A Word to the Wives (1955)





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Published on Aug 13, 2010

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How two women trick a husband into buying a new kitchen. Svelte, perfect-looking Jane Peters and her equally svelte, perfect-looking friend are sipping coffee in their Paris original housedresses in the unnamed friend's modern kitchen. "I'm so proud of it it's almost indecent!" Jane's friend proclaims, wiggling one of her perfectly-shaped nails. She suggests that Jane go shopping with her on a spur-of-the-moment "small spree" (to buy more stunning housedresses, no doubt), but Jane sadly refuses. "I haven't got a dream kitchen to make things easier," she sighs. "Mine's strictly the nightmare-type."

Jane's friend is shocked, arching her perfectly-shaped eyebrows, shaking her perfectly-coiffed hair, and turning the corners of her perfectly-shaped lips down into a pout. Why doesn't Jane's husband move her out of that "older house" of theirs and into a freshly-built new one?, she asks, one with a modern kitchen that offers "freedom from uneccesary drudgery to go shopping when the urge takes you"? He certainly should, they agree, and the two women concoct a "plot" to make it happen. Jane has to visit her sick mother in Cleveland; she'll be gone for a couple of days. "Don't get TOO far ahead in your housework," Jane's friend winks. "Oh, no!" Jane replies. "I COULDN'T...."

Now we cut to George Peters as he struggles in Jane's kitchen. George -- brilliantly played by Darren McGavin -- is a slack-jawed mouth-breather who prefers to communicate either through grunts and ughs or by yelling at the top of his voice. His Neanderthal nature is understandable; after all, George doesn't have the priviledge of working in a kitchen "designed for efficiency and convenience." After two days of battling an outdated stove and water heater, sticky cabinets and ice cube trays, and a garbage disposal system that isn't automatic, George not only buys Jane her new kitchen, but a whole new "dream house" to go with it! The film ends happily for all, and Darren encourages viewers to visit a representative of their local homebuilder's association. "Believe me," he chuckles, "a few minutes now can lead to a whole lifetime of happiness. Happy homebuilding!"

Features appliances and equipment from Republic Steel Kitchens, Caloric, Whirlpool, Ruud Manufacturing Company, and The Formica Company.

Promotes an all-gas kitchen and laundry. American Gas Association offered prints of this film for sale to gas utilities to help them coax builders to incorporate kitchens into their new homes.

Producer: Telamerica, Inc.
Sponsor: American Gas Association, National Association of Home Builders, and The Woman's Home Companion


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