Comedians & Comedies: Design for Living


The Screening Room @VTIFF Fri, Jul 5 7:00 PM


Series: Comedians & Comedies

Vermont Comedians present comedies that impacted their own sense of what’s funny.


Design for Living (1933)

Presented by Seth Jarvis

Friday, July 5 | 7:00 pm

U.S. | 91 minutes

Director: Ernst Lubitsch

A brilliant example of all that we lost when the Hays Code landed on Hollywood and prevented anything funny from happening from 1934 to 1968 (with exceptions, sure), Design for Living is sexy comedy for adults…what’s not to love?

Writer/director and funny guy Seth Jarvis presents this stone-cold masterpiece of early American talkie comedy.

Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and Miriam Hopkins – extraordinarily beautiful and dapper, each and every one of them – play a trio of American artist-wannabes in Paris who enter into a very adult “gentleman’s agree­ment” (figure it out) in this continental pre-Code comedy, freely adapted by Ben Hecht from a play by Noël Coward and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. This film has it all: staggeringly beautiful leads, an incredible supporting cast (Edward Everett Horton!), production design to die for, typically gold-standard directorial elegance from the great Lubitsch, and a perfectly sexy, racy script laden with glorious one-line asides.

No wonder Seth likes it so much.