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Turnabout (1940)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Fantasy | 17 May 1940 (USA)
Bickering husband and wife Tim and Sally Willows mutter a few angry words to a statue of Buddha and wind up living each other's life.


Hal Roach


Thorne Smith (novel), Mickell Novack (screen play) (as Mickell Novak) | 3 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Adolphe Menjou ... Phil Manning
Carole Landis ... Sally Willows
John Hubbard ... Tim Willows
William Gargan ... Joel Clare
Verree Teasdale ... Laura Bannister
Mary Astor ... Marion Manning
Donald Meek ... Henry
Joyce Compton ... Irene Clare
Inez Courtney ... Miss Edwards
Franklin Pangborn ... Mr. Pingboom
Marjorie Main ... Nora
Berton Churchill ... Julian Marlowe
Margaret Roach ... Dixie Gale
Ray Turner ... Mose
Norman Budd ... Jimmy


Bickering husband and wife Tim and Sally Willows mutter a few angry words to a statue of Buddha and wind up living each other's life.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


THE STOCK WENT HAYWIRE- IN THE HAYWIREST STORY OF ALL! (original poster-all caps) See more »


Comedy | Fantasy


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 May 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Matrimonio al revés See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Joseph I. Breen, director of the Production Code Administration, expressed displeasure with Franklin Pangborn's character, a rather effeminate hosiery merchant. Breen complained to Hal Roach that Pangborn's character was too "pansyish" and asked Roach to tone down the role's effeminacy. See more »


Hubbard enters his home with a large box, supposedly containing a bear cub. He calls his great Dane, who rushes over to greet him, completely ignoring the box. If a bear had really been in that box, the dog would be all over it. The bear does not come out of the box until the dog is not in the room--obviously, it was not put into the box before then. See more »


Phil Manning: Cold feet? Is that all you're worried about? Say, my wife goes to bed with a hot water bottle every night of her life, and not only that, it leaks! And a mud pack on her face! Why, I wake up at night and think the Ku Klux Klan is after me!
See more »


Version of Turnabout (1979) See more »


(1920) (uncredited)
Music by Con Conrad and J. Russel Robinson
Lyrics by Benny Davis
Sung by a chorus on radio with modified lyrics
See more »

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User Reviews

"Darling, you wouldn't have much fun in a kennel."
18 September 2007 | by MaleejandraSee all my reviews

Turnabout is the story of a married couple who bickers more than anyone you've ever seen. Mr. Willows (John Hubbard) and Mrs. Willows (Carole Landis) lead separate lives, and come home to fight about it. Mr. Willows is a partner for an advertising company and Mrs. Willows gossips and plays bridge with the other partners' wives. But there is one thing they can agree upon; they would love to switch lives with each other. A mysterious statue in their bedroom grants their request, and off he goes in a dress and off she goes prancing around in a suit. To say that their acquaintances are surprised would be an understatement and hilarity ensues.

Also appearing are famous names like Adolphe Menjou, Mary Astor, Inez Courtney, and Marjorie Main.

Stories like this are always entertaining, and when comedies are made on the Hal Roach lot, you're bound for success. This little known gem holds plenty of laughs, but it also abounds with a lightheartedness that can cheer anyone up on a bad day.

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