Private Number (1936 film)

Private Number is a 1936 American drama film directed by Roy Del Ruth and starring Loretta Young, Robert Taylor and Basil Rathbone. It is sometimes known by the alternative title of Secret Interlude. It was based on the play Common Clay by Cleves Kinkead which had previously been made into a film of the same name in 1930. Following the more rigorous enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code after 1934, many of the more salacious elements of the earlier film were left out.

Private Number
Theatrical Film Poster
Directed byRoy Del Ruth
Produced byRaymond Griffith
Darryl F. Zanuck
Written byCleves Kinkead (play)
William M. Conselman
Gene Markey
StarringLoretta Young
Robert Taylor
Basil Rathbone
Patsy Kelly
Joe E. Lewis
Music byLouis Silvers
Cyril J. Mockridge
CinematographyJ. Peverell Marley
Edited byAllen McNeil
Distributed byTwentieth Century Fox
Release date
  • June 5, 1936 (1936-06-05)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States

Plot summary

Ellen Neal is hired as servant in the house of the wealthy Winfield family by the butler, Thomas Wroxton, who covets her romantically. Wroxton rules the household staff like a tyrant, demanding a large cut of their weekly wages as his "commission". To his great irritation, Neal resists his advances. Instead, during the family's vacation in New England she becomes romantically involved with the Winfields' son, Richard, who is a college student. They secretly marry and she falls pregnant by him before he returns to college. When the Winfields are told by a vengeful Wroxton that she is pregnant they are initially sympathetic until discovering that the child is their own grandson. A prolonged divorce suit then follows until the couple are finally reconciled.

Main cast


  • Bernstein, Matthew. Controlling Hollywood: Censorship and Regulation in the Studio Era. Athlone Press, 2000.

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