Successful novelist and playboy Owen Waterbury (Kirk Douglas) hires aspiring writer Stephanie ‘Steve’ Gaylord (Laraine Day) as his secretary; a dream come true for Steve who admires Owen and his work. Steve soon finds out that the egomaniacal Owen has gone through a series of secretaries who have left when they are fed up with his behaviour. He is constantly in debt and cannot begin to write a contracted novel that will pay his bills including a lucrative advance by his publisher. Steve perseveres until the novel, based on the events of Steve’s life and that mentions a character based on his publisher shown in an unflattering light, is refused publication.
Owen claims he cannot have a wife and a secretary so fires his wife and goes back to his old ways, hiring an admiring and attractive female to be his secretary. In the meantime Steve takes Owen’s rejected manuscript to her former companion, Charles Harris (Rudy Vallee), who is a major publisher. Harris, who now employs Elsie (Helen Walker), Owen’s former secretary before Steve, also asks to see Steve’s manuscript.
Harris finds Owen’s manuscript interesting but ordinary, but believes Steve’s manuscript to be not only worthy of publication but a serious candidate for literary prizes. Steve initially refuses publication due to hurting Owen’s fragile ego but soon changes her mind because of the philandering. She hires an attractive male secretary and the two writers compete with each other.
By Charles Martin (https://archive.org/details/my_dear_secretary) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons