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

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Overview

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Down 6% 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 »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more »
NewsDesk:
Director Robert Wise Dies at 91
 (From IMDb News. 15 September 2005)

User Reviews:
A Shakespearian masterpiece of farce. See more (66 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Irene Dunne ... Ellen

Cary Grant ... Nick

Randolph Scott ... Burkett
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 ... 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)
Harold 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 | Canada:G (video rating) | Finland:S | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:U (video rating) (1986) (1997) | USA:Approved (PCA #5974) | West Germany:16 (nf)

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:
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:
Nick Arden:Do you ride in cabs or do you just trot alongside?See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Move Over, Darling (1963)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Skaters Waltz (Les patineurs)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
12 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
A Shakespearian masterpiece of farce., 25 July 2001
Author: Alice Liddel (-darragh@excite.com) from dublin, ireland

Garson Kanin's best films are so bright, fast and funny, and have been plundered by so many pallid, feel-good imitators, that it's easy to overlook how courageously critical they can be, of prevailing social norms, for instance, what society takes to be normal - 'natural' - about crucial concepts like family, gender, marriage etc. In 'My Favorite wife', Kanin takes the idea that a particular social order is natural, and tears it apart, by putting civilisation on one side, nature on the other, and revealing that there's nothing remotely natural about civilisation, or our places in it; that these things are man-made, and so can be questioned, negotiated, even changed by man (or, as is more usual in Kanin's world, woman).

'Wife' opens with an elaborate sequence showing the structure of civilisation at work in its most intrinsic form - the legal system. The hero is a lawyer, and is trying to declare his missing first wife dead so he can marry another. There are a few things we notice here: the judge is hilarious, a cantankerous old buffer, testy, capricious, and not at all rigorous, or even knowledgeable in his application of laws which, after all, structure people's lives, and which, we learn, are constantly overturned by the Court of Appeals, so that something that should be inviolable is shown to be provisional. there is room for manoeuvre, but there is also room for corruption.

More important for Kanin's purposes are two incidental details. The wife has been missing for seven years, a fairy-tale or mythical number in a site of legal process, undermining its claims to ultimate, 'official' reality. The hero's name is Arden, which might remind us of Shakespeare's Forest ('As you like it'), and the spirit of play that will inform the film, with people assuming and discarding roles, putting on costumes, using props, putting on 'plays' or performances to deceive, enlighten or outmanoeuvre others.

On one level, this warns us against accepting appearances in a civilised world that depends on appearances (all the talk about respectability); on another, it shows that certain roles - like being a mother, or husband - aren't God-given, but roles which have to be constantly rehearsed and refined. Play can be subversive - the way Ellen Arden dresses up as a man, breaks up a marriage, or tries to conceal a possible adultery - but it is also seen as a necessary process of socialisation: the children learn to imitate their parents, as they theatrically make their lost mother 'perform' her confession. They learn that society is fluid, not fixed; they also learn to lie. (the hero winds up in an Attic (as in Greek comedy), but that might be taking the analogy to far!)

Hitchcock once said that he often used Cary Grant because he wanted to work against his established image. But the figure of masculine immaturity and insecurity so richly realised in Roger O Thornhill ('North by Northwest') is already fully-formed here in a 'hero' who jumps at any chance to avoid making difficult decisions. Kanin, like Hitchcock later, makes brilliant, ironic use of Grant's most famous previous roles: 'Topper', another story about a professional flustered by a 'ghost'; and, especially, 'Bringing up baby', not just in the comically ghastly leopardskin bathrobe his second wife buys him, but in the animal imagery used throughout (kids going to the zoo; Steve as Tarzan etc.), contrasting with his civilised world that is making him desperately unhappy, his identity and masculine certainty fragmenting. (knowledge that Grant used to live with Randolph Scott adds further comic potency to their scenes)

This conflict between Nick's civilisation and the 'natural' order is typically complicated - Nick clearly married Bianca for her sexual prowess; Ellen and Nick are compatible because of their intellectual superiority to everyone else (which gives a streak of cruelty to their games, and makes one feel genuinely sorry for BIanca).

'Wife' is a masterpiece of farce, of shared rooms, opening and shutting doors, frustrated sexuality, mixed identities - but what makes it a true classic are the flashes of whimsy - the Steve diving sequence that results in some the most bizarre, incongruous, and sidesplittingly funny visions ever seen on film.

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role reversal? dgave
Definitely a chick flick ashmedan
Wow am I out of the mainstream schwapj
Cary and Randolph's Rings christine_lynn_chilton
TCM CUT the Key points to the movie roxanne-31
So how come Somerset Maugham didn't sue? traherne
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