1931-1940ComedyScrewball ComedyUSAWilliam A. Seiter

William A. Seiter – Hired Wife (1940)


Kendal Browning is a secretary in love with her boss, Stephen Dexter, a man who every spring succumbs to his weakness for blondes. Much to Kendal’s chagrin, Stephen’s current affliction is model Phyllis Walden. When Stephen’s cement company is threatened with a takeover by one of his competitors, Stephen’s attorney, Roger Van Horn, suggests that Stephen marry and put his assets in his wife’s name, thus averting the danger of takeover. Stephen foolishly dispatches Kendal to bring back Phyllis as his bride, but Kendal cleverly tenders Stephen’s proposal in such a way that Phyllis rejects him, thereby making Kendal Stephen’s bride by proxy. On their wedding night, Kendal confesses her deviousness to Stephen, who throws her out until he realizes that his new wife owns everything. To keep his business competitors from challenging the legality of his marriage, Stephen moves Kendal back in, recruits Roger to act as chaperone and promises Phyllis that he will divorce his bride as soon as possible. Kendal, however, has other plans as she forces her old friend Jose, a gigolo, on Phyllis. Presenting Jose as a wealthy South American rancher, Kendal finances his courtship of Phyllis with Stephen’s money. Soon after, Stephen defeats his business rivals and asks Kendal for a divorce, but she refuses. However, Kendal’s plans go awry when Judge Peabody, the official who performed their wedding ceremony, appears to inform them that his license had expired and therefore their marriage is invalid. Just as Stephen banishes Kendal from his life forever, he realizes that he really loves her. At the same time, Phyllis realizes that she really loves Jose, and all ends happily as Stephen proposes to Kendal in earnest.



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