7.4/10
9,146
85 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 »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gail Patrick, who plays Grant's bride Bianca here, later abandoned acting and eventually served as a producer on the long-running Raymond Burr series Perry Mason. See more »

Goofs

When Nick stops Ellen from driving the car then decides to drive the family; he motions to Ellen to slide over. As she is sliding over to the passenger side she says something to him but no sound is heard. 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

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 »

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.


24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 85 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page

Everything That's New on Netflix in December

No need to waste time endlessly browsing—here's the entire lineup of new movies and TV shows streaming on Netflix this month.

See the full list



Recently Viewed