MY FAVORITE WIFE (1940)
Directed by Garson Kanin who took over when Leo McCarey had an automobile accident. Written by Bella and Samuel Spewack and Leo McCarey. Produced by McCarey. On the day Cary Grant remarries, his first wife, Irene Dunne, missing and declared legally dead, reappears after seven years spent on a desert island with only co-shipwreckee Randolph Scott as company. An excellent example of the comedy of remarriage sub-genre, always funny, with constant quid pro quos, farcical setups and clever touches that improve with each viewing. ( Among them terrifically humorous courthouse scenes). The acting by Dunne and Grant is mirror smooth. They make as funny a couple as in Leo McCarey's "The Awful Truth" of 1937. This film proves again what a splendid comedienne Dunne was.
Scott, mostly thought of as a noble cowboy, also shows his ability to fit also into comedy. Morally this movie was both of its time and ahead of it.
We are supposed to believe that nothing had happened between Dunne and Scott during all those years of togetherness, yet at the same time the film keeps winking at you. There is a possible subtext that Scott, a Tarzan-like vegetarian, could be interpreted as a big hunk who's not really interested in women. In either case, even diluted, that was bold stuff for 1940.
Copyright © Edwin Jahiel
Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel