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The Skipper Surprised His Wife (1950)

When a naval officer's wife breaks her ankle and is laid up, her husband takes over running the household by employing military regimentation and disciple, which leads to a number of amusing situations. (Comedy, 85 mins.)


Elliott Nugent


Dorothy Kingsley (original story and screenplay), William J. Lederer (based on magazine story by) (as Commander W.J. Lederer U.S.N.)


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Complete credited cast:
Robert Walker ... Cmdr. William J. Lattimer
Joan Leslie ... Daphne Lattimer
Edward Arnold ... Adm. Homer Thorndyke
Spring Byington ... Agnes Thorndyke
Leon Ames ... Dr. Philip Abbott
Jan Sterling ... Rita Rossini
Anthony Ross ... Joe Rossini
Paul Harvey ... Brendon Boyd
Kathryn Card Kathryn Card ... Thelma Boyd
Tommy Myers Tommy Myers ... Tommy Lattimer
Rudy Lee Rudy Lee ... Davey Lattimer
Finnegan Weatherwax Finnegan Weatherwax ... Muscles the Dog
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Thomas Browne Henry Thomas Browne Henry ... Doctor (scenes deleted)


When a naval officer's wife breaks her ankle and is laid up, her husband takes over running the household by employing military regimentation and disciple, which leads to a number of amusing situations. (Comedy, 85 mins.)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The story that millions of Americans roared at in "The Week" and "Reader's Digest! (original print ad) See more »




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Release Date:

29 June 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Flor dos Maridos See more »


Box Office


$753,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The electric ironing machine Bill struggles with is not some studio-made comical contraption, but is an actual home appliance. It appears to be a Sears Kenmore, or a Simplex (the manufacturer). The nameplates have been removed from the front of the lid. It was also referred to as a "mangle". In 1950 the list price for one of these machines was $139.95. Bill said he paid $113, so he got a good bargain. See more »


Cmdr. William J. Lattimer: The average housewife is either a soap opera addict, a fence-hanger, a salesman-encourager, a book-of-the-monther or just plain lazy.
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User Reviews

Mr. Mom....navy style.
27 February 2017 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"The Skipper Surprised His Wife" is a film that lost money when it came out in 1950. I can understand why. Now I am NOT saying it's a bad film...but it sure seemed like a sit-com episode more than a film I would have rushed to the theaters to see!

When the film begins, you see that Robert Walker (in an odd bit of casting) is a Commander of a Destroyer in the navy. His ship has been ordered back home to San Diego and he's thrilled to be able to see his wife and two boys again. However, soon after his arrival, his wife falls and breaks her leg...forcing the Commander to take over household duties. This section is a typical fish out of water sort of thing and the guy screws up again and again.

Later, using navy efficiency techniques, he decides to use the navy way to improve the running of the household. At first, it's still the fish out of water scenario, but after some time he gets the hang of things...and here's where real serious problems begin. He begins to get a fat head and this know-it-all soon is asked to speak to a ladies' group...and he makes a total mess of things. So what's next for this guy and his poor, poor family?

As I said above, this has sit-com written all over it...making it very slight and skippable. It practically screams 'time-passer' and is one that is harmless fun as well as easy to skip.

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