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The Office Wife (1930 film)

The Office Wife
Cinema card showing Hobart Bosworth and Dorothy Mackaill
Directed byLloyd Bacon
Written byCharles Kenyon
Based onnovel by Faith Baldwin
StarringDorothy Mackaill
Lewis Stone
Natalie Moorhead
Joan Blondell
Hobart Bosworth
CinematographyWilliam Rees
Edited byGeorge Marks
Music byAlois Reiser
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • August 23, 1930 (1930-08-23) (US)
Running time
59 minutes
CountryUnited States

The Office Wife is a 1930 American pre-Code romantic drama film directed by Lloyd Bacon, released by Warner Bros., and based on the novel of the same name by Faith Baldwin. It was the talkie debut for Joan Blondell who would become one of the major Warner Bros. stars for the following nine years.[1]


Publisher Larry Fellowes (Lewis Stone) believes that Andrews, his stenographer/secretary (played by Dale Fuller), spends more time with him and makes more decisions than a wife would for her husband. He persuades author Kate Halsey (Blanche Friderici) to write a novel based on this premise.

When Andrews learns of Larry's plans to marry Linda (Natalie Moorhead), the secretary has a nervous breakdown because she is in love with him herself. A new attractive, intelligent and efficient secretary, Anne Murdock (Dorothy Mackaill), is hired while Larry is on his honeymoon. Larry, a workaholic, begins to neglect his wife working with his secretary, and they both fall in love. Meanwhile, his wife is seeing another man (played by Brooks Benedict), with whom she falls in love.

Eventually, Larry kisses Anne while they are working together at his apartment, while Linda makes love with her young gigolo, who gives her the key to his apartment and says goodnight. Linda returns to her husband (after giving them enough time to compose themselves) and tells Larry that they should go to bed as it is very late. Anne watches as Larry goes to the bedroom with his wife and closes the door behind him. She is heartbroken and decides she will give him her resignation in the morning.[clarification needed][why?]

Linda decides to divorce Larry. Anne agrees to marry her long-time admirer Ted O'Hara after giving her resignation. On the final day of work, Anne's sister Katherine Murdock (Joan Blondell) phones the confused Larry and explains everything, bringing about a happy ending.


Cast notes:

  • Dickie Moore makes a cameo appearance in the scene by the pool.

Preservation status

The film survives intact, preserved by the Library of Congress.[2]

Home media

The film was released on DVD from Warner Archive made-on-demand as a double bill with Dorothy Mackaill's Party Husband.


  1. ^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films 1893-1993:The Office Wife
  2. ^ Catalog of Holdings The American Film Institute Collection and The United Artists Collection at The Library of Congress, (<-book title) p.130 c.1978 by The American Film Institute

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The Office Wife (1930 film)
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