Darling, for dictation

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German title Darling, for dictation
Original title Take a letter, darling
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1942
length 94 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Mitchell Leisen
script Claude Binyon
production Mitchell Leisen
music Victor Young
camera John J. Mescall
cut Doane Harrison ,
Thomas Scott

Darling, for dictation is a US comedy film from 1942. The screenplay is based on a story by George Beck.


After the artist Tom Verney ran into financial difficulties, he took on the position of private secretary for the advertising specialist AM MacGregor. But he feels ashamed of the way his boss is. To appease a customer's jealous wife, she pretends to be Tom as her fiancé one evening. Then she uses it to win the racist southerner Ethel Caldwell as a customer, whose brother Jonathan, owner of a tobacco factory, is known as a misogynist. Mac soon has a hard time. She fired Tom's predecessor for trying to seduce her. Now she is starting to fall in love with her employee.

In order to get the Caldwell assignment and to calm Jonathan down, Tom is placed in the foreground as an advertising specialist. Mac promises him a $ 10,000 bonus to buy a house in Mexico. Tom accepts Ethel's offer to create the advertising campaign for the Caldwells' cigarettes. Ethel and Tom get along very well, while Mac, plagued by jealousy, remains in New York. Mac then decides to go to the Caldwells, which pleases Jonathan, who has secretly fallen in love with Mac despite his misogyny. Tom confides in Jonathan that he is in love with Mac himself and uses his relationship with Ethel to make Mac jealous. Jonathan encourages Tom to keep doing it. Mac, however, is so angry that she accepts Jonathan's marriage proposal.

The advertising campaign is a success. Tom returns to New York with a signed contract with the Caldwells. Abwater, Mac's useless partner, brings Tom his bonus. Abwater tells Tom that Mac is unhappy despite the scheduled wedding date. As a wedding present, Tom sends a painting to the Caldwells showing Mac in a seductive pose. The Caldwells think Mac modeled it. Mac rejects the allegations, but Jonathan doesn't believe her. Mac breaks up the engagement.

Mac meets Tom, who wants to go to Mexico in a trailer. Mac starts throwing stones at Tom. When a train threatens to ram the trailer, Mac and Tom jump into the car and drive to Mexico together.


The lexicon of the international film about the film: “Light-handed screwball comedy that targets the professional ambitions of women and, for a change, depicts the man as a sex object. Fully focused on the two main actors and their erotic hints, carefully staged and well played. "

Dave Kehr of "Chicago Reader" describes the film as a pretty engaging romantic comedy, which Mitchell Leisen staged with its usual glamor.

Bosley Crowther of the New York Times sees leading actress Rosalind Russell as a problem in the film. Russell, as always, plays the capricious, jealous woman in her frivolous ways. The script, which lacks originality, has few amusing moments in its predictable nature.


In 1943 the film was nominated for an Oscar in the categories of best production design (b / w) ( Hans Dreier , Sam Comer and Roland Anderson), best camera (b / w) and best film music .


The US premiere took place on May 6, 1942. In Germany, the film first appeared on May 9, 1981 in a TV version of the ARD .

The film is one of over 700 Paramount Pictures productions shot between 1929 and 1949, the television rights of which were sold to Universal Pictures in 1958 .

Information from AMPAS states that the picture Tom sends the Caldwells as a wedding present was painted by Phil Paradise .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Darling, for dictation. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed July 9, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  2. http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/take-a-letter-darling/Film?oid=1061655
  3. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?_r=2&res=9507E0D8133CE33BBC4051DFB3668389659EDE