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Wife, Husband and Friend (1939)

 |  Comedy  |  3 March 1939 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 151 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 6 critic

Woman hopes to be a great singer and is encouraged by her scheming teacher. After she flops her husband, encouraged by an amorous professional singer tries opera and also flops.



(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
George Barbier ...
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Helen Westley ...
Carol (secretary)
Alice Armand ...
Sally Bostwick
Iva Stewart ...
Miss Carver's Secretary
Dorothy Dearing ...
Mrs. Price
Helen Ericson ...
Mrs. Spalding
Kay Griffith ...
Nancy Sprague
Harry Rosenthal ...


Leonard Borland's contracting business is doing badly, while his monied wife wants to pursue an operatic career. He lets her get on with it until she seems to be a success, when he finds he himself has a singing voice good enough to go on tour with. This brings some money in, and his new singing partner fancies him too. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

3 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A jó házasság titka  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


James M. Cain, whose story "Two Can Sing" was the basis for this film, had himself trained as an operatic baritone. Opera figures prominently in several of his other stories, including "Serenade" and "Mildred Pierce" (though the opera parts of the plot of "Mildred Pierce" were dropped in the film version). See more »


Leonard Borland aka Logan Bennett: You're just an old... Foof! Sorry, ladies.
See more »


Version of Everybody Does It (1949) See more »


On the Road to Mandalay
Music by Oley Speaks
Lyrics by Rudyard Kipling
See more »

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User Reviews

The Thin Man meets opera
8 March 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Thin Man meets Opera" is the best way I can describe the character of this romantic comedy, it is such an unusual movie and so funny. Warner Baxter and Loretta Young star as a contractor husband and his society wife, Leonard and Doris Borland. Leonard's contracting business hasn't been doing so well - a fact he's been concealing from his wife in hopes that things turn around. Doris wants to try at a singing career. Leonard decides Doris just needs to get it out of her system and twists the arm of everyone in town that he knows to come to his wife's singing debut so that it will be a success, hoping that this one event will put an end to her efforts. You see, the problem is that Doris is actually a terrible singer.

The other problem is that Mr. Borland is actually a tremendous singer. This is discovered when he runs into a professional singer, Cecil Carver (Binnie Barnes) who suggests Mr. Borland go on a singing tour with her. With his business being hard up for cash, Mr. Borland accepts, but has to be careful to conceal what's going on from his wife, who in the meantime is having a hard time getting any more audiences for her singing.

Strong support comes from Eugene Palette as Leonard Borland's business partner in the contracting firm, and there is a small bit done by a very young Cesar Romero as someone who is supportive of Doris Borland's singing efforts. I'd never seen Warner Baxter do comedy before, and it was quite a treat, especially when he bursts into song with an obviously dubbed baritone voice. Catch this one if it comes your way.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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