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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 <email@example.com>
This film is a variation of Alfred, Lord Tennyson's famous poem "Enoch Arden." In both the poem and the film, a husband is shipwrecked and presumed dead, only to return home to find his wife involved with a man he used to know. See more »
Vicky Lowndes (Jean Arthur) leads a normal life with her husband of less than a year. Hank (Melvyn Douglas) does his best to avoid the subject of Vicky's previous husband, his best friend Bill Cardew (Fred MacMurray). However, when Bill comes back from the dead via a boat from the island he'd been shipwrecked on, the happy Lowndeses become a strange threesome. It is up to Vicky to choose which husband she prefers, but it isn't as simple as it sounds. She can't very well hurt the man she loves in order to be with the other man she loves.
Each cast member is adept at screwball comedy, which is what this film essentially is. However, there is a deeper vein too. Because both men are likable, it is suspenseful waiting for Vicky to choose a husband. This predicament triggers an emotional response as well. Arthur is reminiscent of Irene Dunne in her teamings with Cary Grant, but slightly funnier. Douglas and MacMurray couldn't be more different from each other, so that adds a new spin on the situation.
This movie is very much like My Favorite Wife starring Dunne and the incomplete Something's Got to Give starring Marilyn Monroe, but this film gives the wife two husbands, not the other way around. It is interesting to see how she handles the situation and how the men schmooze themselves silly to get into her good graces. In this way, it is quite a bit funnier.
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