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Guest Wife (1945)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 27 July 1945 (USA)
Christopher Price, a small-town bank executive, continues to be loyal to and idolize his boyhood friend, Joseph Jefferson Parker, a famous war correspondent. But Chris's wife, Mary, is none... See full summary »

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Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay) (as John Klorer)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
...
...
Christopher Price (as Richard Foran)
Charles Dingle ...
Arthur Truesdale Worth
...
House Detective
Wilma Francis ...
Susy
Chester Clute ...
Urban Nichols
Irving Bacon ...
Nosey Stationmaster
Hal K. Dawson ...
Dennis
Edward Fielding ...
Arnold
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Storyline

Christopher Price, a small-town bank executive, continues to be loyal to and idolize his boyhood friend, Joseph Jefferson Parker, a famous war correspondent. But Chris's wife, Mary, is none to fond of Joe and tired of her husband's idolizing. On the eve of the Price's second-honeymoon trip to New York City, Joe arrives and tells Chris that he needs someone to pose as his wife in order to fool his boss in NYC, who thinks Joe got married to an overseas woman while on an assignment. Chris pushes Mary into posing as Joe's wife. In New York, this leads to many complications and misunderstandings, with Mary finally deciding to teach Chris and Joe a lesson by making them believe she is in love with Joe. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

27 July 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sam Wood's Guest Wife  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 20, 1946 with Claudette Colbert and Dick Foran reprising their film roles. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: Claudette Colbert (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

A successful balancing act comes off well thanks to comic writing and good performances from the leads
17 August 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Married couple Chris and Mary are about to set out for a second honeymoon whenever Chris's old friend Joe comes to town. Mary doesn't like Joe because he always brings trouble and this time is no exception. It seems that Joe has been using a fictional wife to improve his job prospects – even sending pictures of his wife and letters from her to his boss to impress upon him what a great guy he is (in the eyes of his fictional wife). However when his employers request the presence of Mrs Parker in New York, Joe has to ask Mary to stand in. Being a good friend Chris says yes and, with him stuck in town, Mary and Joe head off together, apparently oblivious of the sheer amount of problems that they will create.

The basic idea behind this plot means that it is the Mary and Joe that have the best chemistry and spend the most time together on screen, this is a risk that it takes because it means the audience could have felt more for them as a couple rather than Chris as Mary's husband. This would have been a disaster (particularly at the time of release) but the film manages to keep it fresh and keep us engaged in the marriage while also enjoying the sparks between Joe and Mary. It cleverly makes a game to excuse the chemistry and stops us worrying about whether real love is blossoming or not. By doing this it keeps it light and enjoyable, consistently amusing and occasionally laugh out loud funny thanks to some sharp lines and jokes.

The cast match this effortlessly. Colbert has great fun with an increasingly playful role that shapes the film and the other characters; she is the lead and her comic performance is great. Ameche also changes across the whole film as well, going from playboy to "rabbit in headlights" easily and convincingly. Foran has the hardest role in terms of engaging the audience but he does pretty well with a rather simple lug of a character. Support from people like Dingle, Mitchell, Bacon and others in minor roles all help the generally comic air come over consistently.

Overall this is a bit of a balancing act and it is to its credit that it manages to pull it off and keep the audience onside. It is all light, fluffy stuff of course but it is surprising just how enjoyable it is if you are in the mood for it. If you're looking for something inconsequential and fun then you could do a lot worse than trying this film.


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