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My Favorite Wife (1940)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Romance  |  17 May 1940 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 6,483 users  
Reviews: 68 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) (as Samuel Spewack) , 6 more credits »
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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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Leo McCarey was supposed to direct the film, but shortly before the filming began he was injured in an automobile accident, and had to hand over the direction to Garson Kanin. Actress Gail Patrick has stated that the severity of McCarey's injuries had an effect on the film company, and they found it very difficult to enter into the spirit of the comedy with the serious hospital bulletins they were hearing. See more »

Goofs

Nick said he met his second wife, Bianca, on the boat while searching for Ellen, yet Bianca doesn't recognize Ellen when meeting her. The search team likely had pictures of Ellen provided for them including pictures from Nick's home, which Bianca would have seen on the boat and in Nick's home. 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 usual "The End" title at the end, there is a "Good Night". See more »

Connections

Referenced in Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

The Skaters Waltz (Les patineurs)
(1882) (uncredited)
Music by Emil Waldteufel
See more »

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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.


12 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Wow am I out of the mainstream schwapj
Definitely a chick flick ashmedan
Cary and Randolph's Rings christine_lynn_chilton
Isn't Irene Dunne just gorgeous in this movie? ladylavende
Really funny movie? I think so! Friesen_471
role reversal? dgave
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