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:
...
...
...
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Bianca Bates
...
...
Tim - the Ardens' Son
Mary Lou Harrington ...
Chinch - the Ardens' Daughter
...
Hotel Clerk
...
Johnson - Insurance Adjuster
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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

The earliest documented telecast of this film occurred Saturday April 8, 1944 on New York City's pioneer television station WNBT (Channel 1). 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

Ellen Wagstaff Arden aka Eve: Oh, you Casanova, you.
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

Featured in Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Played as part of the score when Cary Grant dons his Santa Claus costume
See more »

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User Reviews

 
My Favorite Wife
11 March 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A curious one that leaves a mildly bitter taste in the mouth. It's funny alright (but never hilarious), and the acting from - and chemistry between - Irene Dunne and Cary Crant is exquisite as always. But the film's fundamental problem is that none of the characters are particularly likable. Throughout the film three of the four main characters take their turn to behave despicably, yet the new wife - a woman who's merely unpleasant - is the villain of the piece; constantly the butt of jokes and fair game for ridicule even though she's done absolutely nothing to warrant it. At times it's like watching two spoilt brats from the Hamptons bullying their visiting second-cousin from the Bronx.

The script is also strangely stunted, best witnessed in the scenes before the judge. They really should have been classic screwball moments - the ingredients were there - yet between the lengthy silences and repetitive parrot-dialogue it falls almost completely flat. The gaping plot holes and poor script continuity can't be forgiven either, even allowing for the fact the film's seventy years old.

Don't get me wrong, I laughed, and I enjoyed myself, and I thought it was a decent film. It's just that the character's actions don't stand up too well under scrutiny.


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