Move Over, Darling


1h 43m 1963
Move Over, Darling

Brief Synopsis

Five years after a woman disappeared in the sea after a plane crash, her husband remarries and sets off to be with the new wife only to be confronted by the woman he had pronounced legally dead.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
New York opening: 25 Dec 1963
Production Company
Melcher-Arcola Productions
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Ellen Arden is rescued from a South Seas island and brought back to the United States 5 years after she disappeared in an airplane crash. On the same day, her husband, Nick, is in court to hear Judge Bryson declare Ellen legally dead. Nick then marries beautiful but dumb Bianca Steele, and they go to a resort hotel for their honeymoon.

Meanwhile, Ellen returns home and is distressed when her two children fail to recognize her. Learning from Nick's mother that he has just remarried, Ellen proceeds to the honeymoon hotel, where Nick immediately catches a glimpse of her. Still in love with Ellen, Nick feigns a back injury and returns home with Bianca. Ellen flies home and arrives ahead of the newlyweds, pretending to be Nick's masseuse. Nick learns that a man was also stranded with Ellen, but she describes him as small and unappealing. Unknown to Ellen, Nick goes to see this man, who is actually a handsome athlete, while Ellen hires a meek shoeclerk to impersonate him. Afterwards, Nick listens to the story told by Ellen and the shoeclerk but reveals that he knows the truth.

Enraged, Ellen rushes home, with Nick in pursuit. Bianca is there, and Nick confesses that Ellen is his wife as detectives enter to arrest him for bigamy, a charge brought by his mother. Judge Bryson annuls Nick and Bianca's marriage, but when Ellen's real island companion arrives to identify her so that she can be declared legally alive, she becomes flustered and Nick storms off in a jealous rage. Later, at home, Ellen is about to tell the children that she is their mother when she learns that Nick has already informed them.

Photo Collections

Move Over, Darling - Movie Posters
Move Over, Darling - Movie Posters

Videos

Movie Clip

Move Over, Darling (1963) - I've Been There Before Nick (James Garner) with new wife (Polly Bergen) at the hotel where he honeymooned with presumed-dead Ellen (Doris Day), not knowing she's in the lobby, copying the elevator shot from My Favorite Wife, Fred Clark, Max Showalter and Eddie Quillan on staff, in the re-make Move Over, Darling, 1963.
Move Over, Darling (1963) - I'm Not Squirming! Having installed his believed-dead wife Ellen (Doris Day) in the next suite, Nick (James Garner) has to deal with his new-wife Bianca (Polly Bergen) on their wedding night, who’s both amorous and furious at his repeated departures, intending to tell her the news, in the re-make of My Favorite Wife, Move Over, Darling 1963.
Move Over, Darling (1963) - What About Binaca? At the hotel where they honeymooned, having seen each other in the lobby as he checked in with his new bride, Nick (James Garner) hurries to find Ellen (Doris Day), who has, on the day she was declared legally dead, returned after five years lost at sea, with no time to explain, in the remake of My Favorite Wife, Move Over, Darling 1963.
Move Over, Darling (1963) - Follow That Car! Following a contretemps at the Beverly Hills Hotel, Ellen (Doris Day) flees in a convertible as husband Nick (James Garner) grabs a cab, climaxing in Doris getting run through a car wash, in the 1963 re-make of My Favorite Wive, Move Over, Darling.
Move Over, Darling (1963) - She's Drownded! Doris Day is Ellen, still in her Navy dungarees, returning unannounced to her Beverly Hills home, her daughters (Pami Lee, Leslie Farrell) having no idea she's been rescued after five years on a desert island, her mother-in-law (Thelma Ritter) plain shocked, in the re-make of My Favorite Wife, Move Over, Darling, 1963 co-starring James Garner.

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Release Date
Jan 1963
Premiere Information
New York opening: 25 Dec 1963
Production Company
Melcher-Arcola Productions
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century--Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Move Over, Darling


Some of the gags in the 1963 romantic comedy Move Over, Darling may seem repetitive and oversized, but watching its two stars in action - Doris Day and James Garner -- for even a minute or two makes it clear that the picture is more than just the sum of its parts. A remake of the 1940 farce My Favorite Wife, starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, Move Over, Darling features Garner as a man who's just about to remarry, after his wife was lost at sea five years ago. Lo and behold, Day shows up alive - looking adorable in a pair of borrowed sailor's dungarees - just hours after Garner has tied the knot with his new beloved, an over-psychoanalyzed handful of trouble played by Polly Bergen. The hijinks that follow reach almost absurd proportions, aided and abetted by some marvelous supporting players: Don Knotts shows up, delightfully, as a docile shoe clerk enlisted by Day as part of her plan to get her husband back, and Thelma Ritter is the mother-in-law who, rather than just being meddlesome, makes everything right in the end. And together, Day and Garner are like kids who have just been let out of school unexpectedly: They're emotionally and physically rambunctious, two troublemakers on a tear. It's the sort of chemistry that's so visceral, somebody could get hurt - and somebody actually did, although she had the grace and good humor to laugh it off.

At the time Move Over, Darling was made, Day was married to Martin Melcher, who produced the film. And although the picture was very much in the vein of madcap romantic comedies Day had done previously - like the 1962 That Touch of Mink and the 1959 Pillow Talk (the latter of which, like Move Over, Darling, was directed by Michael Gordon), it was made at a point when Day was under the thumb of her husband, who would, in the course of the early to mid-1960s, drive her to the point of nervous exhaustion. Melcher had married Day in 1951, just a few years after the aspiring actress - who'd already embarked on a singing career - had begun her film career at Warner Bros. (Her first picture was the 1948 Romance on the High Seas, with Jack Carson and Janis Paige.) Day was one of those immediately likable performers whose career took off like a shot, and Melcher availed himself of plenty of the attendant financial benefits. Their marriage would last until his death, in 1968, but few would defend Melcher as the ideal husband - least of all Day's Move Over, Darling co-star.

James Garner is notoriously reticent about giving interviews. According to Raymond Strait's 1985 Garner biography, the star was quoted, around the time Move Over, Darling was being made, as saying, "I'm not a great windbag. In fact, being interviewed makes me feel funny. I absolutely hate publicity. . . . I'd rather dig a ditch than do an interview." But surprisingly enough - or maybe not - Garner's honesty has made him an invaluable, candid oral historian. In the 1976 A.E. Hotchner biography, Doris Day: Her Own Story, Garner doesn't mince words in expressing his feelings about Melcher: "Marty was a hustler, a shallow, insecure hustler who always ripped off fifty thousand dollars on every one of Doris's films as the price for making the deal." Although Melcher set himself up as executive producer on Day's films, he'd rarely show up on the set, and when he did, Garner would avoid him: "You don't get too close to a guy like that, just good morning, no conversation, and keep your hand on your wallet." He caps off the tirade with the kind of bold assessment nobody in today's Hollywood would ever dare to make: "I never knew anyone who liked Melcher."

If Garner is damning about Melcher, he has nothing but affection for Day, and the feelings seem to be mutual. As Day says in Garner's 2011 memoir The Garner Files, "Jim and I only worked together twice, in Move Over, Darling and The Thrill of It All [1963]. He's so good at what he does...I felt married." Garner goes even further - he's clearly the kind of actor who can acknowledge the sexual charge he feels with a fellow performer without turning it into something prurient or cheap. In Doris Day: Her Own Story, Garner says that of all the women he's played love scenes with, Day and Julie Andrews - both of them, he notes, "notorious girls next door" - were the sexiest. "Playing a love scene with either of them is duck soup because they communicate something sexy which means I also let myself go somewhat and that really makes a love scene work," Garner says. "You just can't do that with someone you don't like or who's a lump unless you're a hell of an actor and I'm not that good an actor." Garner also called Day "the Fred Astaire of comedy," meaning that she could switch acting partners effortlessly -- and she always made her partner look good.

In Move Over, Darling, especially, Day's gifts as a physical comedienne are on full display: Disguised as a Swedish nurse, she chases a semi-naked Polly Bergen around a bedroom; she tumbles into a pool with great gusto; she tussles with Garner in a way that suggests, but doesn't spell out, the frustrated sexual frisson between the two characters. Day, in her youth, had hoped to be a dancer, and although a car accident curtailed that dream, she could really move on-screen, nimbly and with a remarkably game spirit. She's the kind of performer who's up for anything, and not even a cracked rib or two could ever stop her. In Hotchner's book, Day explains that Garner, "a man of heft and muscle, picked me up under his arm a little too enthusiastically and cracked a couple of my ribs. I made that movie mummified with adhesive tape, which made it difficult to breathe and painful to laugh." And years later, Day - who has remained friends with Garner through the decades -- would still be able to laugh about the incident: In The Garner Files, she's quoted as saying, "Jim, if we don't speak for a while, I forgive you for breaking my ribs. Both of them. Don't give it another thought."

Producer: Martin Melcher, Aaron Rosenberg
Director: Michael Gordon
Screenplay: Hal Kanter, Jack Sher (screenplay); Leo McCarey (story); Bella Spewack, Samuel Spewack (1940 story and screenplay "My Favorite Wife")
Cinematography: Daniel L. Fapp
Art Direction: Hilyard Brown, Jack Martin Smith
Music: Lionel Newman
Film Editing: Robert Simpson
Cast: Doris Day (Ellen Wagstaff Arden), James Garner (Nicholas Arden), Polly Bergen (Bianca Steele), Thelma Ritter (Grace Arden), Fred Clark (Mr. Codd, hotel manager), Don Knotts (Shoe clerk), Elliott Reid (Dr. Herman Schlick), Edgar Buchanan (Judge Bryson), John Astin (Clyde Prokey), Pat Harrington, Jr. (District Attorney).
C-103m.

by Stephanie Zacharek (Stephanie is the chief movie critic for Movieline - www.movieline.com)

SOURCES:
James Garner with Jon Winoker, The Garner Files: A Memoir, Simon & Schuster, 2011
Raymond Strait, James Garner: A Biography, St. Martins Press, 1985
A.E. Hotchner, Doris Day: Her Own Story, Bantam Books, 1976
Move Over, Darling

Move Over, Darling

Some of the gags in the 1963 romantic comedy Move Over, Darling may seem repetitive and oversized, but watching its two stars in action - Doris Day and James Garner -- for even a minute or two makes it clear that the picture is more than just the sum of its parts. A remake of the 1940 farce My Favorite Wife, starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, Move Over, Darling features Garner as a man who's just about to remarry, after his wife was lost at sea five years ago. Lo and behold, Day shows up alive - looking adorable in a pair of borrowed sailor's dungarees - just hours after Garner has tied the knot with his new beloved, an over-psychoanalyzed handful of trouble played by Polly Bergen. The hijinks that follow reach almost absurd proportions, aided and abetted by some marvelous supporting players: Don Knotts shows up, delightfully, as a docile shoe clerk enlisted by Day as part of her plan to get her husband back, and Thelma Ritter is the mother-in-law who, rather than just being meddlesome, makes everything right in the end. And together, Day and Garner are like kids who have just been let out of school unexpectedly: They're emotionally and physically rambunctious, two troublemakers on a tear. It's the sort of chemistry that's so visceral, somebody could get hurt - and somebody actually did, although she had the grace and good humor to laugh it off. At the time Move Over, Darling was made, Day was married to Martin Melcher, who produced the film. And although the picture was very much in the vein of madcap romantic comedies Day had done previously - like the 1962 That Touch of Mink and the 1959 Pillow Talk (the latter of which, like Move Over, Darling, was directed by Michael Gordon), it was made at a point when Day was under the thumb of her husband, who would, in the course of the early to mid-1960s, drive her to the point of nervous exhaustion. Melcher had married Day in 1951, just a few years after the aspiring actress - who'd already embarked on a singing career - had begun her film career at Warner Bros. (Her first picture was the 1948 Romance on the High Seas, with Jack Carson and Janis Paige.) Day was one of those immediately likable performers whose career took off like a shot, and Melcher availed himself of plenty of the attendant financial benefits. Their marriage would last until his death, in 1968, but few would defend Melcher as the ideal husband - least of all Day's Move Over, Darling co-star. James Garner is notoriously reticent about giving interviews. According to Raymond Strait's 1985 Garner biography, the star was quoted, around the time Move Over, Darling was being made, as saying, "I'm not a great windbag. In fact, being interviewed makes me feel funny. I absolutely hate publicity. . . . I'd rather dig a ditch than do an interview." But surprisingly enough - or maybe not - Garner's honesty has made him an invaluable, candid oral historian. In the 1976 A.E. Hotchner biography, Doris Day: Her Own Story, Garner doesn't mince words in expressing his feelings about Melcher: "Marty was a hustler, a shallow, insecure hustler who always ripped off fifty thousand dollars on every one of Doris's films as the price for making the deal." Although Melcher set himself up as executive producer on Day's films, he'd rarely show up on the set, and when he did, Garner would avoid him: "You don't get too close to a guy like that, just good morning, no conversation, and keep your hand on your wallet." He caps off the tirade with the kind of bold assessment nobody in today's Hollywood would ever dare to make: "I never knew anyone who liked Melcher." If Garner is damning about Melcher, he has nothing but affection for Day, and the feelings seem to be mutual. As Day says in Garner's 2011 memoir The Garner Files, "Jim and I only worked together twice, in Move Over, Darling and The Thrill of It All [1963]. He's so good at what he does...I felt married." Garner goes even further - he's clearly the kind of actor who can acknowledge the sexual charge he feels with a fellow performer without turning it into something prurient or cheap. In Doris Day: Her Own Story, Garner says that of all the women he's played love scenes with, Day and Julie Andrews - both of them, he notes, "notorious girls next door" - were the sexiest. "Playing a love scene with either of them is duck soup because they communicate something sexy which means I also let myself go somewhat and that really makes a love scene work," Garner says. "You just can't do that with someone you don't like or who's a lump unless you're a hell of an actor and I'm not that good an actor." Garner also called Day "the Fred Astaire of comedy," meaning that she could switch acting partners effortlessly -- and she always made her partner look good. In Move Over, Darling, especially, Day's gifts as a physical comedienne are on full display: Disguised as a Swedish nurse, she chases a semi-naked Polly Bergen around a bedroom; she tumbles into a pool with great gusto; she tussles with Garner in a way that suggests, but doesn't spell out, the frustrated sexual frisson between the two characters. Day, in her youth, had hoped to be a dancer, and although a car accident curtailed that dream, she could really move on-screen, nimbly and with a remarkably game spirit. She's the kind of performer who's up for anything, and not even a cracked rib or two could ever stop her. In Hotchner's book, Day explains that Garner, "a man of heft and muscle, picked me up under his arm a little too enthusiastically and cracked a couple of my ribs. I made that movie mummified with adhesive tape, which made it difficult to breathe and painful to laugh." And years later, Day - who has remained friends with Garner through the decades -- would still be able to laugh about the incident: In The Garner Files, she's quoted as saying, "Jim, if we don't speak for a while, I forgive you for breaking my ribs. Both of them. Don't give it another thought." Producer: Martin Melcher, Aaron Rosenberg Director: Michael Gordon Screenplay: Hal Kanter, Jack Sher (screenplay); Leo McCarey (story); Bella Spewack, Samuel Spewack (1940 story and screenplay "My Favorite Wife") Cinematography: Daniel L. Fapp Art Direction: Hilyard Brown, Jack Martin Smith Music: Lionel Newman Film Editing: Robert Simpson Cast: Doris Day (Ellen Wagstaff Arden), James Garner (Nicholas Arden), Polly Bergen (Bianca Steele), Thelma Ritter (Grace Arden), Fred Clark (Mr. Codd, hotel manager), Don Knotts (Shoe clerk), Elliott Reid (Dr. Herman Schlick), Edgar Buchanan (Judge Bryson), John Astin (Clyde Prokey), Pat Harrington, Jr. (District Attorney). C-103m. by Stephanie Zacharek (Stephanie is the chief movie critic for Movieline - www.movieline.com) SOURCES: James Garner with Jon Winoker, The Garner Files: A Memoir, Simon & Schuster, 2011 Raymond Strait, James Garner: A Biography, St. Martins Press, 1985 A.E. Hotchner, Doris Day: Her Own Story, Bantam Books, 1976

Quotes

Trivia

A re-shot version of Something's Got to Give (1962), the film Marilyn Monroe was working on when she died.

The movie that Ellen describes to Bianca while giving her a massage is My Favorite Wife, of which Move Over Darling is a remake.

'Day, Doris' proved what a trouper she truly was when James Garner accidentally broke her rib (during the massage scene, when he pulls her off of Polly Bergen). Garner wasn't even aware of what had happened until the next day, when he felt the bandage while putting his arms around her.

The film's producers scheduled the scene with Doris Day riding through a car wash for the last day of shooting because they were concerned that the detergents used in the car wash might affect the star's complexion. When the scene went off without a hitch, they admitted their ploy to Day, then used the story in promotional materials for the film.

Notes

Remake of My Favorite Wife (R.K.O., 1940).

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1963

Remake of "My Favorite Wife" (1940) directed by Garson Kanin.

Marilyn Monroe was orginally slated to star in this with George Cukor directing and Dean Martin co-starring, but her death put the project into turnaround.

CinemaScope

Released in United States 1963