7.4/10
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74 user 27 critic

My Favorite Wife (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 17 May 1940 (USA)
Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage.

Director:

Writers:

(original story), (original story) (as Samuel Spewack) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Bianca Bates
...
...
Tim - the Ardens' Son
Mary Lou Harrington ...
Chinch - the Ardens' Daughter
Donald MacBride ...
Hotel Clerk
...
Johnson - Insurance Adjuster
...
Judge Bryson
...
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Storyline

Ellen Arden arrives 7 years after being given up for dead in a shipwreck, to find her husband Nick just remarried to Bianca. The overjoyed Nick awkwardly tries to break the news gently to Bianca. But before he can do that, an unpleasant surprise--news that Ellen has spent the 7 years on a deserted island with fellow-survivor Burkett. Nick's jealousy tries to find out the truth. Hilarious confusion reigns before Nick chooses his favorite wife. Written by Riaz Shaikh <cisrfsx@gsusgi2.gsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The funniest, fastest honeymoon ever screened!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meine liebste Frau  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Cary Grant wears a leopard print smoking jacket throughout much of the last third of the film. He was just coming off the huge flop Bringing Up Baby (1938) in which the titular character is a leopard. See more »

Goofs

Ellen,Nick and Stephen share a scene together at the Pacific club,during a sunny and warm day (Stephen is actually seen in his swimming trunks).The next day,when they find themselves in the courthouse,Ellen is wearing a fur coat,which would indicate much colder weather. See more »

Quotes

[Dr. Kohlmar walks in on Nick holding a dress in front of himself with a lady's hat on his head]
Nick Arden: Do you think this goes together? Blue ought to go with blue, right?
Dr. Kohlmar: Yes, I suppose.
Nick Arden: It's for a friend.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Rather than the normal The End title as this movie concludes, there is a Good Night [drawn in cursive handwriting] page just before Closing Credits film roles and exit music begins. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Move Over, Darling (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

The Skaters Waltz (Les patineurs)
(1882) (uncredited)
Music by Emil Waldteufel
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User Reviews

An Entertaining Use of the Idea
24 August 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This gets pretty good comic mileage out of the often-used 'Enoch Arden' (or, as here, 'Ellen Arden') idea of the long-lost spouse who returns to find his/her spouse now involved with someone else. Numerous movies have used it both for drama and for comedy, and in this case, the premise is adapted to the screwball comedy formula that was so popular for a time in the 1930s and 1940s.

The story starts by slightly revising the usual setup, with Irene Dunne as the formerly shipwrecked spouse, Cary Grant as the husband who has since become involved with another woman (Gail Patrick), plus Randolph Scott as a wild card in the relationships. Practically every stage of the story is highly implausible (probably deliberately so) but amusing, and it is generally left to the cast to make things work, which they usually do.

Grant usually seems quite at home in this kind of comedy, and he and Dunne work well together, depicting their characters' relationship with the kinds of intangibles that help make the whole scenario more believable. Patrick is always quite good as an elegantly icy rival to the heroine, and Scott also works well here in his role. Amongst the supporting cast, Granville Bates gets some very good moments as the grouchy judge.

For as far-fetched as the scenario seems at times, it works pretty well. The cast is strong enough to carry the weight, and it would have been hard to improve upon their combination of talents. It doesn't have quite the depth of comic variety or the subtlety of implied commentary that the best screwball comedies have, but it's an entertaining movie worth seeing.


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