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.

Director:

Writers:

, (play)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In order to get back into the good graces with his wife with whom he has had a misunderstanding, a young chemistry professor concocts a wild story that he is an undercover FBI agent. To ... See full summary »

Director: George Sidney
Stars: Tony Curtis, Dean Martin, Janet Leigh
Musical | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Ruth and her beautiful sister Eileen come to New York's Greenwich Village looking for "fame, fortune and a 'For Rent' sign on Barrow Street". They find an apartment (such as it is!), but ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Quine
Stars: Janet Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Betty Garrett
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A young widow is romanced by a sales clerk whom she inadvertently got fired.

Director: Don Hartman
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Janet Leigh, Wendell Corey
Safari (1956)
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

During the Mau Mau Uprising in British Kenya in the 1950s, settler-hunter Ken Duffield is a hired guide for a lion hunting party but he also hopes to find the Mau Mau rebel who killed his family.

Director: Terence Young
Stars: Victor Mature, Janet Leigh, John Justin
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

To pacify 104 sex-starved male soldiers building an Arctic radar base, Army psychologist Vicki Loren suggests choosing one by lot to have a "perfect furlough" as selected by the men: three ... See full summary »

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Keenan Wynn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Based on Polly Adler's best-selling autobiography about her life in the Roaring Twenties as a legendary Madam. The movie follows Polly's life from an immigrant worker to becoming friend and... See full summary »

Director: Russell Rouse
Stars: Shelley Winters, Robert Taylor, Cesar Romero
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

An artist has an opportunity to go to Paris and wants to bring his fiancee along. However, she's a psychiatrist who currently has three female patients who don't like men. So, he guises ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Lewis
Stars: Jerry Lewis, Janet Leigh, Mary Ann Mobley
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

T.H.R.U.S.H. with the help of Doctor von Kronen, a Nazi scientist, has a plan to divert the Gulf Stream, turning Greenland from a barren wasteland into a lush island for their new ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Sargent
Stars: Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Jack Palance
Certificate: Passed Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In this remake of 1941's "You Belong to Me," a young millionaire, Peter J. Kirk, Jr., fails in all of his attempts to emulate his successful father. He meets and marries Dr. Helen Hunt, who... See full summary »

Director: Edward Buzzell
Stars: Larry Parks, Barbara Hale, Willard Parker
Living It Up (1954)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An unsophisticated stationmaster from provincial New Mexico fraudulently claims that he is dying in order to get an expense-paid dream tour of New York.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Janet Leigh
Kid Rodelo (1966)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

An embittered ex-convict cowboy sets out to find the hidden gold his partner told him about.

Director: Richard Carlson
Stars: Don Murray, Janet Leigh, Broderick Crawford
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

World War II veteran Clarence "Jigger" Millard forms a band with several other former GIs. The band fails to take off and he is forced to join a minstrel show headed by Colonel Wallace. He soon falls for Wallace's niece Chris Hall.

Director: Lloyd Bacon
Stars: Donald O'Connor, Janet Leigh, Buddy Hackett
Edit

Cast

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

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You Can't Tell Them Apart Without a Scorecard!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

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  »
Edit

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

Featured in Censura: Alguns Cortes (1999) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Leigh is terrific, actually, in a canned comedy with decent writing
7 June 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wives and Lovers (1963)

Janet Leigh is great, Van Johnson likable but a little over the top. Together they make a decent pair struggling with newfound wealth as he sells a big play and they move from the Upper West Side to Connecticut. In the process, their marriage goes on the rocks, and all the clichés of suburban life are played out. It's funny and warm and silly and a bit thin overall, but not so bad as entertainment goes.

Director John Rich is a television man, which explains a lot. Picture the style of "Gomer Pyle" and "Gunsmoke" and "Dick Van Dyke" (all part of his pedigree) and you'll get something of the feel of this "movie." The fact it rises above these trappings is pretty encouraging. Behind the scenes is Lucien Ballard, the crack cinematographer who also did "The Wild Bunch" six years later, among many others.

You can't avoid thinking of other couples in suburban traps, like Tracy and Hepburn, or in a different and more contemporary sense, Hudson and Day. There are good jokes and flat ones here, amidst some pretty good dialog. There are sidekicks of note, squandered perhaps, mainly Shelly Winters and Ray Walston. (One really funny moment occurs when Walston is playing with the stereo and these radio whiny noises come out, exactly like "My Favorite Martian," which he is most famous for.)

Van Johnson is no Spencer Tracy, for sure, but that's okay. He's likable enough, and natural enough, to be a good struggling dad. The opening scenes look more like 1940s New York than 1963, but that's really the point, because old New York gets left behind. Johnson is better, in fact, as a dad than as a successful playwright, and for the second long half of the movie I just never believe him. Nor his supposed attraction to his agent with her horrid hair.

But Janet Leigh? She's worth watching and holds the movie together. If you loved her in "Psycho" for the half hour she's alive in it you'll maybe see another fuller actress here. Her role, as a struggling, willing, and then slightly rebellious housewife, is not very attractive, but she makes it attractive anyway, and less a cliché than many other actresses who might start to shriek or cry far too often and loud. Once you tune out the dreck you'll see a very good actress pulling off a difficult role, and my appreciation of her rose a little.

I guess when you'll hunting hard for pieces to like in a movie you know the whole is disappointing. But heads up about those pieces if you do give it a whirl.


5 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?