Three years into their loving marriage with two infant daughters at home in Los Angeles, Nicholas Arden and Ellen Wagstaff Arden are on a plane that goes down in the South Pacific. Although most passengers manage to survive the incident, Ellen presumably perishes when she is swept off the lifeboat she is on. Her body is not recovered. Fast forward five years. Nicky, wanting now to move on with his life, has Ellen declared legally dead. Part of that moving on includes getting remarried, this time to a young woman named Bianca Steele, who, for their honeymoon, he plans to take to the same Monterrey resort where he and Ellen spent their honeymoon. On that very same day, Ellen is dropped off in Los Angeles by the Navy, who rescued her from the South Pacific island where she was stranded for the past five years. She asked the Navy not to publicize her rescue or notify Nicky as she wanted to do so herself. Upon Ellen's arrival back home, a shocked Grace Arden, Nicky's mother, informs Ellen ...Written by
As most people who see this film know, this film's a re-worked version of what would've been Marilyn Monroe's Something's Got to Give (1962), and there's many bits of trivia surrounding this production. Elliot Reid, who plays Dr. Schlick in this version, had co-started with Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), as Ernie Malone, who's sent by the father of Gus Edmond, Lorelei Lee's boyfriend, to spy on her, so he can prevent his son from her. See more »
During the scene in which Nick is watching Adam perform on the trampoline, the couple in the corner directly behind him get up and leave their table three different times. See more »
Move Over Darling with James Garner and Doris Day which is a remake of the RKO classic My Favorite Wife is probably better known for being the end result of the disaster known as Something's Gotta Give. That of course is Marilyn Monroe's legendary last film that she never finished.
Looking over the cast of the unfinished Something's Gotta Give I have to say though I don't think it would have been Monroe's greatest film, the rest of the cast was pretty good. When 20th Century Fox fired Marilyn, Dean Martin also quit and the whole film was scrapped. At that point it was just decided to redo the whole thing with an entire new cast and apparently no one survived the change.
I also imagine that a serious rewrite would have to be done in order that a role originally cast for Marilyn Monroe could fit Doris Day. Seeing Doris on the screen I can't imagine that Chuck Connors or in Marilyn's case, Tom Tryon, would have been unsuccessfully trying to catch her on a desert island for five years.
The story as originally written by Sam and Bella Spewack has James Garner going to court to get his first wife, missing for five years after a forced ocean landing, declared legally dead. He wants to marry Polly Bergen. But wouldn't you know it, a Navy submarine rescues Doris Day at just that time and when she hears about Garner's new bride, it's Doris off to spoil that honeymoon.
Polly Bergen was just great as the picture of sexual frustration on that honeymoon. Although I can certainly see Cyd Charisse in that same spot with Dean Martin.
Edgar Buchanan is great as the crusty judge who declares Doris legally dead the first time and then has all the parties and then some in court to try and untangle things. That role was supposed to go to John McGiver and certainly those two would have been different types.
It goes that way up and down the cast list, Don Knotts substituting for Wally Cox as the timid shoe salesman Doris has impersonate Chuck Connors so Garner won't be jealous. And I can't see much difference with Phil Silvers as opposed to John Astin as the smarmy insurance man.
One thing I did notice is that there was no equivalent parts in Something's Gotta Give for Fred Clark the hotel manager and Thelma Ritter as Garner's mother. My guess is that whoever was supposed to play those roles may never have got on camera because there was no way to shoot around them.
I suppose the best thing to do is not speculate, but enjoy the funny comedy that did come out of all the grief 20th Century Fox had with this film.
Certainly only Doris Day could convince you that in five years she never succumbed to Chuck Connors.
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