7.4/10
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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.

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(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:
...
...
...
Gail Patrick ...
Bianca
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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

17 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meine liebste Frau  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on Saturday, November 12th, 1945 with Gail Patrick reprising her film role. See more »

Goofs

When Ellen has her first hot shower 'in seven years', she's wearing a bathing cap, rather than wash her hair in the shower. See more »

Quotes

Nick Arden: Something's come up. My wife.
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Crazy Credits

During the Opening Credits, are embroidered on lace-lined silk squares reminiscent of wedding pillows that hold the rings when there are children bearing them is in progress. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Parent Trap (1998) 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
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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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