7 user 6 critic

Wife, Husband and Friend (1939)

Approved | | Comedy | 3 March 1939 (USA)
Woman hopes to be a great singer and is encouraged by her scheming teacher. After she flops her husband, encouraged by an amorous professional singer tries opera and also flops.



(screenplay), (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Doris Borland
... Leonard Borland aka Logan Bennett
... Cecil Carver
... Hugo
... Major Blair
... Rossi
... Mike Craig
... Mrs. Blair
... Carol
Alice Armand ... Sally Bostwick
Iva Stewart ... Miss Carver's Secretary
Dorothy Dearing ... Mrs. Price
... Mrs. Spalding
Kay Griffith ... Nancy Sprague
Harry Rosenthal ... Bill Wilkins


Leonard Borland's contracting business is doing badly, while his monied wife wants to pursue an operatic career. He lets her get on with it until she seems to be a success, when he finds he himself has a singing voice good enough to go on tour with. This brings some money in, and his new singing partner fancies him too. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

3 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A jó házasság titka  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Nunnally Johnson remade the picture as Everybody Does It (1949) he used the exact same script without doing any rewriting. See more »


Leonard Borland aka Logan Bennett: You're just an old... Foof! Sorry, ladies.
See more »


Version of Everybody Does It (1949) See more »


Songs My Mother Taught Me
Music by Antonín Dvorák
Lyrics by Natalie MacFarren
See more »

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User Reviews

Loretta Has The Dream, But Warner's Got The Voice
7 March 2009 | by See all my reviews

The title characters of Wife, Husband, and Friend are Loretta Young, Warner Baxter and Binnie Barnes. Although given Binnie's actions in the film the characterization is open to interpretation.

Loretta and Warner are the proverbial happily married upper middle class couple, he in the contracting business and she the socialite with a dream of being a concert singer. Seems to be a hereditary thing, Loretta's mother Helen Westley had similar ambitions to the chagrin of her father George Barbier.

Baxter tries to humor her, but that only encourages and his humoring becomes an expensive proposition. Enter real opera singer Binnie Barnes who accidentally discovers its Baxter who's got the voice in the family. Baxter also attracts her in other ways. In the meantime Loretta's got Cesar Romero, a pianist buzzing around her hive.

I'd love to know who dubbed the voices of all these people, the film from 20th Century Fox lists no credits. The major fault in the film is the casting of Baxter. He's a good actor, but hardly a blue collar type. When the film was remade ten years later, Paul Douglas played Baxter's role in Everybody Does It.

Even with Baxter miscast, the film's got a lot of amusing moments, especially on the opera stage with Baxter. He carries the comedy part off real well. Unlike A Night At The Opera where the Marx Brothers set out to disrupt the opera, Baxter does his whole shtick quite accidentally.

I'm glad TCM unearthed this long buried classic, it's dated, but still has some good moments. Loretta beauty sparkles and Binnie Barnes was never better as the wisecracking other woman.

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