7.4/10
8,969
84 user 28 critic

My Favorite Wife (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 17 May 1940 (USA)
Trailer
2:40 | Trailer
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 »

Videos

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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
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on Monday, December 9th, 1940 with Gail Patrick reprising her film role. See more »

Goofs

When Nick first tries to sleep in the bed in the attic of the cabin, he pulls a toy cannon from under the bed and throws it across the room. When he does this, the doll on the night stand falls over. You can see the trip wire swinging behind Nick. In fact, the pin at the end of the wire lands on Nick's head. 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 the movie concludes, "Good Night" is drawn in cursive handwriting. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Parent Trap (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(1857) (uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Played as part of the score when Cary Grant dons his Santa Claus costume
See more »

User Reviews

My Favorite Wife
11 March 2009 | by I_John_Barrymore_ISee all my reviews

A curious one that leaves a mildly bitter taste in the mouth. It's funny alright (but never hilarious), and the acting from - and chemistry between - Irene Dunne and Cary Crant is exquisite as always. But the film's fundamental problem is that none of the characters are particularly likable. Throughout the film three of the four main characters take their turn to behave despicably, yet the new wife - a woman who's merely unpleasant - is the villain of the piece; constantly the butt of jokes and fair game for ridicule even though she's done absolutely nothing to warrant it. At times it's like watching two spoilt brats from the Hamptons bullying their visiting second-cousin from the Bronx.

The script is also strangely stunted, best witnessed in the scenes before the judge. They really should have been classic screwball moments - the ingredients were there - yet between the lengthy silences and repetitive parrot-dialogue it falls almost completely flat. The gaping plot holes and poor script continuity can't be forgiven either, even allowing for the fact the film's seventy years old.

Don't get me wrong, I laughed, and I enjoyed myself, and I thought it was a decent film. It's just that the character's actions don't stand up too well under scrutiny.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 May 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

My Favorite Wife 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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