7.4/10
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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
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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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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

If a couple has young kids and then one spouse goes missing or dies, the remaining spouse would most definitely have many pictures of the missing or dead spouse all over the house, just so the children don't forget him or her. And it's a sure thing that the remaining parent would also have spent time with the kids going through old pictures and telling stories about the beloved missing or dead parent. That being true, how on earth would the children not have recognized Irene Dunne just from the pictures Cary Grant would most definitely have shown them, probably countless times, as well as from those most definitely on the walls? 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

Referenced in The Parent Trap (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
Who's Two Timing Who
23 February 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Cary Grant's got a real problem on his hands. He thinks his wife was killed in a plane crash seven years ago. So he goes to court with Gail Patrick who he now intends to marry after getting the judge to declare Irene Dunne legally dead.

Wouldn't you know it, Dunne turns up the day of the honeymoon and puts Cary in an awful pickle. He's a lawyer and he's busy trying to work out all the ramifications of what's happened.

I've thought about it for a while and I came to the conclusion that it's Grant's professional training that prevents him from just confessing to one and all what's happened. Where a lot of the laughs come in is Grant trying to avoid marital consummation with Patrick until he can work it out.

Another factor comes into play when Grant learns that Dunne spent several years on the desert island with hunky Randolph Scott. Grant starts to feel a little less guilty then.

The whole mess is dumped on the judge who originally declared Dunne legally dead, Granville Bates. His role as the judge gives him some of the best lines in My Favorite Wife.

I do feel sorry for Gail Patrick though. Usually she plays a lot of bad girls and other women in movies. But she really is the wronged party here.

Dunne and Grant worked well together in another marital comedy, The Awful Truth and they were just as bright in My Favorite Wife as they were in the first film.

One interesting footnote it was a remake of this film Something's Gotta Give that Marilyn Monroe did not complete. Eventually it was made over with Doris Day and James Garner.

That one was good, but this one is great.


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