Daytime Wife

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"He had someone on the side, so did she!"
  • Passed
  • 1939
  • 1 hr 12 min
  • 6.5  (767)

Daytime Wife is a 1939 romantic dramedy that tells the story of a wealthy businessman, Ken Norton (played by Tyrone Power), and his young and beautiful wife, Linda Norton (played by Linda Darnell). Ken spends most of his days working at his company, leaving Linda bored and lonely at home. In an effort to fill her time, Linda begins to spend her days with various men, but insists to her husband that they are just friends.

Despite Linda's reassurances, Ken begins to suspect that she is having an affair, and hires a private detective to follow her. The detective, Martin (played by Warren William), begins to fall for Linda himself, but keeps his emotions hidden as he investigates her actions. As the story unfolds, Linda must navigate her own feelings for Martin, and struggle to keep her marriage intact.

The film is set in the upper echelon of New York society in the late 1930s, showcasing luxurious homes, extravagant parties, and high-end fashion. The cinematography and costuming are both highlights of the film, with Linda Darnell's stunning dresses and accessories serving as a particular standout. While Daytime Wife is primarily a romance/romantic drama, it does touch on themes such as loneliness, infidelity, and societal expectations.

The performances of the lead actors are also noteworthy. Tyrone Power shines as the wealthy and successful Ken, perfectly embodying the character's suave demeanor and confidence. Linda Darnell, who was only 16 years old at the time of filming, delivers a nuanced portrayal of Linda's troubled emotions and inner conflict. Meanwhile, Warren William brings depth to his role as Martin, the detective with a heart of gold.

Despite its romantic nature, Daytime Wife features some surprisingly sharp dialogue and witty banter. The script, penned by David Hertz and Edith Fitzgerald, manages to elevate the film above the typical melodramatic fare of its era. The film's director, Gregory Ratoff, also deserves credit for his skillful handling of the material, which balances comedy and drama in a way that feels organic and seamless.

Overall, Daytime Wife is a charming film that will likely appeal to fans of classic Hollywood romances. Although it doesn't break any new ground thematically, it is carried by strong performances, stylish production values, and a well-crafted script. While it may not be as well-known as some other films of its era, it is certainly worth a watch for fans of classic Hollywood cinema.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 12 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.5  (767)