25 user 15 critic

Too Many Husbands (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 21 March 1940 (USA)
Long-missing Bill Cardew returns to find his wife Vicky re-married... and in no hurry to settle for just one husband.



(screen play), (based upon the play by)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Peterson ...


It's been a year since Bill Cardew was declared dead by drowning, and his widow Vicky is now married to his old friend and business partner, Henry Lowndes. When Bill unexpectedly returns from the island where he was marooned, what is Vicky to do? Well, having twice been a rather neglected wife, Vicky finds all the attention from two husbands competing for her favors delightful, and is in no hurry to make a decision...much to the discomfiture of hapless Bill and Henry. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HOW HAPPY SHE COULD BE WITH EITHER...IF THE OTHER WOULD JUST GO AWAY! (original Insert Card - all caps) See more »


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

21 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wesley Ruggles' Too Many Husbands  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Two endings were filmed, one in which Jean Arthur ends up staying with Melvyn Douglas and one in which she ends up with her first husband, Fred MacMurray. See more »


Gertrude Houlihan: Do you know what I did when you married Bill, I mean, Mr. Cardew? I kidded myself into thinking that I had married him. That I was you.
Vicky Lowndes: Well, there's no harm in that.
Gertrude Houlihan: Thank you.
[Dreamily stares off into space]
Vicky Lowndes: What are you thinking about?
Gertrude Houlihan: Our honeymoon.
See more »


Remade as Three for the Show (1955) See more »


(1940) (uncredited)
Music by Walter Jurmann
Played as dance music at the nightclub
See more »

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User Reviews

Too Many, Too Much, Too Little
21 January 2007 | by (NY, NY) – See all my reviews

This has an excellent cast. It begins well. And it's not by any means terrible.

It seems forced after a while, though. We get the idea way before it's been resolved.

My objection is not based on the movie's similarity to the more familiar "My Favorite Wife." Much as I love Irene Dunne and like Cary Grant, and love them in "The Awful Truth," that movie has always seemed mean and smug to me.

Jean Arthur looks pretty in "Too Many Husband" but she doesn't exactly have the usual Jean Arthur charm. At least I didn't find her to. Fred MacMurray is fine as her jock first husband. And this sort of chic comedy was catnip to the always charming Melvyn Douglas.

Harry Davenport contributes a whole lot, too. He plays Arthur's father. It's clear that he loves her and likes both men but has no patience for anyone's dawdling or neuroses.

It's a decent movie but if it's your first exposure to Jean Arthur, by all means give her some more tries. "The More The Merrier," of course, is sublime. I haven't seen "Easy Living" in ages but remember it as a joy. And she is very charming in "History Is Made At Night" -- as well as in many, many movies spanning several decades.

It's so great to have her back on the small screen!

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