A mildly amusing, sometimes funny remake of MY FAVORITE WIFE, this picture began as a vehicle for Marilyn Monroe called SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, but that picture was never completed because of her still mysterious death. George Cukor was to have directed it with a cast that would have
included Dean Martin, Cyd Charisse, Wally Cox, and Phil Silvers. After that tragedy, the script was refitted for Day and Garner (which meant, of course, that there had to be a crying scene for Doris, since nobody sobs better without ruining her mascara than she does). It's the old "Enoch Arden"
case of someone who disappears for a time, then comes back. They go so far as to name the characters "Arden" here so there is no mistaking where the idea was hatched. The original film had Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Randolph Scott, and Gail Patrick in the roles played here by Day, Garner, Connors,
and Bergen. Day is found on a remote island where her plane crash-landed five years before. She comes back to the US on the very day that a judge, Buchanan, declares her officially dead, thus leaving Garner free to wed Bergen, an attractive but vacant woman who dotes on his every word. Garner and
Bergen go off on their honeymoon as Day gets back from the island where she spent those years with the other survivor, Connors. Day returns to her house and is tearful when her own children, Lee and Farrell, do not recognize her. She is told the truth by her mother-in-law, Ritter (who steals every
scene she is in and leaves the other actors looking like high-schoolers in a play with Olivier) and runs off to the resort hotel where Garner has taken Bergen. When she arrives there Garner spots her and is thrown for a loop, so he fakes a back injury and hurries back home with Bergen. Day takes a
plane instead of a train or car and arrives there first, then masquerades as Garner's masseuse. It all seems to be working out when Garner learns that Day had been stranded with a man for all those years. He wants to know what the guy was like, and Day describes him as a wimp. Garner visits
Connors and sees that the guy is 6 feet 6 inches tall and has muscles in his toes. At the same time Day, seeking to get back her ex-husband, hires Knotts, who looks like the person she had described earlier, to pose as Connors. Later, Day and Knotts pretend to have had a platonic relationship on
the island, but Garner is hip to the truth and lets her know that. Embarrassed, Day goes back to her one-time residence, and Garner follows shortly thereafter. Bergen is at the home, and Garner comes clean, explaining who Day is and how this all came to pass. Now the police arrive, summoned by
Ritter, and Garner is arrested for having two wives. In court Buchanan declares Day officially alive again when Connors speaks on her behalf. Then he declares the Bergen-Garner marriage void because of Day. Everything works out: the kids accept Day, the ex-spouses get together, and Bergen winds up
with her analyst, Reid.
This version had little of the insouciance of the original and relied on obvious jokes that fell flatter than Nebraska. In one of his earliest roles, look for John Astin. Lots of good comedy people in the cast, including Sid Gould, Pat Harrington, Jr., Sues, Knotts, Clark, and silent screen
veteran Quillan (a favorite of co-screenwriter Kanter). Super saxophonist Med Flory does a bit, and Hollywood legend Mike Romanoff plays a floorwalker. Romanoff owned the famous Rodeo Drive restaurant for many years where everyone ate. Songwriter Lubin wrote for several of Day's films and here
collaborated with Kanter and Day's son, Terry Melcher.
Cast & Details See all »
- Rating: NR
- Review: A mildly amusing, sometimes funny remake of MY FAVORITE WIFE, this picture began as a vehicle for Marilyn Monroe called SOMETHING'S GOTTA GIVE, but that picture was never completed because of her still mysterious death. George Cukor was to have directed it… (more)