Review: ‘My Favorite Wife’

Irene Dunne and Cary Grant pick up the thread of marital comedy at about the point where they left off in The Awful Truth. With these two stars working again with Leo McCarey, a surefire laughing film is guaranteed. McCarey is the producer of the new picture, which is directed by Garson Kanin, who filled in for McCarey when the latter was on the hospital list after an auto smashup.

Irene Dunne and Cary Grant pick up the thread of marital comedy at about the point where they left off in The Awful Truth. With these two stars working again with Leo McCarey, a surefire laughing film is guaranteed. McCarey is the producer of the new picture, which is directed by Garson Kanin, who filled in for McCarey when the latter was on the hospital list after an auto smashup.

Plot of the new film [by Leo McCarey and Bella and Samuel Spewack] is pretty thin in spots and it is distinctly to the credit of the players and Kanin that they can keep the laughs bouncing along. In this connection they have able assistance from Randolph Scott and Gail Patrick.

It’s a pretty hard yarn to believe at the beginning when Dunne turns up at home after seven years’ absence from her husband and two small children, who were infants when she left on a South Sea exploration. She was shipwrecked and tossed up on one of those invisible Pacific islands.

She returns, therefore, as a female Enoch Arden, arriving on the day her husband has remarried. Of course, if anyone had mentioned the truth to the new wife (Patrick) the story would have been over right then and there before it gets underway. Nor does Dunne mention that Scott was the sole other survivor of the monsoon, and that he had come back to civilization with her.

1940: Nominations: Best Original Story, B&W Art Direction, Original Score

My Favorite Wife

Production

RKO. Director Garson Kanin; Producer Leo McCarey; Screenplay Sam Spewack, Bella Spewack, Leo McCarey; Camera Rudolph Mate; Editor Robert Wise; Music Roy Webb; Art Director Van Nest Polglase, Mark-Lee Kirk

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1940. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Irene Dunne Cary Grant Randolph Scott Gail Patrick Ann Shoemaker Scotty Beckett
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