6.6/10
4,602
69 user 27 critic

How to Murder Your Wife (1965)

Approved | | Comedy | 26 January 1965 (USA)
A man who has set up the perfect lifestyle for himself makes the mistake of marrying while drunk...and his fantasies of murder are used against him.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Mrs. Ford
...
Eddie Mayehoff ...
Harold Lampson
...
Edna
...
Judge Blackstone
...
Tobey Rawlins
...
Dr. Bentley
...
Harold's Secretary
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District Attorney
...
Club Member in Steam Room
...
Construction Worker (as Bill Bryant)
...
Club Member in Steam Room
...
Club Member in Steam Room / Party Guest
Lauren Gilbert ...
Men's Club Manager
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Storyline

Stanley Ford leads an idyllic bachelor life. He is a nationally syndicated cartoonist whose Bash Brannigan series provides him with a luxury townhouse and a full-time valet, Charles. When he wakes up the morning after the night before - he had attended a friend's stag party - he finds that he is married to the very beautiful woman who popped out of the cake - and who doesn't speak a word of English. Despite his initial protestations, he comes to like married life and even changes his cartoon character from a super spy to a somewhat harried husband. When after several months he decides to kill off Bash's wife in the cartoon, his wife misinterprets his intentions and disappears. Which leads the police to charge him with murder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

WOMEN: WARNING! See It Before He Does! The Wife You Save May Be YOU! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 January 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cómo asesinar a su esposa  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The comic strip art in the film was done by Mel Keefer, the artist on Perry Mason, Mac Divot and Rick O'Shay comic strips. In addition, Alex Toth drew a comic strip of the characters as part of a teaser campaign to promote the film. See more »

Goofs

After the trial is over, Stanley and Charles are in the bar having a drink. The bartender hands them their drinks and goes behind Charles to tend to the bar. Sound is heard over their dialog, of cash register buttons being pushed and the total being rung. Problem is, if you look closely, the cash register is not on the customer side where the bartender is standing, but on the bottle side of the bar space. Who would put a cash register where a customer could reach into it? No, it's on the other side of the bar space, where no one is standing, so no one can be ringing them up. See more »

Quotes

Stanley Ford: Gentlemen...
[looks at Harold Lampson, who gives him a wink and a grin; turns back to jury]
Stanley Ford: Gentlemen, I address you not as judge and jury, but as a fellow American male. The crime that you have just seen Harold Lampson commit in his imagination I have been accused of committing in reality. Too long has the American man allowed himself to be bullied, coddled, and mothered, and tyrannized, and in general meant to feel like a feeble-minded idiot by the female of the species. Do you realize the ...
[...]
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Crazy Credits

At first, it only says How to Your Wife on the screen, in white letters. Then, the word Murder shows up in red letters in the space between the two rows of text. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Remington Steele: Illustrated Steele (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
(uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
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User Reviews

Cartoonish, and I Mean that in a Good Sense
10 July 2005 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

I really want to recommend this movie to you.

Sure, it has a weak third act which pounds a particularly misogynistic message. And the end is so formulaic it hurts. But up until then, it classifies as among the best of comedies.

I have a particular admiration for it as what I think is the first example of a cartoonist whose drawings interweave with his life. Its a clever idea at root but handled with extra sophistication here.

The setup is that our hero (Jack Lemmon) is a cartoonist who draws himself in his strip as a sort of James Bond character. But before he draws each strip, he actually acts it out as movies that we see in the movie within the movie. (How he hires the actors and arranges the locations is a detail left unexplained.)

Thus, strip and life have a relationship within the story proper. Much is made of conflating the movie, the life depicted in the movie, the strip, and the movies within.

He ends up with an unwanted (well, sort of) wife and acts out her murder. Since she left in a huff, he has no defense when his readership (the whole country it seems) accuses him of real murder.

The pinnacle of this confabulation comes when his butler comes to the realization that the murder has actually been real with the enactment an alibi. Things go downhill from there. But until that point, this is sublime, a comic "Draughtsman's Contract."

See it.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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