Too Many Husbands

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Too Many Husbands
Too Many Husbands - 1940 Poster.png
1940 Theatrical Poster
Directed by Wesley Ruggles
Produced by Wesley Ruggles
Screenplay by Claude Binyon
Based on Too Many Husbands
1919 play
by W. Somerset Maugham
Starring Jean Arthur
Fred MacMurray
Melvyn Douglas
Music by Friedrich Hollaender
Cinematography Joseph Walker
Edited by William A. Lyon
Otto Meyer
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
  • March 21, 1940 (1940-03-21)
Running time
84 minutes
Country United States
Language English

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 to Too Many Husbands when it came to New York.[1] The movie was directed by Wesley Ruggles.

In the 1864 Tennyson poem a sailor lost at sea who returns years later to find his wife remarried to his childhood friend. The original story 1911 film version with Linda Arvidson; 1914 version with Fay Davis and 1915 film version with Lillian Gish.

A couple of months after Too Many Husbands was released by Columbia, RKO put out a movie the same year that was more popular in its time and better remembered today, 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.[2]


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.



John P. Livadary was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mordden, Ethan (2007). All That Glittered: The Golden Age of Drama on Broadway, 1919–1959. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0-312-33898-5. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "The 13th Academy Awards (1941) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-08-13. 

External links[edit]