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Wife, Husband and Friend (1939)

 |  Comedy  |  3 March 1939 (USA)
6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 146 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.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Binnie Barnes ...
...
George Barbier ...
J. Edward Bromberg ...
...
Helen Westley ...
Ruth Terry ...
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 ...
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

3 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A jó házasság titka  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

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

Connections

Version of Everybody Does It (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Songs My Mother Taught Me
(uncredited)
Music by Antonín Dvorák
Lyrics by Natalie MacFarren
See more »

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User Reviews

Great Performances but Ugly Characters
23 January 2013 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Wife, Husband and Friend (1939)

*** (out of 4)

This is a rather bizarre comedy from Fox, which has Loretta Young playing the wife, a woman who thinks she has a great voice and would make a terrific star but she doesn't realize that she's rather mediocre. Warner Baxter is the husband who hates music until one day he realizes that he's got a great voice and goes out on tour behind the wife's back. The friend (Binnie Barnes) brings on all sorts of problems with her greed and jealousy. WIFE, HUSBAND AND FRIEND is a good movie thanks in large part to a terrific cast but I honestly can't remember a comedy from this era that had more unlikeable characters. In fact, I'd say all of the characters here were quite ugly all around leading with the wife. She's so self-centered, rude and spoiled that you can't help but not like her and especially after a breakdown scene she has towards the end. Baxter's character really isn't much better and there's no question that the Barnes diva is annoying and a real jerk. The shocking thing is that all three actors are simply wonderful with their performances and especially Young during that breakdown scene I mentioned. Baxter really gets to shine with some of the comedy early on and we get strong work from Cesar Romero, George Barbier and Eugene Palette. The film isn't as funny as one would have liked but there are enough laughs to keep it going and there's no question that the cast is in fine form.


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