Wives and Lovers (1963)

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A struggling author and his wife suddenly become wealthy and move to the suburbs. Divorced neighbor and "companion" aid marital misconstrual which almost culminates in a divorce.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Bertie Austin
Fran Cabrell
Lucinda Ford
Wylie Driberg
Jeremy Slate ...
Gar Aldrich
Claire Wilcox ...
Julie Austin
Lee Patrick ...
Mrs. Swanson
Dick Wessel ...
Mr. Liberti
Dave Willock ...
Dr. Leon Partridge DDS


Bill Austin (Van Johnson) is a struggling author, working and living in a "slum flat" on W. 87th St. in NY with his wife and daughter, Bertie and Julie. Bertie (Janet Leigh) works as a dental assistant, until Bill's novel can get published and Julie (Claire Wilcox) is seven and 3/4 and does not like any of her food to touch. They are very happy (even though Bill does not realize it.) All of a sudden, Bill's agent, Lucinda Ford (Martha Hyers) takes Bill's novel viral: there a prestigious publishing house, a Broadway play and a Hollywood studio interested in Bill's novel. Success goes straight to Bill's head; Bertie is the same level-headed, unpretentious gal she always was. They move to a lovely house in So. Connecticut where their neighbours are the lively ex-wife of a Hollywood star, Fran Cabrell (Shelley Winters) and her "companion," the occupant of her guest house, Wylie Driberg (Ray Walston). They try to show Bertie the ropes of being on the fringes of a "hit" personality and they... Written by LA-Lawyer

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Release Date:

4 October 1963 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

First Wife  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shirley MacLaine got into legal battle with Paramount when she refused to play part ultimately given to Janet Leigh. See more »


Referenced in Damage (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Married life has ups and downs but still worth it
7 August 2002 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is a typical story of suburban married life, the roses and thorns, the bliss and clashes.

As an aspiring writer, Bill Austin (Van Johnson) stays home to churn out some writings while his wife, Bertie (Janet Leigh) goes out to work. He isn't happy about it, wants change. However, soon Fortune smiles on him and good changes occur; then he's on his way up as a writer, but there's a price.

Problems begin when he spends too much time away from his wife and being assisted by his attractive literary agent, Lucinda (Martha Hyer). One thing leads to another while they work on scripts together. Bertie, left alone, also goes astray, all of this leading up to a divorce as the only solution.

It is middle-of-the-road entertainment about family feuds and makeups. If you are a fan of Van, Janet, or Martha, you'll enjoy this bright and witty film.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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