6.4/10
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7 user 7 critic

Wife, Husband and Friend (1939)

Approved | | Comedy | 3 March 1939 (USA)
Woman hopes to be a great singer and is encouraged by her scheming teacher. After she flops her husband, encouraged by an amorous professional singer tries opera and also flops.

Director:

Gregory Ratoff

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (screenplay), James M. Cain (novel)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Loretta Young ... Doris Borland
Warner Baxter ... Leonard Borland aka Logan Bennett
Binnie Barnes ... Cecil Carver
Cesar Romero ... Hugo
George Barbier ... Major Blair
J. Edward Bromberg ... Rossi
Eugene Pallette ... Mike Craig
Helen Westley ... Mrs. Blair
Ruth Terry ... Carol
Alice Armand Alice Armand ... Sally Bostwick
Iva Stewart Iva Stewart ... Miss Carver's Secretary
Dorothy Dearing Dorothy Dearing ... Mrs. Price
Helen Ericson ... Mrs. Spalding
Kay Griffith Kay Griffith ... Nancy Sprague
Harry Rosenthal Harry Rosenthal ... Bill Wilkins
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Storyline

Leonard Borland's contracting business is doing badly, while his monied wife wants to pursue an operatic career. He lets her get on with it until she seems to be a success, when he finds he himself has a singing voice good enough to go on tour with. This brings some money in, and his new singing partner fancies him too. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 March 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A jó házasság titka See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James M. Cain, whose story "Two Can Sing" was the basis for this film, had himself trained as an operatic baritone. Opera figures prominently in several of his other stories, including "Serenade" and "Mildred Pierce" (though the opera parts of the plot of "Mildred Pierce" were dropped in the film version). See more »

Quotes

Leonard Borland aka Logan Bennett: You're just an old... Foof! Sorry, ladies.
See more »

Connections

Version of Everybody Does It (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Beyond the Blue Horizon
(uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and W. Franke Harling
Lyrics by Leo Robin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Loretta Has The Dream, But Warner's Got The Voice
7 March 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The title characters of Wife, Husband, and Friend are Loretta Young, Warner Baxter and Binnie Barnes. Although given Binnie's actions in the film the characterization is open to interpretation.

Loretta and Warner are the proverbial happily married upper middle class couple, he in the contracting business and she the socialite with a dream of being a concert singer. Seems to be a hereditary thing, Loretta's mother Helen Westley had similar ambitions to the chagrin of her father George Barbier.

Baxter tries to humor her, but that only encourages and his humoring becomes an expensive proposition. Enter real opera singer Binnie Barnes who accidentally discovers its Baxter who's got the voice in the family. Baxter also attracts her in other ways. In the meantime Loretta's got Cesar Romero, a pianist buzzing around her hive.

I'd love to know who dubbed the voices of all these people, the film from 20th Century Fox lists no credits. The major fault in the film is the casting of Baxter. He's a good actor, but hardly a blue collar type. When the film was remade ten years later, Paul Douglas played Baxter's role in Everybody Does It.

Even with Baxter miscast, the film's got a lot of amusing moments, especially on the opera stage with Baxter. He carries the comedy part off real well. Unlike A Night At The Opera where the Marx Brothers set out to disrupt the opera, Baxter does his whole shtick quite accidentally.

I'm glad TCM unearthed this long buried classic, it's dated, but still has some good moments. Loretta beauty sparkles and Binnie Barnes was never better as the wisecracking other woman.


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