Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Favorite Wife (1940).

My Favorite Wife(1940). Comedy produced and co-written by Leo McCarey and directed by Garson Kanin. Cast: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott and Gail Patrick. The story is an adaptation of Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "Enoch Arden"; in tribute, the main characters' last name is Arden.

After seven years, lawyer Nick Arden has his missing wife Ellen declared legally dead and now plans to marry Bianca. Ellen was shipwrecked all this time and was living on a deserted island. After being rescued she returns home and learns that Nick has just left hours before on his honeymoon.

Ellen finds him before his wedding night and Nick does not know how to break the news to Bianca. Meanwhile, Bianca becomes upset by Nick's behavior and calls her psychiatrist, Dr. Kohlman. Things become more complicated when an insurance adjuster shares the rumor that Ellen was not alone on the island, but was living with another man and that they called each other "Adam" and "Eve".

Nick tries to explain the situation to Bianca and Dr. Kohlmar, but they do not believe him ... until he is arrested on a charge of bigamy. In court, Judge Bryson , the same judge who had Ellen declared legally dead and also married Nick and Bianca, annuls the second marriage. By this time, Ellen is no longer sure of Nick's feelings for her. Stephen asks her to marry him and return with him to the island, but she still loves Nick and hopes that he will sweep her of her feet..

My Favorite Wife, is a wonderful movie. I do not know which version I like the best..Doris Day and James Garner,may not reach the sophistication of Grant and Dunne, but both films are worth seeing. Cary Grant's facial expression on the elevator when he sees Dunne for the first time after 7 years is very memorable.

Fun Facts:

The film was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Story, Best Score and Best Art Direction by Van Nest Polglase and Mark-Lee Kirk.

20th Century Fox began filming a 1962 remake starring Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, and Cyd Charisse under the working title of Something's Got to Give, which was to be directed by George Cukor. There were problems from the beginning, mostly due to Monroe's failure to show up on time for work. Monroe was fired and Martin backed out when the studio attempted to recast Monroe's role with Lee Remick. Following Monroe's death in August 1962, Doris Day and James Garner were cast, and the new version was released by Fox as Move Over, Darling (1963)

Second of three movies that paired Cary Grant and Irene Dunne.

Gail Patrick (June 20, 1911 – July 6, 1980), appeared in 62 movies between 1932 and 1948, usually as the leading lady's rival. Some of these roles include: My Favorite Wife (1940) with Irene Dunne and Cary Grant, Anna May Wong's competitor in, Dangerous to Know (1938) and Carole Lombard's spoiled sister in, My Man Godfrey (1936), Wives Under Suspicion (1938) and Disbarred (1939).

Patrick retired from acting in films in 1948 and later, with her third husband Thomas Cornwell Jackson, became a producer of the Perry Mason television series (1957–1966).

1 comment:

  1. YES! I love My Favorite Wife. Great post Dawn.


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