Mrs. Winterbourne

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Mrs. Winterbourne
Mrs winterbourne poster film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Benjamin
Produced by Oren Koules
Dale Pollock
Ross Canter
Screenplay by Phoef Sutton
Lisa-Maria Radano
Based on I Married a Dead Man 
by Cornell Woolrich
Starring Shirley MacLaine
Ricki Lake
Brendan Fraser
Music by Patrick Doyle
Cinematography Alex Nepomniaschy
Edited by Jacqueline Cambas
William Fletcher
A&M Films
Distributed by TriStar Pictures
Release date(s)
  • April 19, 1996 (1996-04-19)
Running time 105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $25 million
Box office $10,082,005

Mrs. Winterbourne is a 1996 American romantic comedy/drama starring Shirley MacLaine, Ricki Lake, and Brendan Fraser. It is loosely based on Cornell Woolrich's novel I Married a Dead Man, which has already been filmed in Hollywood as No Man of Her Own (1950) starring Barbara Stanwyck, and in Hindi as Kati Patang (1970). The film was shot on location in and around Toronto, Ontario including Eaton Hall in King City, Ontario.[1]


With flashbacks, Connie Doyle's (Ricki Lake) early life is given to give us an idea of her mindset. At 18, she meets womanizer Steve DeCunzo (Loren Dean), moves in with him and winds up pregnant. When she informs him of the fact, he kicks her out, denying responsibility. Destitute, Connie has nowhere to go, and, trying to find a shelter, gets inadvertently swept aboard a train at Grand Central Terminal. With no ticket, and no money with which to buy one, Connie is rescued by Hugh Winterbourne (Brendan Fraser) and taken to his private compartment. There, she meets his wife, Patricia, who is also pregnant. When the train crashes, Connie is mistaken for Patricia because she is wearing Patricia's wedding band, which has Patricia and Hugh's names engraved on the inside. She wakes up in the hospital, no longer pregnant, and learns that Patricia and Hugh both died in the crash.

Seeing the wrong name on the wristband on her child, Connie thinks the hospital has messed up until she sees the wedding band still on her finger. Once she realizes what has happened she tries to explain the situation, but is prevented from doing so by the nurses who believe she is just hysterical. Eventually, she meets Hugh's mother, Grace (Shirley MacLaine), who has a bad heart. Afraid of making her ill, and with nowhere else to go, Connie believes it is the best thing for her and her baby to accept the woman's offer and go to Grace's home. At the Winterbourne house, Connie meets Bill (also played by Fraser), Hugh's identical twin brother. When the initial shock wears off, she nervously begins her new life. This life is one she never expected to be a part of. The world is very different, and she finds it difficult to adjust to the high society position she is now required to shoulder. Bill is a bit wary of Connie, and questions her identity, believing she is after the family's money. He investigates things on his own, learning her real identity. They spend the day walking around Boston, and begin to bond. Later that night, perhaps because of his growing feelings for her, Bill prepares to expose Connie when he learns that Grace plans to change her will to include Connie and baby Hughie, but changes his mind when Connie becomes upset and begs Grace not to include her and Hughie in the will. Connie's protests make Grace want to include them even more. Afterward, a drunk Paco, the family's chauffeur, demands that Bill and Connie dance a tango. They do so and end up sharing several kisses.

Connie bonds with Grace, and feeling guilty for taking advantage of her kindness, decides to leave with Hughie. Bill discovers her packing and attempts to convince her to stay, including proposing to her. He tells her to think about it overnight and give him her answer the next day. Connie decides to run away anyway. Paco follows her to the train station, tells her about his own shady past, and makes her realize she and the baby are just as valuable to Grace as Grace is to them. She returns home to find Grace has had a heart attack because of her absence, and decides to let things go and marry Bill as Patricia Winterbourne. Steve discovers Connie's good fortune, and tries to blackmail her. In the confusion that ensues, Steve is shot. Bill and Connie flee the scene, and think each one is the one who shot Steve. It is then that Bill reveals that he knows Connie's true identity, and that he loves her anyway. Both believe they are home free, until their wedding day. When the priest tells Bill and Connie that Grace is confessing to the murder, both of them hurry to her side and confess to the murder themselves. Shocked, the police tell them they already have the murderer in custody, and it is not any of them, it was the woman Steve started seeing after dumping Connie. Like Connie, Steve had gotten her pregnant and abandoned her. The police only came to question about the check Connie had written out to Steve. Connie confesses the whole story to Grace, who says she'll get over it, adding that she'd like more grandchildren. The wedding goes ahead as planned, and Bill presents Connie with a wedding ring with their names engraved on the inside, just like the real Patricia's ring.



Mrs. Winterbourne received generally negative reviews; on Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 7% 'Fresh' rating (2 'fresh' reviews, 27 'rotten')[3] It was also a box office failure, grossing only $10,082,005[4] based on a $25 million budget.


  1. ^ Filey, Mike (1997). "Going on Location at Eaton Hall". Toronto Sketches 5: The Way We Were. Dundurn Press. ISBN 978-1-55002-292-6. 
  2. ^ "Winterbourne starts bumpy, smooths out as it goes along". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  3. ^ Mrs. Winterbourne at Rotten Tomatoes
  4. ^ Mrs. Winterbourne at Box Office Mojo

External links[edit]