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My Favorite Wife

174 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

My Favorite Wife (DVD)

Cary Grant and Irene Dunne star in this classic romantic comedy about a man with one spouse too many--and the resulting legal and romantic dilemma--My Favorite Wife. Seven years ago, Nick Arden's (Grant) wife, Ellen (Dunne), left on a scientific expedition with Stephen Burkett (Randolph Scott) never to be seen again--until today! The problem is that after spending years searching for Ellen, Nick has just married Bianca (Gail Patrick). When, on the first night of his honeymoon, Nick sees Ellen, he realizes he still truly loves her. But Bianca stands by her claim as Nick's wife, and Nick wants to know exactly what Ellen was doing during the seven years shipwrecked on a tropical island with the handsome Stephen.


That delightful couple from The Awful Truth, Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, revisit the world of marital confusion. Presuming his wife to be dead, Grant remarries--on the same day that his bedraggled spouse (that's Dunne) returns. Seems she's been stranded on a desert island for seven years (with strapping hunk Randolph Scott, too). The moment Cary spots his resurrected wife, as an elevator door slides shut, is one of the many funny gags in this comedy, and the final sequence is memorably wacky. Awful Truth director Leo McCarey prepared the film, but it was directed by author Garson Kanin. The two stars are so adept at farce, and so effortless in conveying their characters' mutual affection, that the movie triumphs over the whopper of a plot device. It was supposed to be remade as the ill-fated Marilyn Monroe film Something's Got to Give, and ended up Move Over, Darling with Doris Day. --Robert Horton

Special Features

  • All new digital transfer
  • Radio production starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne
  • Short "Home Movies"
  • Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott, Gail Patrick, Ann Shoemaker
  • Directors: Garson Kanin
  • Writers: Leo McCarey, Bella Spewack, Samuel Spewack
  • Producers: Leo McCarey
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Black & White, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Turner Home Ent
  • DVD Release Date: June 1, 2004
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001WTWS8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,799 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "My Favorite Wife" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Silva on August 23, 2004
Format: DVD
This one has been a fave of mine since I was a kid and I had been anxiously waiting it to be released on DVD, and in black & white (no "coloring", thanks).

Although it is not the masterpiece that "The Awful Truth" is (starring both Grant & Dunne too), it's anyway an engaging, tongue-in-cheek, romantic comedy, thanks to Cary Grant's and Irene Dunne's wonderful chemistry (They also were good at drama, check the great "Penny Serenade").

Dunne plays the long lost (7 years) wife of Cary Grant, who after years of searching her in the realms of Asiatic continent & islands, has decided to give his two a children a brand-new mother.

I have to state that the quality of the transfer is much better than the Columbia DVD (of extremely "uneven-quality") edition of "The Awful Truth", and you know that Columbia-Sony Editions are more expensive than these Warner editions; and above all, lately the Columbia-Sony Classic releases don't bring bonuses, beside from trailers. Warner releases do come with some delightful bonuses; in this case a Robert Benchkey short & The 1950 Radio Production of the film.

Fine support from Gail Patrick, who specialized in playing "unpleasant" women or plain "bitchy" types, and Randolph Scott, who displays his full athletic prowess & charm in this movie (Grant & Scott were pals in real life).

A Leo McCarey production directed by gifted Garson Kanin.

Remade as "Move Over Darling" (1963) with Doris Day and James Garner, and previously it was intended to be a Marilyn Monroe vehicle: "Something's Gotta Give" (1962) (a unfinished film... really, a barely "begun" film), with her in Dunne's role, Dean Martin in Grant's role and Cyd Charisse in Gail Patrick's...what could have been of that?
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful By cookieman108 on December 28, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Some may be surprised at my reviewing a film like this, as the movies I usually review tend to fall into the science fiction and horror genres, but I do enjoy all kinds of films, especially romantic comedies from Hollywood's golden age. There's something about films from 30's and 40's that I don't often see in movies today, and I would define it as class. Characters in these old films often exuded a suave, sophisticated demeanor you rarely see in contemporary releases...maybe it had something to do with the now defunct studio system in those days, one that always tried to promote it's contract actors in the best possible light, cultivating and protecting them like the valuable commodities they were, elevating their status to a level usually reserved for royalty. Nowadays, every wart, blemish, and pimple, metaphorically speaking, is exposed (remember not so long ago when Hugh Grant got caught in that tryst with that rather seedy street walker? Fifty years ago the general public would have never heard about it), revealing the stars of today are a lot like us, except for the fame and fortune...but I digress...My Favorite Wife (1940), directed by Garson Kanin (They Knew What They Wanted), reunites the stars of the earlier film, The Awful Truth (1937), Cary Grant (Arsenic and Old Lace, Notorious), and Irene Dunne (Show Boat). Also appearing is Randolph Scott (Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm), Gail Patrick (My Man Godfrey), and character actors Donald MacBride (The Thin Man Goes Home) and Granville Bates (Of Mice and Men).

The film opens with Nick Arden (Grant) appearing in court, attempting to have his wife, Ellen (Dunne) who's been missing for the past seven years, declared legally dead, so that he may remarry.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ed Uyeshima HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 8, 2006
Format: DVD
Although Cary Grant is justifiably remembered as a screen legend (indeed he is probably the most adept of any of his contemporaries at romantic comedy), it seems criminal that Irene Dunne is almost forgotten these days. This is the second and most lightweight of three very fruitful screen pairings they had during this period - the other two are the even more insane divorce farce, "The Awful Truth", from 1937 and 1941's child adoption tearjerker, "Penny Serenade". With her insinuating laugh and sophisticated but down-to-earth manner, she is a wonderful screwball heroine, even if she lacks the haughty glamour of Katharine Hepburn or the brazen beauty of Carole Lombard.

Here Dunne plays Ellen Wagstaff Arden returning home after seven years shipwrecked on a desert island. The problem is that her husband Nick has just gotten remarried to a high maintenance socialite named Bianca. Misunderstandings seem to multiply when it's disclosed that Ellen was not alone on the island and that her companion was an athletic Adonis named Stephen Burkett, of course a bachelor. The ending is obvious from the beginning, but there are some hilarious set pieces along the way, in particular, when Ellen recruits a timid shoe salesman to impersonate Stephen and also when her ruse is exposed as the real Stephen pops up from the country club swimming pool. In 1940, the same year he made classics like "The Philadelphia Story" and "His Girl Friday", Grant is at the top of his game, and Dunne matches him every step of the way. It does seem a bit of a stretch to think that the principal characters would be celibate for seven long years, but such was 1930's Hollywood convention.

Randolph Scott gamely plays the dumb-as-dirt Stephen, an ironic choice given the rumors of the actor's relationship with Grant.
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