Move Over, Darling (1963)

Move Over, Darling
Directed by Michael Gordon
Written by Hal Kanter and Jack Sher based on a screenplay by Sam and Bella Spewack
1963/USA
Melcher-Arcola Productions
First viewing/Netflix rental

Judge Bryson: Well, are you gonna answer the question or is she going to talk for you the rest of your life?

This is a fairly faithful remake of My Favorite Wife (1940) with Irene Dunne and Cary Grant. I prefer that version but this isn’t bad.

Nicholas Arden (James Garner) is an attorney whose wife Ellen (Doris Day) was presumably lost at sea after an airplane crash which he survived.  It is five years later and Nick is seeking to have Ellen declared legally dead so he can marry his girl friend Bianca (Paula Prentiss).  On the very day he ties the knot, Ellen reappears, having been rescued from a mostly deserted island by a submarine.

Helen shows up at her husband’s honeymoon hotel determined to halt the consummation of his new marriage.  But this has an idiot plot and Nick finds himself unable to spit out the situation to his new bride for most of the running time of the film.  Many misunderstandings ensue on the way to the happy ending.  With Edgar Buchanan as a befuddled judge and Thelma Ritter as Nick’s mother.

This was pleasant enough though the usually reliable Day gets a bit shrill at times.  It lacks the sophistication of McCarey’s original.

4 thoughts on “Move Over, Darling (1963)

  1. Is James Garner as $#!tty to Paula Prentiss in this version the way Cary Grant is oh so $#!tty to Gail Patrick in My Favorite Wife?

    I’ve always hated My Favorite Wife because of that. I gave it another chance after not seeing it for 20 years and I quickly remembered why I didn’t like it.

      • My favorite Cary Grant film is either The Awful Truth or Suspicion. I love The Awful Truth so much! Irene Dunne is also amazing! I consider it one of the great tragedies of Classic Hollywood that the two other movies that Grant and Dunne did together (My Favorite Wife and Penny Serenade) are so disappointing.

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