My Favorite Wife (1940) - Rotten Tomatoes

My Favorite Wife (1940)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

My Favorite Wife Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Irene Dunne stars as Ellen Arden, the presumed-dead first wife of Nick (Cary Grant), who's sudden return to society prompts the revelation that Nick has remarried in her absence.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Bella Spewack, Sam Spewack, Leo McCarey
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 1, 2004
RKO Radio Pictures


Irene Dunne
as Ellen Arden
Cary Grant
as Nick Arden
Randolph Scott
as Stephen Burkett
Scotty Beckett
as Tim Arden
Mary Lou Harrington
as Chinch Arden
Donald MacBride
as Hotel Clerk
Pedro de Cordoba
as Dr. Kohlmar
Brandon Tynan
as Dr. Manning
Harold Gerald
as Assistant Clerk
Murray Alper
as Bartender
Earle Hodgins
as Court Clerk
Cyril Ring
as Contestant
Horace McMahon
as Truck Driver
Jean Acker
as Witness
Harold Gerard
as Assistant Court Cler...
Frank Marlowe
as Photographer
Thelma Joel
as Miss Rosenthal
Horace MacMahon
as Truck Driver
Chester Clute
as Little Man
Earl Hodgins
as Clerk of Court
Cy Kendall
as Detective
Pat West
as Caretaker
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for My Favorite Wife

Critic Reviews for My Favorite Wife

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (5)

Ninety minutes of delightfully irrational comedy.

Full Review… | December 8, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

A relatively formulaic (though beautifully produced) bedroom comedy...

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The direction of Garson Kanin is spotty, and there is evidence of faults in editing -- but who cares?

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

While it's pleasant enough, the freshness is definitely off the bloom.

Full Review… | February 27, 2001
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Garson Kanin is not Leo McCarey, who was originally assigned to direct this screwball comedy, reuniting Cary Grant and Irene Dunne (Awful Truth), but he has made a well acted, decent, and enjoyable film.

Full Review… | January 8, 2012

Audience Reviews for My Favorite Wife

i liked this one better than "the awful truth" (a more popular, more well known film), although i don't know why...maybe it's simply the premise appeals to some wacked out sense of comedy i've got somewhere in my attic

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

My Favorite Wife is one of the lesser, lighter Cary Grant movies. In it, he plays a man whose wife is lost at sea. Seven years later, he goes to the judge to have her declared dead so that he may re-marry. No sooner does he re-marry when his first wife comes wandering back home. She had been living on a tropical island for the last seven years and had only been rescued recently by a passing freighter. Naturally, from this all sorts of chaos arises. Well, some minor chaos. This film is listed as a starring vehicle for Irene Dunne (the original wife), so it's little wonder the new wife (Gail Patrick) is barely in the picture at all. There's very little controversy or dilemma involved on the husband's part. He never considers the new wife, even for a little bit. There's a couple of cute gags, mostly involving the guy Dunne was stuck on the island with (Randolph Scott), but this film is way too slight to make anyone go out of their way to see it.

Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Dunne and Grant were teamed many a time, but this film seems a bit broader, and filled with moments where you have to suspend your disbelief, including Dunne's tragic circumstances, and Grant's state of marital contentedness. It's all lovey dovey and amazingly sweet, but it specifically works because the two compliment each other with their zany antics and wanton disregard for lack of wit and candor.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

My Favorite Wife Quotes

– Submitted by Brigita S (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss My Favorite Wife on our Movie forum!