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Move Over Darling [Doris Day]

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Move Over Darling, starring Doris Day, James Garner, with a classic bit by Don Knotts
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Move Over Darling (1963) starring James Garner, Doris Day, Polly Bergen, Chuck Connors

Doris Day, James Garner and Polly Bergen star in Move Over Darling. A romantic comedy about one groom, two wives, and one crazy, mixed-up honeymoon! Five years after his wife Ellen is lost at sea and presumed dead, Nick is finally ready to remarry. But he’s headed for anything but wedded bliss when Ellen turns up alive … And ready to give first love a second chance – with Nick!


  • Doris Day (Tea for Two, Billy Rose’s Jumbo) … Ellen Wagstaff Arden. The first wife, declared dead, but shows up quite alive! After her mourning husband has remarried!
  • James Garner (The Great Escape, Support Your Local Sheriff) … Nicholas Arden. After mourning his beloved first wife, years later he remarries. Only for his “dead” wife to show up on his wedding day! And things snowball …
  • Polly Bergen (The Stooge) … Bianca Steele Arden. Nicholas’ second wife, who gets caught up in the insanity.
  • Thelma Ritter (Boeing Boeing) … Grace Arden. Nicholas’ mother, who takes Ellen’s side.
  • Fred Clark (The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb) … Mr. Codd
  • Don Knotts (The Incredible Mr. Limpet) … Shoe Clerk
  • Elliott Reid … Dr. Herman Schlick. Bianca’s analyst, who’s interest seems more than professional.
  • Edgar Buchanan (Penny Serenade, Petticoat Junction) … Judge Bryson. The judge overseeing the rather bizarre case. Hilariously funny!
  • John Astin … Clyde Prokey
  • Pat Harrington Jr. … District Attorney
  • Eddie Quillan (Brigadoon) … Bellboy
  • Chuck Connors (The Rifleman) … Stephen Burkett. The very handsome, athletic man who spent the last several years on a desert island with Ellen. Causing Nicholas to be both jealous and suspicious.

Editorial Review of Move Over, Darling courtesy of

As the survivor of a five-year ordeal on a desert island, she returns home the very day her husband has remarried.James Garner, trading his Maverick impish humor and con man cool for a mugging performance of double takes and pratfalls, is her overjoyed husband who is too cowardly to tell his neurotic bride (Polly Bergen). All of this, naturally, leads to a ridiculously complicated plot that combines door-slamming sex farce with mistaken identities (Day poses as a Swedish masseuse) and a goofy sped-up car chase.Chuck Connors, who costars as Days hunky, he-man island mate Adam, leads a topnotch supporting cast that includes sassy Thelma Ritter as Garners no-nonsense mother,Don Knotts as a nervous shoe salesman enlisted by Day to impersonate Adam, Fred Clark at his indignant best, and John Astin and Pat Harrington in early roles.

Edgar Buchanan practically steals the film as a gruff, irascible judge who growls through the legal circus that forms the films chaotic climax. The cast for the most part rises above the tepid script and bland direction and Day sings two songs. Interestingly, this remake was originally developed for Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin as the never completed Somethings Got to Give. — Sean Axmaker

[Updated September 4, 2021]

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