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

It's sincere,

that's what gets my goat.


I'm very fond of you.

Oh, you're fond of me, huh?


I don't like that.

I know what's the trouble.

I swear I'll break his neck.

Gilda, you're mine.

Tell him to get out of your life

and stay out

or I'll cut him to bits.


That pal of yours,

Max Plunkett.


Well, what's the verdict?

Are you jealous?

No, no, I'm not jealous.

The whole point is I... that I just don't

want any competition.

It belittles me

in my own eyes.

It... it interferes

with my work.

I... I can't paint

when I'm worried.

All right, I'll tell Max.

See that you do,


Yes, sir.


Now please go.

I'll see you tomorrow.

Tomorrow my life begins.

Hello, Mr. Plunkett.


Oh, Mr. Curtis.

How are you?

I'm well, thank you.

Goodnight, Mr. Plunkett.

Uh, just a minute.

What are you doing here?

At the moment,

I am leaving.

I mean, uh,

you've seen Miss Farrell?

Yes, I have seen Gilda.


She's expecting you.

She has some news

for you.

Mr. Curtis, I wish to, uh, broach

a rather delicate matter.

It concerns Gilda.

Sit down.


Mr. Curtis,

what is your annual income,

in round figures?

In round figures, zero.

May I ask what you live on?


I survive by miracles.

Mr. Curtis,

I must ask you man-to-man

to discontinue

your attentions to Gilda.

Now you're making

very unbecoming faces, Mr. Plunkett.

She doesn't need you.

Guess again!

Mr. Curtis, there's only one thing

I have to say to you.

Immorality may be fun,

but it isn't fun enough to take

the place of 100 percent virtue

and three square meals

a day.

So, this is the way

you talk to a man

who wears Kaplan

and McGuire unin suits?

Mr. Plunkett, I shall report you

to your clients immediately.

Good night, sir.

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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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