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My Favorite Wife

1940 motion picture starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Garson Kanin and Randolph Scott.

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One of best of the genre known as "screwball comedies" from the 1940's.

  • Dec 19, 2008
  • by
In somewhat the same vein as watching the classic Three Stooges shorts of  the 1930's and 1940's, "My Favorite Wife" is a movie I can watch  again and again.  I never ger tired of it!   Cary Grant plays Nick Arden, a man who has just had his wife declared legally dead after being listed as missing from a boating accident some 7 years earlier.  Arden has just married Bianca (played by Gail Patrick) and the happy couple heads for a romantic honeymoon trip.  But a funny thing happens on the way to this honeymoon.  Nick's first wife Ellen (played by Irene Dunne) turns up after all these years.  When she discovers what is going on she sets out to intercept her husband and snatch him back for herself.  She was not about to give him up easily!  Well, as you can well imagine all hell breaks loose!  One of the funniest scenes you will ever see in the movies occurs when Nick first lays his eyes on Ellen at the honeymooner's hotel.  I will leave that to your imagination.  The balance of the movie finds poor Nick trying desperately to welcome Ellen back home while at the same time attempting  to gently let the high strung Bianca down easily.   Some really funny stuff here.

"My Favorite Wife" spotlights the comic genius of the young Cary Grant.   If you have never seen any of his early films you really should check them out. In addition, there is a tremendous chemistry present between Grant and Irene Dunne.  I can assure you that this is a highly enjoyable motion picture and as such is an hour and a half very well spent.   Highly recommended!
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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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About this movie


My Favorite Wife (released in the U.K. as My Favourite Wife) is a 1940 screwball comedy starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant that tells the story of a woman returning home to her husband and children after being shipwrecked on a tropical island for seven years. It is a reworking of Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "Enoch Arden"; in tribute, the main characters' last name is Arden. Garson Kanin directed

Ellen Wagstaff Arden (Irene Dunne) returns to her beloved husband Nick (Cary Grant), just as he has had her declared legally dead (seven years being the minimum period required), so he can marry the high strung Bianca (Gail Patrick). Ellen reaches Nick just before he embarks on his honeymoon. Further complications ensue when Nick discovers that the virile Stephen Beckett (Randolph Scott) was alone with Ellen on the island all those years.

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Genre: Comedy
Release Date: May 17, 1940
Runtime: 88 minutes
Studio: RKO Radio Pictures

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