6.6/10
4,962
70 user 29 critic

How to Murder Your Wife (1965)

Approved | | Comedy | 26 January 1965 (USA)
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3:55 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A dedicated bachelor drunkenly marries a young woman and immediately lives to regret it.

Director:

Richard Quine

Writer:

George Axelrod
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Lemmon ... Stanley Ford
Virna Lisi ... Mrs. Ford
Terry-Thomas ... Charles
Eddie Mayehoff Eddie Mayehoff ... Harold Lampson
Claire Trevor ... Edna
Sidney Blackmer ... Judge Blackstone
Max Showalter ... Tobey Rawlins
Jack Albertson ... Dr. Bentley
Mary Wickes ... Harold's Secretary
Alan Hewitt ... District Attorney
Barry Kelley ... Club Member in Steam Room
William Bryant ... Construction Worker (as Bill Bryant)
Charles Bateman ... Club Member in Steam Room
Edward Faulkner ... Club Member in Steam Room / Party Guest
Lauren Gilbert Lauren Gilbert ... Men's Club Manager
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Storyline

Stanley Ford leads an idyllic bachelor life. He is a nationally syndicated cartoonist whose Bash Brannigan series provides him with a luxury townhouse and a full-time valet, Charles. When he wakes up the morning after the night before - he had attended a friend's stag party - he finds that he is married to the very beautiful woman who popped out of the cake - and who doesn't speak a word of English. Despite his initial protestations, he comes to like married life and even changes his cartoon character from a super spy to a somewhat harried husband. When after several months he decides to kill off Bash's wife in the cartoon, his wife misinterprets his intentions and disappears. Which leads the police to charge him with murder. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This Motion Picture is Presented as a Public Service See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

26 January 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cómo asesinar a su esposa See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Murder Inc. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The comic strip art in the film was done by Mel Keefer, the artist on Perry Mason, Mac Divot and Rick O'Shay comic strips. In addition, Alex Toth drew a comic strip of the characters as part of a teaser campaign to promote the film. See more »

Goofs

During the opening credits whilst Charles is giving some background info, he puts on his waistcoat, does up the top and bottom buttons only and immediately walks into the on-suite bathroom, and magically, the entire waistcoat is buttoned up. See more »

Quotes

Stanley Ford: You get-um dressed, me go talk-um Butler.
See more »

Crazy Credits

At first, it only says How to Your Wife on the screen, in white letters. Then, the word Murder shows up in red letters in the space between the two rows of text. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nueve cartas a Berta (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
(uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen
See more »

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User Reviews

Cartoonish, and I Mean that in a Good Sense
10 July 2005 | by tedgSee all my reviews

I really want to recommend this movie to you.

Sure, it has a weak third act which pounds a particularly misogynistic message. And the end is so formulaic it hurts. But up until then, it classifies as among the best of comedies.

I have a particular admiration for it as what I think is the first example of a cartoonist whose drawings interweave with his life. Its a clever idea at root but handled with extra sophistication here.

The setup is that our hero (Jack Lemmon) is a cartoonist who draws himself in his strip as a sort of James Bond character. But before he draws each strip, he actually acts it out as movies that we see in the movie within the movie. (How he hires the actors and arranges the locations is a detail left unexplained.)

Thus, strip and life have a relationship within the story proper. Much is made of conflating the movie, the life depicted in the movie, the strip, and the movies within.

He ends up with an unwanted (well, sort of) wife and acts out her murder. Since she left in a huff, he has no defense when his readership (the whole country it seems) accuses him of real murder.

The pinnacle of this confabulation comes when his butler comes to the realization that the murder has actually been real with the enactment an alibi. Things go downhill from there. But until that point, this is sublime, a comic "Draughtsman's Contract."

See it.

Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.


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