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My Favorite Wife (1940), Cary Grant, Irene Dunne

An excellent romantic comedy directed by Garson Kanin, “My Favorite Wife” tells the story of a woman who suddenly disappears during a shipwreck. After 7 years she returns to her husband all of a sudden, only to discover that he has just married another woman. He is accused of bigamy and is even taken to the police, only to be later released when his second marriage is no longer valid. It is wonderful to see Cary Grant between his two lovely ladies, Irene Dunne and Gail Patrick. You will also get to see the handsome Randolph Scott in a very becoming role, that of an attractive swimmer, former lover (probably) of Ellen (Dunne), during the time they stayed on a deserted island after the shipwreck. “My Favorite Wife” was nominated for 3 Oscars, for Best Writing, Original Story (Leo McCarey being not only the producer, but also one of the writers; he excelled in such romantic films like “Love Affair” and its remake “An Affair to Remember”), Best Art Direction, and Best Music, Original Score. The film was later adapted to a more modern version, “Something’s Got to Give”, directed by George Cukor, with Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, and Cyd Charisse in the leading roles. Unfortunately, the filming was suddenly interrupted after Monroe’s unexpected death, in 1962, but it was recently released to the general public, after it was discovered in an archive, despite the fact that it was unfinished. The edited version is around 30 minutes in length. I, personally, prefer “My Favorite Wife”, even if I am sure that “Something’s Got to Give”, had it been finished, would have been one of Marilyn’s best films and best performances in her entire career.

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