

Mr. Chambers, I don't wish you

to misunderstand me.

I am not Miss Farrell's husband,

nor her fiance,

in any shape, form,

or manner.

I see.

Her devoted friend.

Yes. For five years.

Her guide, I take it,

and counselor.


Her protector.


In other words, Mr. Plunkett, you, uh,

you never got to first base.


I'll overlook that insult.

Thank you.

Will you be seated?

Mr. Chambers, your attentions to Gilda

are undesirable.

Has she been



Oh, good. Good.

I'm very busy, Mr. Plunkett.

I, uh, I'm creating.

Mr. Chambers, there's only one thing

I have to say to you.

You know what it is?

Yes. Immorality

may be fun,

but it isn't fun enough to take

the place of 100 percent virtue

and three square meals

a day.

Now, wait a minute.

Immorality may be fun...

But it isn't fun enough

to take the place...

Of 100 percent virtue...

And three square meals a day.



Uh-uh, not another word.

That-that's a curtain.

...three square meals a day.

And Bassington exits.

Mr. Chambers...

Listen to me,

Plunkett, Incorporated.

I'm in love with Gilda.

I adore her.

I'm quite insane

about her.

I love you, Gilda.

That's sweet to hear.

You know, sometimes I wonder

what I see in you.

You don't appreciate me,

and you know nothing about art.

Maybe you love me

because I'm an imbecile.

It must be

something like that.

I really love you.

I'm amazed at myself.

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Ben Hecht

Ben Hecht (1894–1964) was an American screenwriter, director, producer, playwright, journalist and novelist. A journalist in his youth, he went on to write thirty-five books and some of the most entertaining screenplays and plays in America. He received screen credits, alone or in collaboration, for the stories or screenplays of some seventy films. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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