Not with My Wife, You Don’t! (stylized as Not with MY Wife, You Don’t!) is a 1966 American comedy film starred by Tony Curtis, Virna Lisi and George C. Scott.
The plot follows the standard storyline of the long-running “road movies” popularised by Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour, also products of the Norman Panama-Melvin Frank writing team.
The Big Brass (US working title).
During the Korean War, Italian nurse Lieutenant Julietta Perodi (Virna Lisi), who has a passion of everything in “twos”, falls in love with two United States Air Force pilots, Colonel Tom Ferris (Tony Curtis) and Colonel “Tank” Martin (George C. Scott). “Julie” marries Ferris after he convinces her that his friend, “Tank” has been killed in an aircraft crash. She soon discovers that Martin is alive, but remains happily married to Ferris until, Martin, her former love, re-enters their lives 14 years later.
London-based Ferris, now a military attaché assigned to looking after military “brass”, especially General Parker (Carroll O’Connor) has been neglectful of his wife. When Martin uses his influence to have Ferris shipped to Labrador for an Arctic survival course, she is prepared to seek a divorce. In the guise of an Arab potentate, Ferris, steals a V.I.P jet and wings it to Rome (which includes flying the jet through the London Tower Bridge along the route) to reconcile with his wife. Martin really wants to keep his single lifestyle, and can’t see himself as the “marrying kind.” Two years later, with their marriage on firmer grounds, the Ferris family has twin boys while Ferris continues making life easy for military V.I.P.’s, including the newly appointed Brigadier General Tank Martin, who is now flying with the United States Air Force Thunderbirds air demonstration team.
- Tony Curtis as Colonel Tom Ferris.
- Virna Lisi as Julie Ferris / Lieutenant Julietta Perodi.
- George C. Scott as Colonel “Tank” Martin.
- Carroll O’Connor as General Parker.
- Richard Eastham as General Walters.
- Eddie Ryder as Sergeant Gilroy.
- George Tyne as Sergeant Dogerty.
- Ann Doran as Doris Parker.
- Donna Danton as Nurse Sally Ann.
- Natalie Core as Lillian Walters.
- Buck Young as Air Police Colonel.
- Maurice Dallimore as BBC Commentator.
Filmed with the full cooperation of the United States Air Force, scenes of contemporary North American F-86 Sabre and North American F-100 Super Sabre fighters are shot in Technicolor. Principal photography took place in Labrador, Canada, London, Rome and Lazio, Italy, as well as in Washington, District of Columbia.
The writing team of Panama and Frank were basically reprising the successful road pictures formula that had worked well with Hope, Crosby and Lamour with Curtis, Scott and Lisi now taking on the similar roles in a “limp service comedy” as Scott’s biographer, David Sheward characterised the slight film. Essentially, the road picture had now moved into the air. The team of Peter Barnes and Larry Gelbart were brought in as screenwriters/ “doctors”, but the plot line remained sophomoric. Panama resorted to a hodge-podge of effects, ranging from animated cartoons, to clips from foreign films and Mighty Joe Young with Bob Hope making a cameo appearance, which further accentuated the slapstick nature of the farce. Curtis later commented that he felt that casting had always remained an issue, as he was better suited to playing the “wolf” rather than the more passive character of the besieged husband.
Releasing it slightly in advance of the film (per normal for the era), Popular Library published a novelization of the screenplay, by Evan Lee Heyman, the author of several notable novelizations of the 1960s. Atypically, the book does not credit the source screenplay (allowing one to infer, incorrectly, that the novel came first), but the 1966 copyright is assigned to Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
- While they both played service men in the Air Force for this film, Tony Curtis and George C. Scott once served in the Armed Forces during WWII and before entering show business.
- But unlike their characters, Curtis was in the Navy while Scott was in the Marines.
- By the large patch on the front of their jackets, Tom and Tank were members of the 334th Fighter Squadron in Korea.
- As of 2020, that is still and active unit of the US Air Force.
- The pair are depicted as flying the North American F-86 Sabre fighter jet.
- The private jet Tom fakes his way on disguised as an Arab is a 1964 Hawker-Siddely HS-125-1B, registration G-ASSI.
- It was later registered as 5N-AWD and was subsequently put out of service and in storage in 1983 at Luton, Bedfordshire, England, UK.
Production & Filming Details
- Norman Panama.
- Tony Curtis … executive producer (uncredited).
- Joel Freeman … associate producer.
- Norman Panama … producer.
- Norman Panama … (screenplay.
- Larry Gelbart … (screenplay).
- Peter Barnes … (screenplay).
- Norman Panama … (story).
- Melvin Frank … (story).
- John Williams … (as Johnny Williams).
- Charles Lang … director of photography.
- Aaron Stell.
- Fernwood Productions (as Fernwood Productions, Inc.).
- Reynard Productions (as Reynard Productions, Inc.).
- Warner Bros. (1966) (USA) (theatrical).
- Warner-Pathé Distributors (1966) (UK) (theatrical).
- Warner-Tonefilm (1967) (Sweden) (theatrical).
- Warner Bros. (1967) (Norway) (theatrical).
- Warner-Columbia Filmverleih (1967) (West Germany) (theatrical).
- CBS (1970) (USA) (TV).
- Warner Home Video (1986) (West Germany) (VHS).
- Canale 5 (1990) (Italy) (TV).
- Warner Home Video (1998) (USA) (VHS).
- Warner Home Video (2006) (Germany) (DVD).
- Warner Home Video (2009) (USA) (DVD).
- Release Date: 02 November 1966 (New York, US).
- Rating: A.
- Running Time: 119 minutes.
- Country: US.
- Language: English.