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Private Number (1936)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 5 June 1936 (USA)
A maid secretly marries the son of her wealthy boss.


Roy Del Ruth


Gene Markey (screen play), William M. Conselman (screen play) (as William Conselman) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Taylor ... Richard Winfield
Loretta Young ... Ellen Neal
Basil Rathbone ... Wroxton
Patsy Kelly ... Gracie
Joe E. Lewis ... Smiley Watson (as Joe Lewis)
Marjorie Gateson ... Mrs. Winfield
Paul Harvey ... Perry Winfield
Jane Darwell ... Mrs. Meecham
Paul Stanton ... Rawlings
John Miljan ... Stapp
Monroe Owsley ... Coakley
Billy Bevan ... Frederick
Frank Dawson Frank Dawson ... Graham
George Irving ... Judge
May Beatty ... Grandma Gammon


A young woman searching for work takes a job as a maid for a rich family. Intrigue follows as a butler schemes to make the attractive newcomer his own. Only to be foiled by the wealthy son's attraction to her. The fall in love, secretly marry and the maid finds she is pregnant. Twist of fate complicates the storyline as the butler seeks revenge for his rejection. He tells all to the family in the hopes of ending the marriage. A courtroom drama ensues with the family poised against the wife/maid. All is made good with a dramatic turn of events. Written by Robert Franssen

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

5 June 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Esposa anónima See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(FMC Library Print) | (copyright length)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Richard jokes that the local cinema in rural Maine shows "all the latest movies" including 'Birth of a Nation', which was made 20 years earlier. See more »


Jane Darwell is billed as "Mrs. Meecham" but is called "Mrs. Frisby" twice. See more »


Wroxton: Hazel - you'll take your orders from me.
Hazel: Thank you Mr Wroxton.
Mrs. Meecham: Mr Wroxton. I insist on running my kitchen to suit myself.
Wroxton: We live to learn, Mrs Frisbee. In this house, you'll run your kitchen to suit me.
See more »


Alternate-language version of Del mismo barro (1930) See more »

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User Reviews

And The Villain Still Pursued Her
13 December 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

In a film that was primarily a vehicle for Loretta Young, I'm guessing that Darryl Zanuck did not want to use his favorite leading man Tyrone Power in this remake of Common Clay. Power and Young did do several films together in the Thirties, but they were either equal vehicles or Power predominated. So Zanuck got the services of Robert Taylor who was the MGM equivalent of Power for Private Number.

Or it's possible that Power also took a look at the script and realized that the part Basil Rathbone had would be a show stealer. Or that Basil Rathbone would make it one as the villainous and lecherous butler is the kind of role Rathbone could really sink his teeth into.

Certainly the part is out of the Snidely Whiplash tradition of villains. Rathbone is the tyrannical butler who rules the house servants with an iron hand including 20% kickbacks on their salaries of which the clueless masters Paul Harvey and Marjorie Gateson know nothing and for reasons I can't figure out no one is telling them or complaining. The only who raises her voice to Rathbone is cook Jane Darwell.

When Loretta Young arrives looking for work, Rathbone in true stage villain tradition is willing to forget the kickback for other considerations. But Young catches the eye of Robert Taylor as Harvey's and Gateson's son. They marry in secret and Young keeps her pregnancy a secret for as long as she can.

With Rathbone playing Iago as well as Snidely Whiplash to the parents they move for an annulment. It all gets rather messy in court, but of course it all works out for the course of true love.

Young is certainly beautiful and who wouldn't fall for her. Only toward the end is Taylor given anything to do that requires any real acting on his part. Patsy Kelly playing Patsy Kelly is also fine as Young's best friend. But the one you will really remember from Private Number is Basil Rathbone.

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