Move Over, Darling (1963)

Fifty-nine years ago today, the film Move Over, Darling premiered. It is a comedy film starring Doris Day, James Garner, and Polly Bergen and directed by Michael Gordon. The CinemaScope picture was a remake of a 1940 screwball comedy film, My Favorite Wife, with Irene Dunne, Cary Grant and Gail Patrick. You have to see this film.

In between these movies, an unfinished version, entitled Something’s Got to Give, began shooting in 1962, directed by George Cukor and starring Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin; Monroe was fired from production due to her chronic lateness but then later rehired, before ultimately dying prior to the film’s completion.

Move Over, Darling 002Directed by: Michael Gordon
Produced by: Martin Melcher, Aaron Rosenberg
Written by: Bella Spewack, Sam Spewack, Leo McCarey, Hal Kanter, Jack Sher
Starring: Doris Day, James Garner, Polly Bergen, Thelma Ritter, Don Knotts, Chuck Connors, Edgar Buchanan
Music by: Lionel Newman
Cinematography: Daniel L. Fapp
Edited by: Robert L. Simpson
Production company: Melcher-Arcola Productions
Distributed by: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
Release date: December 25, 1963
Running time: 103 minutes
Budget: $3,350,000
Box office: $12,705,882

A couple on an airline trip are in trouble when the plane crashes into the ocean. The husband Nick Arden (James Garner) survives the crash, but his wife Ellen Wagstaff Arden (Doris Day) is never found and declared lost at sea. The couple have two young daughters, Jenny and Didi.

After five years of searching Nick decides it is time to move on with his life. He has her declared legally dead so he can marry Bianca (Polly Bergen), all on the same day. However, Ellen is alive; she is rescued and returns home that particular day. At first crestfallen, she is relieved to discover from her mother-in-law Grace (Thelma Ritter) that her (‘ex’) husband’s honeymoon has not yet started.

When Nick is confronted by Ellen, he eventually clears things up with Bianca, but he then learns the entire time Ellen was stranded on the island, she was there with another man, the handsome, athletic Stephen Burkett (Chuck Connors) – and that they called each other “Adam” and “Eve.”

Nick’s mother has him arrested for bigamy. All parties appear before the same judge who had married Nick and Bianca earlier that day. Bianca and Ellen request divorces before the judge sends them all away. Bianca leaves Nick, while Ellen storms out, still married to Nick, declared alive again. Ellen returns to Nick’s house unsure if her children will recognize her. Her children welcome her home, and so does Nick.


Doris Day as Ellen Wagstaff Arden
James Garner as Nick Arden
Polly Bergen as Bianca Steele Arden
Thelma Ritter as Grace Arden
Fred Clark as Mr. Codd
Don Knotts as Shoe Clerk
Chuck Connors as Adam
Edgar Buchanan as Judge Bryson
John Astin as Clyde Prokey
Elliott Reid as Dr. Herman Schlick
Pat Harrington, Jr. as District Attorney
Alan Sues as Court Clerk
Max Showalter as Hotel Desk Clerk
Eddie Quillan as Bellboy
Pami Lee as Jenny Arden
Leslie Farrell as Didi Arden

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