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The Skipper Surprised His Wife (1950)

Passed | | Comedy | 29 June 1950 (USA)
When a naval officer's wife breaks her ankle and is laid up, her husband takes over running the household by employing military regimentation and disciple, which leads to a number of amusing situations. (Comedy, 85 mins.)


Elliott Nugent


Dorothy Kingsley (original story and screenplay), William J. Lederer (based on magazine story by) (as Commander W.J. Lederer U.S.N.)


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Complete credited cast:
Robert Walker ... Cmdr. William J. Lattimer
Joan Leslie ... Daphne Lattimer
Edward Arnold ... Adm. Homer Thorndyke
Spring Byington ... Agnes Thorndyke
Leon Ames ... Dr. Philip Abbott
Jan Sterling ... Rita Rossini
Anthony Ross ... Joe Rossini
Paul Harvey ... Brendon Boyd
Kathryn Card ... Thelma Boyd
Tommy Myers Tommy Myers ... Tommy Lattimer
Rudy Lee Rudy Lee ... Davey Lattimer
Finnegan Weatherwax Finnegan Weatherwax ... Muscles the Dog
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Thomas Browne Henry Thomas Browne Henry ... Doctor (scenes deleted)


When a naval officer's wife breaks her ankle and is laid up, her husband takes over running the household by employing military regimentation and disciple, which leads to a number of amusing situations. (Comedy, 85 mins.)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


MGM's nautical nifty---of the sailor who was all at sea...in his own home! (original print ad) See more »




Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

29 June 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Flor dos Maridos See more »


Box Office


$753,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The electric ironing machine Bill struggles with is not some studio-made comical contraption, but is an actual home appliance. It appears to be a Sears Kenmore, or a Simplex (the manufacturer). The nameplates have been removed from the front of the lid. It was also referred to as a "mangle". In 1950 the list price for one of these machines was $139.95. Bill said he paid $113, so he got a good bargain. See more »


Cmdr. William J. Lattimer: The average housewife is either a soap opera addict, a fence-hanger, a salesman-encourager, a book-of-the-monther or just plain lazy.
See more »

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User Reviews

Nothing Special
9 August 2015 | by CalabossSee all my reviews

If you are familiar with the dozens of Joe McDoakes shorts of the 1940's and 50's, you've seen just about all the comedy in this movie already. But where as Joe was just a bumbling "everyman", in this movie, Robert Walker plays William J. Lattimer, Navy Commander and Annapolis graduate.

When Lattimer's wife Daphne, played by Joan Leslie, breaks her ankle, the good Commander must take over the household chores. It's a bit of a stretch to see how incompetent he is at it. Mistaking bubble bath for dish soap, opening the cupboard and being hit in the head with the ironing board, etc..

It gets a bit more interesting once they burn off some slapstick, but this movie never goes beyond average. It doesn't bore you, but it doesn't excite you either. The large number of users rating this movie a 10 is a mystery to me. US users rate this 5.5, which seems about right. Non-US users rate this 8.6. I have no clue why. Maybe lots of French voters? They really seem to love their non-verbal humor.

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