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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.



(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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Complete credited cast:
Mary Lou Harrington ...
Donald MacBride ...
Hotel Clerk
Hugh O'Connell ...


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


The funniest, fastest honeymoon ever screened!


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Meine liebste Frau  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Nick Arden: [discussing how to tell Tim and Chinch that Ellen is their mother] Would it help if I wrote them a letter?
Ellen Wagstaff Arden aka Eve: Oh, that would be nice, yes. 'Enclosed, please find your mother.'
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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 »


Featured in American Masters: Cary Grant: A Class Apart (2004) See more »


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

29 August 2001 | by (Eatontown, NJ, USA) – See all my reviews

Cary Grant makes this the best of the numerous versions of the script -- later attempted as SOMETHING'S GOT TO GIVE (Marilyn Monroe's last film) and remade as MOVE OVER, DARLING.

Just the expressions Grant has on his face make this worth watching. It's a delightful look at him in a classic comic predicament -- a man who thinks his first wife is dead discovers on his honeymoon night with his second wife that wife #1 is still amongst the living. The next complication: she has spent 7 years with another man -- and Grant gets to do his best as the jealous husband.

This is just plain funny.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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