18 user 8 critic

The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 18 July 1940 (Mexico)
A best-selling author of women's issues and a medical academic find it is to their mutual advantage to falsely claim that they are married.


Alexander Hall


George Seaton (screen play), Ken Englund (screen play) | 1 more credit »




Complete credited cast:
Loretta Young ... June Cameron
Ray Milland ... Dr. Timothy Sterling
Reginald Gardiner ... John Pierce
Gail Patrick ... Marilyn Thomas
Edmund Gwenn ... Dr. Lionel Sterling
Frank Sully ... Slapcovitch
Gordon Jones ... O'Brien
Georges Metaxa Georges Metaxa ... Jean Rovere
Charles Halton ... Dr. Streeter
Joseph Eggenton Joseph Eggenton ... Dr. Nielson
Paul McAllister Paul McAllister ... Dean Lawton
Chester Clute ... Johnson
Hal K. Dawson Hal K. Dawson ... Charlie
Edward Van Sloan ... Burkhardt
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ralph Gilliam Ralph Gilliam


June Cameron has written a best seller about spinsters: women are men's equals and don't need them for fulfillment. Through a series of errors and misunderstandings, the press believes she's married Tim Sterling, a university instructor she's just met. Her publisher wants to let the mistake go uncorrected for a few weeks so she can write a best seller about being married; Tim cooperates because, in hidebound academia, being married may help with a promotion. The flies in the ointment are June and Tim's instant enmity, Tim's stubbornness, and his girlfriend Marilyn, who may not let the charade play out. There's no way everyone can get what they want. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Loretta Young Goes Gay With Dashing Ray Milland See more »


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


The issue comes up of whether June or Timothy "takes the blame" in the pretend divorce. Back then there was no such thing as 'no fault divorce'. The courts basically only recognized three grounds for divorce: infidelity; infertility; abusive cruelty. See more »


In the car scenes after Tim and June pull away from the Standish Arms doorman, Tim's left arm is inconsistently atop the driver's door, then inside the car, as they converse. See more »


June Cameron: Well, if that's the way you feel about it, my pathological playmate.
See more »

Crazy Credits

All the opening credits appear as if written with chalk on a New York City sidewalk. At the end of Alexander Hall's directorial credit an unseen hand lifts a piece of chalk from the last letter of Hall's name, as if he's just finished lettering the name. See more »


Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Played for a church wedding in Greenwich, Connecticut
Later sung by an unidentifed singing telegram boy quartet with modified lyrics
See more »

User Reviews

Cute screwball
9 January 2011 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Loretta Young and Ray Milland star in "The Doctor Takes a Wife," a 1940 comedy that also features Edmund Gwenn, Gail Patrick, and Reginald Gardner. Young plays June Cameron, a 1940 version of a feminist who writes on the joys of being a bachelorette. When her editor/boyfriend (Reginald Gardner) summons her back to New York from her vacation, she hitches a ride with Dr. Timothy Sterling (Milland). Through a series of unfortunate events, the press reports that they're married, which will ruin June's current the status of her current best seller, Spinsters Aren't Spinach. Her publisher wants to keep the mistake going because June can now write about being married; and Dr. Sterling's newly married status wins him a big promotion. The fly in the ointment is Sterling's fiancée (Gail Patrick).

Completely predictable, of course, and dated, but still fun because of the terrific cast and good direction by Alexander Hall. Both the stars are very good. Young is beautiful in her tailored suits and gives her material the needed light touch. Milland always had a flair for comedy and does a good job as the stubborn doctor. Amusing, and a look back at the old days when this kind of film was popular.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

18 July 1940 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The Doctor Takes a Wife See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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