7.4/10
8,402
78 user 28 critic

My Favorite Wife (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 17 May 1940 (USA)
Missing for seven years and presumed dead, a woman returns home on the day of her husband's second marriage.

Director:

Garson Kanin

Writers:

Bella Spewack (original story), Sam Spewack (original story) (as Samuel Spewack) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Irene Dunne ... Ellen Wagstaff Arden
Cary Grant ... Nick Arden
Randolph Scott ... Stephen Burkett
Gail Patrick ... Bianca Bates
Ann Shoemaker ... Ma - Nick's Mother
Scotty Beckett ... Tim - the Ardens' Son
Mary Lou Harrington Mary Lou Harrington ... Chinch - the Ardens' Daughter
Donald MacBride ... Hotel Clerk
Hugh O'Connell ... Johnson - Insurance Adjuster
Granville Bates ... Judge Bryson
Pedro de Cordoba ... Dr. Kohlmar
Edit

Storyline

Ellen Arden arrives 7 years after being given up for dead in a shipwreck, to find her husband Nick just remarried to Bianca. The overjoyed Nick awkwardly tries to break the news gently to Bianca. But before he can do that, an unpleasant surprise--news that Ellen has spent the 7 years on a deserted island with fellow-survivor Burkett. Nick's jealousy tries to find out the truth. Hilarious confusion reigns before Nick chooses his favorite wife. Written by Riaz Shaikh <cisrfsx@gsusgi2.gsu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The funniest, fastest honeymoon ever screened!

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Meine liebste Frau See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This very movie and plot is mentioned in dialogue by Doris Day's character in the near-remake "Move over, Darling". See more »

Goofs

The judge mentioned that Ellen was shipwrecked off the coast of Indochina. Nick mentioned that he went to Bangkok to interview survivors which makes sense if the shipwreck happened near Indochina. However, Ellen mentioned that she was located at Latitude 12, Longitude 128 which is 200 miles east of the Philippines and more than 1000 miles away from the closest part of the Indochina peninsula (which would be Vietnam). The nearest large city to that location would be Manila and not Bangkok. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Judge Walter Bryson: [as the omnipotent viewer/camera enters the Los Angeles County Court Of General Sessions / Judge Walter Bryson Presiding and as the bickering over a previous case dies down] Alright, alright. The case is postponed till next Thursday. Now that'll be the 26th.
Postponed Case Lawyer: Thank you Your Honor.
Judge Walter Bryson: Be here.
Court Clerk Beside Judge Bryson: Are the parties ready in the matter of Ellen Wagstaff Arden?
Nick Arden: Yes here.
[smiles endearingly at Bianca and approaches the bench]
Nick Arden: Good morning Your Honor.
Judge Walter Bryson: Good morning.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Rather than the normal The End title as this movie concludes, there is a Good Night [drawn in cursive handwriting] page just before Closing Credits film roles and exit music begins. See more »

Connections

Featured in Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Skaters Waltz (Les patineurs)
(1882) (uncredited)
Music by Emil Waldteufel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Entertaining Screwball
9 May 2005 | by cutter-12See all my reviews

...albeit a little slow-paced in the first half. Leo McCarey's chaotic pace which made The Awful Truth so much fun is missed here, but Garson Kanin directs capably in his absence and the script and actors deliver enough good wit and chemistry to keep it all balanced out in the end.

Cary Grant gets himself into an unwitting romantic pickle when he's confronted by his thought to be long dead wife on his honeymoon with his new bride. Hilarity ensues, as it does in every brilliant screwball comedy Grant was the star of, and there are some priceless moments along the way.

As in The Awful Truth, Grant and Irene Dunne make a fetching and compatible screen couple. Dunne's comedic felinity and tendency to affect nutty stereotypes in order to get what she wants is better than Katharine Hepburn's imitation of her in Bringing Up Baby and The Philadelphia Story. Grant and Hepburn were terrific in their movies together too, and not taking anything away from Great Kate, but Grant and Dunne's chemistry was just that much better and it's a shame they never made more comedies together.

Hilarious in-jokey scenes between Grant and Randolph Scott, and a near scene stealing turn by Granville Bates as The Judge round out a pretty funny flick.

The Doris Day/James Garner remake "Move Over, Darling" is memorable in its own right and viewed right after this would make for a good video double-bill.


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