IMDb > My Favorite Wife (1940)
My Favorite Wife
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My Favorite Wife (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
7.4/10   7,546 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 116% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Bella Spewack (original story) &
Sam Spewack (original story) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for My Favorite Wife on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
17 May 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The funniest, fastest honeymoon ever screened!
Plot:
Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more »
NewsDesk:
Director Robert Wise Dies at 91
 (From IMDb News. 15 September 2005)

User Reviews:
"You're Not Allowed To Have Two Wives, You Know" See more (76 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Irene Dunne ... Ellen Wagstaff Arden

Cary Grant ... Nick Arden

Randolph Scott ... Stephen Burkett

Gail Patrick ... Bianca Bates

Ann Shoemaker ... Ma - Nick's Mother

Scotty Beckett ... Tim - the Ardens' Son
Mary Lou Harrington ... Chinch - the Ardens' Daughter

Donald MacBride ... Hotel Clerk

Hugh O'Connell ... Johnson - Insurance Adjuster

Granville Bates ... Judge Bryson

Pedro de Cordoba ... Dr. Kohlmar
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jean Acker ... Postponed Case Witness (uncredited)

Murray Alper ... Yosemite Bartender (uncredited)

Leon Belasco ... Waiter - Pacific Club Poolside (uncredited)
Joe Cabrillas ... Phillip (uncredited)
Bill Cartledge ... Page Boy Paging Burkett (uncredited)

Chester Clute ... Shoe Salesman (uncredited)
Corky ... Corky the Dog (uncredited)

Franco Corsaro ... Waiter Bringing Wine (uncredited)

Florence Dudley ... Postponed Case Witness (uncredited)
Hal Gerard ... Assistant Court Clerk (uncredited)
Roque Guinart ... Waiter (uncredited)

Earle Hodgins ... Court Clerk Beside Judge Bryson (uncredited)

Edna Holland ... Johnny Weissmuller Inquirer (uncredited)
Thelma Joel ... Miss Rosenthal - Nick's Legal Secretary (uncredited)

Cy Kendall ... Police Detective Arresting Nick (uncredited)
Ellen Lowe ... Weissmuller Inquirer's Companion (uncredited)
Margaret Martin ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Horace McMahon ... Truck Driver Giving Lift to Ellen (uncredited)
Sue Moore ... Maid Drying Ellen's Clothes (uncredited)

Bert Moorhouse ... Postponed Case Lawyer (uncredited)
Clive Morgan ... Postponed Case Lawyer (uncredited)
George Noisom ... Page Boy Bringing Steve's Robe (uncredited)
Bob Reeves ... Policeman Arresting Nick (uncredited)
Ronald R. Rondell ... Bellboy #1 (uncredited)
Matty Roubert ... Page Boy Paging Mr. Arden (uncredited)
Eli Schmudkler ... Janitor (uncredited)
Pat West ... Caretaker at Arden's Mountain Place (uncredited)

Directed by
Garson Kanin 
 
Writing credits
Bella Spewack (original story) &
Sam Spewack (original story) (as Samuel Spewack) and
Leo McCarey (original story)

Bella Spewack (written for the screen by) &
Sam Spewack (written for the screen by) (as Samuel Spewack)

Garson Kanin  uncredited
Alfred Lord Tennyson  poem "Enoch Arden" (uncredited)
John McClain  uncredited

Produced by
Leo McCarey .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Roy Webb 
 
Cinematography by
Rudolph Maté (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Robert Wise (edited by)
 
Art Direction by
Van Nest Polglase 
 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Howard Greer (gowns)
 
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James H. Anderson .... assistant director
Ruby Rosenberg .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Mark-Lee Kirk .... associate art director
 
Sound Department
John E. Tribby .... recordist
 
Other crew
Bert Granet .... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
88 min | Germany:75 min (cut)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Brazil:Livre | Canada:G (video rating) | Finland:S | France:Tous publics | Spain:T | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (re-rating) (1986) | USA:Approved (PCA #5974) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Cary Grant and Randolph Scott, who play rivals in this film, lived on and off together for twelve years from 1932 to 1944.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When Nick first tries to sleep in the bed in the attic of the cabin, he pulls a toy cannon from under the bed and throws it across the room. When he does this, the doll on the night stand falls over. You can see the trip wire swinging behind Nick. In fact, the pin at the end of the wire lands on Nick's head.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 »
Movie Connections:
Edited into Marilyn: Something's Got to Give (1990) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Jingle BellsSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
27 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
"You're Not Allowed To Have Two Wives, You Know", 13 March 1999
Author: Michael Coy (michael.coy@virgin.net) from London, England

From the opening moments, when the big wooden doors part and usher us into a beautifully spare art deco courtroom with slanting shafts of sunlight enhancing the clean architectural lines, we know that this is going to be a deftly-made, elegant film. What follows does not disappoint us.

Attorney Nick Arden (Cary Grant) lost his wife Ellen in a shipwreck in the Pacific seven years ago. He has now decided to have her declared officially dead, so that he will be free to marry Bianca (Gail Patrick). The irascible judge eventually accedes to both the declaration and the marriage, and the newly-weds set off for a honeymoon in Yosemite. Meanwhile, who should turn up at the Arden residence, very much alive, but the long-lost Ellen? When she hears of the recent marriage, she heads straight for the honeymooners' hotel ...

"My Favourite Wife" is a fine example of those early Cary Grant farces, the ones in which he gawps with surprise, double-takes and mutters to himself as only he can. Irene smoke-gets-in-your-eyes Dunn is great as Ellen, unveiling a hitherto unsuspected gift for witty comedy. Scotty Beckett and Mary Lou Harrington come close to stealing the show as the Ardens' cute little kids. Randolph Scott is interestingly cast as Steve Burkett, the muscle-bound Adonis who spent seven years on the desert island with Ellen.

Some of the film's highlights are worth mentioning here, like the superimposition of Burkett performing gymnastic feats alongside Nick Arden's troubled face as he muses at his desk, conveying with economy the husband's jealous preoccupation. It is unfair to give away a film's jokes, but one gag which lose nothing in the telling is Ellen's outfit at the Yosemite hotel. She has been out of circulation for seven years, and she looks comically untrendy in her 1932 polkadots and lapels, and obtrusive hat. Watch for the derisive glances from the other hotel guests.

Such a light, charming piece of entertainment is hard to fault, but the film does have some shortcomings. Its central problem, which is not resolved, is what to do with Bianca. She married Nick in good faith and has done nothing wrong, yet she is neglected by Nick. Because there is no satisfactory way of dealing with her, she is simply dropped. Ellen's return from a watery grave after all those years would be a news story of international importance, but instead she arrives home having hitched a ride in a truck. Her entry into the country seems to have gone unannounced, even to her husband. The scene in which she persuades a shoe store clerk to pose as 'Adam' in front of Nick has enormous comic potential, but is abandoned after a few seconds. Nick's sleeping-in-the-attic scene is far too long for the humour it contains.

However, the film is a pleasant and very amusing romp, and such weaknesses as it contains do not detract from its appeal.

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