© 1953 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Dream Wife (1953)

Director: Sidney Sheldon
Starring: Cary Grant
Deborah Kerr
Walter Pidgeon
Cinematographer: Milton R. Krasner
Costume design: Helen Rose
Year: 1953

In Dream Wife Cary Grant plays a role similar to ones he had played before in films like The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, a man caught between two women, one of them naïve and one of them a mature woman dedicated to her career. In the earlier film it was a teenage girl (Shirley Temple) and her older sister who happens to be a judge (Myrna Loy). In Dream Wife it is the obedient princess of a Middle-Eastern country, and his fiancée who works for the state department.

Grants character, an oil executive, meets the princess when travelling on business to Bukistan, where he closes a key deal with the Kahn.  He is bewitched by the leader’s daughter and is informed that “every secret and every skill of 5,000 years has been taught to her every day and every night of her life. You see before you a woman who has but one desire, the desire to bring to her husband the gift of complete happiness.”  He returns home to his fiancée, who is more concerned with the finalizing the oil deal with Bukistan than following through on her marriage plans. When they call the whole thing off, the oil executed impulsively sends a telegram proposing marriage to the princess. Her father accepts and the businessman is soon placed in the precarious position of having to rely on his former fiancée to translate between him and his new fiancée, who can’t speak English and doesn’t understand America. The results a pretty predictable, but mildly entertaining.

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