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The Best of Everything (1959)

Hope Lange , Stephen Boyd , Jean Negulesco  |  NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Hope Lange, Stephen Boyd, Suzy Parker, Martha Hyer, Diane Baker
  • Directors: Jean Negulesco
  • Writers: Edith R. Sommer, Mann Rubin, Rona Jaffe
  • Producers: Jerry Wald
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2005
  • Run Time: 121 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0007PALUM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,603 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Best of Everything" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • Theatrical Trailer

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Rona Jaffe's best-selling novel comes to life in this witty tale about the personal and professional lives of the men and women in a New York publishing firm. Heading a huge cast. JOAN CRAWFORD "gives an excellently etched performance" (Hollywood Reporter) as a tough-talking editor who can't seem to win at love. There are a few more interesting stories around the office than there are in the manuscripts at Fabian Publishers. Among the principal players: a new secretary (HOPE LANG) who quickly gets her boss's (CRAWFORD) job and romances a handsome editor (STEPHEN BOYD); a Colorado secretary (DIANE BARKER) who falls for the wrong man (ROBERT EVANS); and a would be actress (SUZY PARKER) who's jilted by a two-timing director (LUIS JOURDAN). Slick and glossy, The Best Of Everything is a panorama of office politics before women's liberation.

The business world of the late Eisenhower era has rarely been more chicly drawn than in The Best of Everything, a juicy soap opera of the "working girl" school. Hope Lange lands a secretarial job at a Manhattan publishing house, eventually rising to an editorial position--but not before witnessing the back-biting, fanny-pinching snakepit that is the corporate workplace circa 1959. The spunky trio of Lange, Diane Baker, and Suzy Parker have romantic misadventures aplenty; Baker falls in with smarmy young Robert Evans (he had the tan even back then) and aspiring actress Parker lands in the clutches of heartbreaker stage director Louis Jourdan. The film's males are truly pigs in gray flannel suits. Beefcake slab Stephen Boyd offers solace to Lange, while Martha Hyer is around to provide yet another example of a woman suffering for the sake of a married man. Despite all the young female talent (redhead Parker was one of the most beautiful women of the fifties, a top model with a brief movie career), nobody holds serve when Joan Crawford bulls her way on screen. As a senior magazine editor (and a presumably cautionary example of the bitter career woman), Crawford eats the other actors like hors d'oeuvres. Jean Negulesco's staid direction never notices how trashy and plodding the material is, stressing instead the designer prettiness of CinemaScope: the interiors are a parade of cool colors and postwar furniture, the location shots of Manhattan streets are as gorgeous and nostalgic as an ancient engraving. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
96 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality, 1950's style. And a good story too. February 2, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this film back in 1959 when it first came out and I also read Rona Jaffe's book on which it was based. It was about the world of New York secretaries. And it seemed to speak directly to me as I was then working as a secretary for a large management-consulting firm. I loved it then because it seemed so real. Now, 44 years later, I'm reminded of that reality.
I remember wearing white gloves and a hat to work each day, even in the summer. I remember setting my hair in pincurls. I remember my electric typewriter, which was the latest technological advance. I was married then and remember being addressed as "Mrs." by my boss, even though I was only 19 years old. All the secretaries had desks next to each other in one open room; it was years before the advent of cubicles made famous by the Dilbert cartoon. And years before any of my fellow co-workers aspired to anything other than marriage and children. The one female executive was pitied and looked at as a sour old maid.
In the film Joan Crawford is cast as that one office "witch", who had not married because she was involved with a married man and was paying for her bad decision. Indeed, there was more than one married man involved in affairs in the film, but it was always the woman who was made to suffer. Hope Lange had the role of the young hopeful who, because of being jilted by her boyfriend, starts to achieve some success in business. Then there is Diane Baker, fresh faced and innocent at the beginning, but whose life is almost ruined by the wrong man. Most pitiful of all though is Suzy Parker, who gives up her secretarial job to be an actress and is used and then dropped by an important director.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I rented it and did NOT want to give it back! September 16, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
As a big fan of the classics, I enjoy watching films from silent to the 1960s; however, I don't know how this one escaped me until recently. I rented this movie and saw it over 10 times before reluctantly returning it to the video store. I enjoyed the heartwarming portrayal by Hope Lange, who is now one of my favorite actresses. This movie is about the adventures and tribulations three young women go through at a time when being a secretary was both glamourous and hard work and no guidelines for office politics were set. Although for the 1950s, some content would be considered racy and daring, but for today's standards some people can wrongly consider it "corny" which I disagree. It was a different time then but yet similar in the way we all pursue the best of everything in what we do. Saying that, I do recommend this charming, witty and heartwarming film for those who would appreciate seeing another era in time when young women pursued their dreams and goals. Rent it or buy it. I now own a copy. It's worth seeing!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST OF EVERYTHING.... AND THEN SOME! December 20, 2006
The time and place is 1959 New York City and lovely Caroline Bender (Hope Lange "Peyton Place,"(1957) "Pocketful of Miracles," (1961) has just joined the steno pool at Fabian Publishing Company. Also in the office is beautiful Gregg Adams (Suzy Parker "Kiss Them for Me" (1957) and sweet, but a tad bit scatterbrained, April Morrison (Diane Baker "Marnie" (1964) "Strait-Jacket" (1964) who are working 9 to 5 while searching for Mr. Right. This is a glossy soap opera of sorts, which reminds me a lot of films like "Peyton Place," and "Valley of the Dolls." The best scenes in the movie, however, are the ones with "bitch boss" Ms Farrow (played wonderfully by screen legend Joan Crawford). In one memorable scene Joan is on the telephone with her lover, who won't leave his wife for her, so Joan screams into the phone: "You and your rabbit faced wife can go straight to hell!" Classic! And the funny thing is she slams the phone down before she completely finishes her sentence! Hilarious!

Caroline is torn between her dreamy ex-fiancée Eddie Harris (Bret Halsey "Return to Peyton Place" (1961) and office hunk Mike Rice (Stephen Boyd "Fall of the Roman Empire" (1964) while moving swiftly up the corporate ladder and into Ms Farrow's office! Gregg Adams wants to become the toast of Broadway by allowing herself to fall into the hands (and the bed) of the play's director, David Savage (Louis Jourdan "Gigi" (1958) which ends in tragedy. April is seduced by rich and suave Dexter Key (Robert Evans) and believes after she tells him that she is pregnant, they are off to be married -sorry, another tragedy! It seems Ms Farrow has come to her senses and is giving up the glamorous life for the married life -but then she returns to the office for her old job and says, "it's just too late for me.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars See you in the snake pit... September 4, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first watched this movie because cinamatic legand Joan Crawford was one of the stars in it. Joan plays Amanda Farrow, a rather bossy publishing executive. However, her part is small and the movie has little to do with her character. It's a fine picture, though.

At first glance, "The Best of Everything" looks like "9 to 5" meets "The Devil Wears Prada." But after the first twenty minutes I was convinced that this was a much more complicated tale about relationships taking place in the Big Apple.

The main plot focused on three clerical workers at the same publishing firm, played by Hope Lange, Diane Baker, and Suzy Parker. Each women has their own trials and tribulations. But I think the one thing that they all have in common is that the men in their lives are all cads. I would say that just about all the men in this film are rather unsympathetic and uncaring. Is this how men really were in the 1950's? I hope not.

Normally I'd reserve two maybe three stars for a picture like this. But since it's Joan's "last great picture" (not counting "Baby Jane," of course) it deserves four.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS MOVIE!
One of Joan Crawford's best! Such a fabulous time to be in the New York workforce in 1959. Wish I had been that age to have experienced it. Read more
Published 5 days ago by wendytime
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I first saw the movie when it was released in 1959 and I had to have it.
Published 28 days ago by marilyn martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thoroughly enjoyed
Published 1 month ago by marie-lynne robins
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
I have read this book numerous times. I did not care for the movie because it deviated far too much from the book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Linda
5.0 out of 5 stars Ur-Mad Men!
If you like "Mad Men," the please watch "The Best of Everything." This is the real thing, filmed at the time that offices worked this way. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Arthur H. Roach
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
VERY GOOD! purchasedd it on VHS and then later on DVD! I think that says a lot....
Published 3 months ago by valariel.reid-turbat
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Everything
This is one of my all time favorite movies, have seen it many times. So glad that I thought to check if it was on DVD.
Published 4 months ago by Cynthia Zakrzewski
3.0 out of 5 stars Has not aged well
The movie looks great. Terrific clothes, old New York, intriguing characters. But the "happy Hollywood ending" looks ghastly from 2014. We've come a long way, baby. Read more
Published 4 months ago by M. Ennis
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprised that I Liked it
Just amazing. Loved the fashion, the story and the decor. Not at all a painful walk down memory lane. It was a watch
Published 5 months ago by Thomas F. Miller
4.0 out of 5 stars Slick technicolor eye candy
Slick technicolor soap opera from 1960. The clothes are gorgeous, the women are gorgeous and the story is engaging albeit somewhat corny and cliched by today's standards. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Richard L. Adkins
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