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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Bertie Austin
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...
Fran Cabrell
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Lucinda Ford
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Wylie Driberg
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Gar Aldrich
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Julie Austin
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Mrs. Swanson
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Mr. Liberti
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Dr. Leon Partridge DDS
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Storyline

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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You Can't Tell Them Apart Without a Scorecard!

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Comedy

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Release Date:

4 October 1963 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

First Wife  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the title inspired Burt Bacharach and Hal David's same-named hit song for Jack Jones the same year, the tune is never heard in the movie either as a vocal or instrumental. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Damage (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Their ship comes in
15 September 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I'm sure that Van Johnson had hoped this film Wives And Lovers would reignite his career after MGM let him go in the late Fifties as they did to all their contract players. Though he and Janet Leigh who worked together at MGM back in their salad days and they were good in this film together it never had the desired result for Van.

When we meet them Van and Janet and their little girl Claire Wilcox were living in a small apartment where Van can't even find enough garbage cans in the place. He's a writer working on his masterpiece and Leigh is supporting the family as a dental hygienist.

One day their ship comes in and it arrives in the form of Martha Hyer, Van's literary agent. His book is a smash and with all the money they now have they move to Connecticut and more expensive digs. Hyer has all kinds of ambitions for Van both professional and personal. They include a Broadway play with a Hollywood film star Jeremy Slate.

As for Slate he's cut quite a swath in Hollywood bedrooms of the rich and famous and he sets his sights on Leigh when Leigh starts feeling neglected. To make it all even more incestuous Slate and Hyer were once involved.

The code was crumbling with this comedy about proposed infidelity. In a few years Johnson and Leigh would have done the deed with other partners.

Some of the best lines come from new suburban neighbors Shelley Winters and Ray Walston. Ray is Shelley's house guest and Shelley has some sage advice being a member in good standing of the Hollywood first wives club.

Wives And Lovers got an Academy Award nomination for costume design and the literate wit of the script holds up well today. Do love all the trouble Johnson has with his new stereo set. How quaint that looks today.


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