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Father Takes a Wife (1941)

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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 350 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 1 critic

Frederick Osborne, Junior is slightly agitated because his father, Senior, is acting more like a college student than the president of a huge merchantile fleet. Senior reveals that he is ... See full summary »



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Title: Father Takes a Wife (1941)

Father Takes a Wife (1941) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Complete credited cast:
Frederic 'Freddie' Osborne Senior
Leslie Collier Osborne
Frederic Osborne Junior
Carlos Bardez
Helen Broderick ...
Aunt Julie
Florence Rice ...
Enid Osborne
Vincent Stewart
Grady Sutton ...
Tailor Fitter
George Meader ...
Henderson (as George Meador)
Mary Treen ...
Secretary (Credits) / Miss Patterson, Junior's Secretary
Ruth Dietrich ...
Miss Patterson (Credits) / Junior's Second Secretary


Frederick Osborne, Junior is slightly agitated because his father, Senior, is acting more like a college student than the president of a huge merchantile fleet. Senior reveals that he is going to marry Leslie Collier, the famous stage star, and Junior and his wife Enid are horrified and expect the worse from the hot-tempered father and the volatile actress. They have been married only five minutes before they have a quarrel, and have to be carried out of the house to begin a sea-voyage honeymoon. Carlos, a penniless stowaway with a high opinion of his singing ability, is invited to stay with Senior and his bride when they return to New York, the idea that sponsoring Carlos' career will give Leslie the limelight she promised to fore-go when she married Senior. The routine of arranging Carlos' debut disrupts the Osborne home and Senior goes home to the children. To save Senior's marriage, Junior and Enid invite Carlos to stay in their home. Junior too soon stalks out. Senior and ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


GAY..GOOFY..GAGA! (original print media ad - all caps) See more »


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 October 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Father Takes a Wife  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Anne Shirley originally had the role of Enid, but left to star in The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941). See more »


Ruth Dietrich is billed onscreen as "Miss Patterson", but it is secretary 'Mary Treen' who is called by that name several times. See more »


Rock-a-Bye Baby
(1886) (uncredited)
Music by Effie I. Canning
Played in the score when Leslie and Enid are knitting
See more »

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User Reviews

Here Comes The Swanson
6 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

1941's FATHER TAKES A WIFE was Gloria Swanson's first motion picture in seven years. This quite modest little comedy is hardly an ideal comeback vehicle but Swanson herself in her autobiography admits it was the first movie she had been offered in years. If playing second fiddle to 51-year-old Adolphe Menjou, generally a supporting player in films at this point, was a bit humbling, 42-year-old Gloria dived in and proved she was ever the pro and still durably glamorous. Menjou stars as a shipping magnate who has fallen for stage star Swanson; all business for decades, he is now in his second youth with this new romance. He hands over the business to son John Howard and the middle-aged newlyweds embark on a honeymoon cruise to Mexico. Returning to the states, Menjou discovers a stowaway on board, Desi Arnaz, who is a concert singer in his unstated native country (doubtlessly Cuba). Sympathetic at first, Menjou moves Arnaz into the family mansion so he can practice for launching a career in America but the arrangement quickly gets on his nerves as Arnaz more than makes himself at home and in particular, his resentment at wife Swanson's devotion to being the benefactress for the young protégé.

This movie is only 79 minutes but it seems longer with it's episodic turns and not particularly amusing attempts at humor. Swanson looks gorgeous in some very lovely fashions but in several scenes she saddled with a not particularly flattering hairstyle. Her voice at times a little too hesitant for her role as a headstrong veteran star, as if she may be afraid some of her character's actions may seem a bit unsympathetic but it's still a good performance. Menjou is in fine form as the bewitched if often exasperated spouse. John Howard and Florence Rice do well as Menjou's son and daughter-in-law and Arnaz is fun as the conceited if innocuous protégé. Indeed, a times the Swanson-Arnaz angle seems like a family-friendly version of SUNSET BLVD's Swanson-William Holden. Trivia buffs may want to watch for unbilled bits by Loretta Young's ex-husband Grant Withers (as Judge Waters) and Ginger Rogers' future husband Jack Briggs (as Menjou's chauffeur).

Predictable and unmemorable, FATHER TAKES A WIFE deserves at least one viewing for the rather rare chance to see the legendary Gloria Swanson in a sound motion picture.

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