Movie Patterns: Elevators and Long Lost Wives

Noticed a movie pattern, thought I'd share it.

Lord Tennyson's "Enoch Arden" poem and Kaestner's novel Das Doppelte Lottchen (The Two Lotties) each have a theme of at least one person in a marriage seeing the other again after a long time apart.

4 movies (among others) have adapted at least one of these two stories and show the moment of first meeting in much the same comic way: (1)Husband sees long lost wife, (2)wife waves, (3) husband leans over to get a better look.

You've guessed it. Those 4 movies are:
My Favorite Wife (1940)
Parent Trap (1961)
Move Over, Darling (1963)
Parent Trap (1997)

My Favorite Wife (1940)
Wife, thought drowned, has been living on an island for 7 years, has been declared dead, and suddenly makes her way back home, to the surprise of her recently remarried husband.

Husband (Cary Grant) in elevator with new bride (Gail Patrick)

Long lost wife (Irene Dunne) waves

Husband tries to get a good look as elevator door closes.

Move Over, Darling (1963)
Granted this is a remake of My Favorite Wife, so it shouldn't come as a shock that the newer film also uses the same comic gag.

Husband (James Garner) on elevator with new bride (Polly Bergen)

Long lost wife (Doris Day) looks.

Husband tries to get a good look as elevator door closes.

Parent Trap (1961)
Here the married couple is separated by divorce instead of by a mistaken death.

Husband (Brian Keith) is at home with no elevator, so the filmmakers use the pastor (Leo G. Carroll) to block husband's line of vision. Husband's fiance is in the room but is not pictured here.

Wife (Maureen O'Hara) waves

Husband cranes his neck beyond Reverand Mosby to get a better look.

Parent Trap (1997)
It's a remake of Parent Trap (1961), but they bring back the elevator from My Favorite Wife (1940).

Husband (Dennis Quaid) with his "leggy, barebacked fiance" (Elaine Hendrix)

Wife (Natasha Richardson) waves

Husband tries to get a good look as elevator door closes.

There may be a similar scene in another story based on the Tennyson poem: Too Many Husbands (1940) with Jean Arthur, Fred MacMurray, Melvyn Douglas. I haven't yet seen this film so I wouldn't know.

There may also be this same comic gag in these twins-getting-divorced-parents-together films: Twice Blessed (1945) with Lee and Lynde Wilde and Twice Upon A Time (1953). Again, I haven't seen these films, so I wouldn't know.


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