A Wife's Life

A Wife's Life
Directed by Dave O'Brien
Produced by Pete Smith
Written by Dave O'Brien, Julian Harmon
Starring Pete Smith
Dave O'Brien
Dorothy Short
Narrated by Pete Smith
Music by David Snell (uncredited)
Cinematography Harold Lipstein
Edited by Harry Komer
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
September 1950
Running time
8 minutes
Country USA
Language English

A Wife's Life is an eight-minute film made in 1950 by filmmaker Pete Smith, who also narrates. It is directed by Dave O'Brien and written by Dave O'Brien and Julian Harmon. The film is narrated in Smith's classic nasally matter-of-fact comedic delivery and is shot as a mockumentary of sorts.


Mrs. George T. Hardnose is an average mid-century housewife burdened by her aloof and patriarchal husband. She calls her husband to say she wants to go to a movie that night; he says, nothing doing, he's tired, he's worked hard, and what has she done all day. In a series of flashbacks, we see - starting with getting George out of bed and off to work, bathing an obstreperous three-year-old, dealing with stopped drains and a faulty defroster, doing dishes, cajoling a rich uncle, washing clothes, mopping floors, sweeping behind heavy furniture, cleaning the stove and a rug, and cooking dinner. When George asks her after dinner to let him have the paper, she cracks him over the head with a metal pipe wrapped in the paper.


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