Move Over, Darling (1963): Romantic Comedy, Starring Doris Day, James Garner, Polly Bergen

Michael Gordon directed Move Over, Darling, a romantic comedy starring Doris Day, James Garner, and Polly Bergen.

The picture was a remake of a 1940 screwball comedy, My Favorite Wife, with Irene Dunne, Cary Grant and Gail Patrick.

There was also an attempt to remake the story, in 1962, under the title of Something’s Got to Give, directed by George Cukor and starring Dean Martin and Marilyn Monroe, who was fired due to frequent absences from the set.

Day plays Ellen Wagstaff Arden, a mother of two young girls, Jenny and Didi, believed to be lost at sea after an airplane accident. Her husband, Nick Arden (James Garner), was one of the survivors.

After five years of searching for her, he declares Ellen legally dead and marries Bianca (Polly Bergen) on the same day. However, Ellen is alive; she returns home that particular day.

She is relieved to discover from her mother-in-law Grace (Thelma Ritter) that her husband’s honeymoon has not started yet. When Nick is confronted by Ellen, he eventually clears things up, but he learns that Ellen was stranded on the island, she was there with another man, the handsome athlete Stephen Burkett (Chuck Connors)–they called each other “Adam” and “Eve.”

Nick’s mother has him arrested for bigamy, and all parties appear before the same judge who had married Nick and Bianca earlier in the 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, but she gets a warm welcome from them and Nick.

Running time: 103 minutes

Released on December 26, 1963, Move Over Darling was one of the ten top-grossing films of the year.