Presented by the Woman’s Home Companion, “A Word to the Wives … ” was produced in 1955 to promote the modern dream kitchens that were becoming en vogue in the contemporary American home.
Despite the pandering melodramatics, “A Word to the Wives … ” in fact was performed and produced by an impressive cast and crew.
Most notably, Darren McGavin, who starred as Ralphie’s father in the classic film A Christmas Story, plays an earlier version of the comically, ever-annoyed husband that he does so well.
The wife, played by Marsha Hunt, today might be best known for her role in Dalton Trumbo’s 1971 cult classic Johnny Got His Gun, and had a prolific acting career until she was blacklisted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the 1940’s.
“A Word to the Wives … ” was one of Marsha Hunt’s few performances in a film for a decade, until 1957.
The film was directed by Norman Lloyd, who later starred as Dr. Daniel Auschlander in the 1980’s TV drama St. Elsewhere, and was a veteran actor of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater.
Lloyd, who had been cast in two Alfred Hitchcock films, Saboteur and Spellbound, was also a victim of the HUAC, and had to reinvent himself as a director and producer to find stable work until acting jobs became available to him again in the 1970’s.