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My Favorite Wife (1940)

 -  Comedy | Romance  -  17 May 1940 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,939 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 27 critic

Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage.

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(original story), (original story), 6 more credits »
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Title: My Favorite Wife (1940)

My Favorite Wife (1940) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Gail Patrick ...
Ann Shoemaker ...
Ma
Scotty Beckett ...
Tim
Mary Lou Harrington ...
Chinch
Donald MacBride ...
Hotel Clerk
Hugh O'Connell ...
Johnson
Granville Bates ...
Judge
Pedro de Cordoba ...
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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

Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, "Enoch Arden," about a fisherman presumed lost at sea who returns to find his wife remarried, was the basis of five prior films: Enoch Arden (1914), Die Toten kehren wieder - Enoch Arden (1919), and D.W. Griffith's Enoch Arden: Part I (1911), Enoch Arden: Part II (1911), and Enoch Arden (1915). Those films adhered to Tennyson's poem. But in My Favorite Wife, Something's Got to Give (1962), and Move Over, Darling (1963), only the basic idea of a spouse who returns is kept, with the spouse presumed lost now being the wife. However, in all of these films, the surname of the couple in question remains "Arden." See more »

Goofs

The judge mentioned that Ellen was shipwrecked off the coast of Indochina. Nick mentioned that he went to Bangkok to interview survivors which makes sense if the shipwreck happened near Indochina. However, Ellen mentioned that she was located at Latitude 12, Longitude 128 which is 200 miles east of the Philippines and more than 1000 miles away from the closest part of the Indochina peninsula (which would be Vietnam). The nearest large city to that location would be Manila and not Bangkok. See more »

Quotes

Judge Walter Bryson: Who are you?
Stephen Burkett: Well, your honor...
Nick Arden: Oh, he was on the island with her. He's not important to this case.
Judge Walter Bryson: I'll decide what's important to the case. What island?
Nick Arden: The island where my wife stayed for seven years, your honor.
Judge Walter Bryson: They were on an island together for seven years?
Nick Arden: Yes, your honor.
Judge Walter Bryson: Not alone?
Nick Arden: Yes.
Judge Walter Bryson: Hmm. Same island?
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Rather than the usual "The End" title at the end, there is a "Good Night". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Steps Out (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Entertaining Screwball
9 May 2005 | by (BC) – See all my reviews

...albeit a little slow-paced in the first half. Leo McCarey's chaotic pace which made The Awful Truth so much fun is missed here, but Garson Kanin directs capably in his absence and the script and actors deliver enough good wit and chemistry to keep it all balanced out in the end.

Cary Grant gets himself into an unwitting romantic pickle when he's confronted by his thought to be long dead wife on his honeymoon with his new bride. Hilarity ensues, as it does in every brilliant screwball comedy Grant was the star of, and there are some priceless moments along the way.

As in The Awful Truth, Grant and Irene Dunne make a fetching and compatible screen couple. Dunne's comedic felinity and tendency to affect nutty stereotypes in order to get what she wants is better than Katharine Hepburn's imitation of her in Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story. Grant and Hepburn were terrific in their movies together too, and not taking anything away from Great Kate, but Grant and Dunne's chemistry was just that much better and it's a shame they never made more comedies together.

Hilarious in-jokey scenes between Grant and Randolph Scott, and a near scene stealing turn by Granville Bates as The Judge round out a pretty funny flick.

The Doris Day/James Garner remake "Move Over, Darling" is memorable in its own right and viewed right after this would make for a good video double-bill.


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