6.6/10
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68 user 28 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:
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Eddie Mayehoff ...
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Edna
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...
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Dr. Bentley
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Harold's Secretary
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District Attorney
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Club Member in Steam Room
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Construction Worker (as Bill Bryant)
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Club Member in Steam Room
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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

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Bring The Little Woman...Maybe She'll Die Laughing! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

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Details

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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

In the Italian version Virna Lisi's character is Greek. See more »

Goofs

In the comic strip detailing the way in which he murdered his wife, Stanley includes a panel showing the purchase of a mannequin. The mannequin, however, is only used to represent his wife for the purpose of taking photos used in the drawing of his strip; it would obviously not be involved in an actual murder plot. See more »

Quotes

Stanley Ford: Good evening, Judge Blackstone. I'm afraid this is a mournful occasion.
Judge Blackstone: Not at all, my boy, not at all. Been married 38 years myself. And I don't regret one day of it. The one day I don't regret was... August 2, 1936. She was off visiting her ailing mother at the time.
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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 What's My Line?: Episode dated 24 January 1965 (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
When Life Imitates Cartoon Art
17 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

This was the last of the three comedies that Jack Lemmon made in the middle 1960s that he hated. Like GOOD NEIGHBOR SAM (and not like the abysmal UNDER THE YUM YUM TREE) HOW TO MURDER YOUR WIFE had a clever script and good production. Lemmon played a successful cartoonist who carefully scripts and photos the scenes he will use in his detective adventure strip. He lives in a townhouse, complete with top rate valet (Terry-Thomas) and has a wonderful life as a bachelor. But while attending a stag party, he meets Virna Lisi, and takes her home. Apparently he has married her (the groom at the stag party had broken up with his fiancé before the party, and throws the wedding ring out - and Lemmon uses it). As a result Lisi starts domesticating him, and Terry Thomas walks out. Lemmon uses the changes in his lifestyle in the comic strip, but finally he revolts and kills off the comic strip version of Lisi. When Lisi sees this she walks out, but everyone thinks that Lemmon killed her. So the scene is set for a murder trial.

This is not a film for feminists. It takes a dim view at the effect of domestication on Lemmon (and his lawyer, a hysterically funny Eddie Mayehoff). But I point out that before the end Lemmon does admit he misses the domestication. Even Terry-Thomas gives into it at the conclusion. It still a good comedy, a worthy minor work if not one of the high points in Lemmon's acting career.


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