|Too Many Husbands|
1940 theatrical poster
|Directed by||Wesley Ruggles|
|Produced by||Wesley Ruggles|
|Screenplay by||Claude Binyon|
|Based on||Too Many Husbands|
by W. Somerset Maugham
|Music by||Friedrich Hollaender|
|Edited by||William A. Lyon|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
Too Many Husbands (released in the United Kingdom as My Two Husbands) is a 1940 romantic comedy film about a woman who loses her husband in a boating accident and remarries, only to have her first spouse reappear--yet another variation on the 1864 poem Enoch Arden by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. The film stars Jean Arthur, Fred MacMurray and Melvyn Douglas, and is based on the 1919 play Home and Beauty by W. Somerset Maugham, which was retitled Too Many Husbands when it came to New York. The film was directed by Wesley Ruggles.
A couple of months after Too Many Husbands was released by Columbia, RKO put out a movie that was more popular both then and now, My Favorite Wife, a variation on the story with Cary Grant as the remarried spouse whose former wife Irene Dunne returns from sea. Too Many Husbands was remade as a musical, Three for the Show (1955), with Jack Lemmon and Betty Grable. My Favorite Wife came back yet again as Move Over, Darling (1963), with Doris Day and James Garner after an uncompleted 1962 version entitled Something's Got to Give starring Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin was aborted upon Monroe's abrupt death.
Vicky Lowndes (Jean Arthur) loses her first husband, Bill Cardew (Fred MacMurray), in a boating accident in which he is presumed drowned. The lonely widow is comforted by Bill's best friend and publishing business partner Henry Lowndes (Melvyn Douglas). Six months later, she marries him. Six months after that, Bill shows up, after having been stranded on a uninhabited island and then rescued. Vicky has a tough choice to make.
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