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Dream Wife (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 19 June 1953 (USA)
A business tycoon decides to wed a Middle Eastern princess whose customs dictate the pair must live apart for several months before marrying; even more complications settle in when the tycoon's ex-fiancée is assigned to chaperone the pair.


Sidney Sheldon
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cary Grant ... Clemson Reade
Deborah Kerr ... Effie
Walter Pidgeon ... Walter McBride
Betta St. John ... Tarji
Eduard Franz ... Khan of Bukistan
Buddy Baer ... Vizier
Les Tremayne ... Ken Landwell
Donald Randolph Donald Randolph ... Ali
Bruce Bennett ... Charlie Elkwood
Richard Anderson ... Henry Malvine
Dan Tobin ... Mr. Brown
Movita ... Rima
Gloria Holden ... Mrs. Jean Landwell
June Clayworth ... Mrs. May Elkwood
Dean Miller ... George


Clemson Reade, a business tycoon with marriage on his mind, and Effie, a U.S. diplomat, are a modern couple. Unfortunately there seems to be too much business and not enough pleasure on the part of Effie. When Clemson meets Tarji, a princess trained in all the arts of pleasing men, he decides he wants an old fashioned girl. Princess Tarji's father is king of oil-rich Bukistan. Because of the oil situation and to maintain good political relations during the courtship between Clemson & Tarji, the State Department assigns a diplomat to maintain protocol until the wedding. Effie! Written by Debbie Dunlap <dwdunlap@erols.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M's HILARIOUS HIT! (original print ad - mostly caps) See more »


Comedy | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

19 June 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Du und keine andere See more »


Box Office


$1,565,000 (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?


After making this film Cary Grant announced his retirement from acting in February 1953. However, 18 months later he agreed to return to acting in To Catch a Thief (1955). See more »


In the opening sequence, from shot to shot, there is complete lack of consistency as to which leg Cary Grant has crossed over the other. See more »


Effie: [Pointing at a globe] Here is Bukistan.
Clemson Reade: [mumbling] Oh, I know, I have been there.
Effie: Here is the United States.
Clemson Reade: [mumbling] Yes, yes, I have been there too.
Effie: We have just *one* thing in common. Oil! Every plan we make for peace or war depends on that oil.
Clemson Reade: 'That so?
Effie: I don't have to tell you what happened in Iran. Half the free world had to learn how to pronounce the name Mosadegh.
Clemson Reade: I still can't.
Effie: The same thing is happening again, only this time there will a lot of new names to learn. And the only way to...
See more »


Referenced in What's My Line?: Deborah Kerr (1953) See more »


Ghi Ti, Ghi Ti, Ghi Ti
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User Reviews

I Dream of Tarji
13 October 2015 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

In a Middle Eastern country on business, successful traveling salesman Cary Grant (as Clemson "Clem" Reade) become acquainted with desirable young Betta St. John (as Tarji). Her father allows the princess to perform a sexy dance for Mr. Grant and indicates Ms. St. John would be a devoted and subservient wife. Her main goal in life is to please a man. Engaged to another woman, Grant passes on the offer. He returns to the US, where he reunites with attractive fiancée Deborah Kerr (as Priscilla "Effie" Effington). Grant wants to get romantic, but Ms. Kerr is constantly interrupted by business matters. She has an important job in the US State Department...

Grant is frustrated with his busy fiancée and decides to wed the subservient St. John...

Directed by Sidney Sheldon, "Dream Wife" can be described as "I Dream of Jeannie" without the magic. The later TV series was created by Mr. Sheldon, with the underlying theme enhanced by giving the young woman magical powers to please her master. Reportedly, Grant was unhappy with "Dream Wife" and almost retired. He appears to either be trying out a thinner "look" or recovering from an illness. His comic timing is fine, but often channeled improperly. Cast with bad contrast, second male lead Walter Pidgeon (as Walter McBride) makes Grant look smaller. Fortunately, Grant returned to the screen, with a more robust "look" assisted by better make-up and coloring.

**** Dream Wife (1953-06-19) Sidney Sheldon ~ Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Betta St. John, Walter Pidgeon

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