The Secret Life of an American Wife

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The Secret Life of an American Wife
Theatrical release poster
Directed by George Axelrod
Produced by George Axelrod
Written by George Axelrod
Starring Walter Matthau
Anne Jackson
Patrick O'Neal
Edy Williams
Music by Billy May
Cinematography Leon Shamroy
Edited by Harry W. Gerstad
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • June 25, 1968 (1968-06-25)
Running time
92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $3,000,000 (US/ Canada)[1]

The Secret Life of an American Wife is a 1968 comedy film written and directed by George Axelrod. The film was released by 20th Century Fox in 1968, and was considered a box-office failure. It features a music score by Billy May. Edy Williams has a supporting role in the film as the Laytons' blonde bombshell neighbor.


Victoria Layton (Anne Jackson) is a suburban housewife who is dissatisfied with her marriage and fears that her sex appeal is fading. Her husband (Patrick O'Neal) works as a press agent, and his only client is a movie star who is known as an international sex symbol (Walter Matthau).

Upon hearing that The Movie Star (the character is not given a name, and Matthau is credited as "The Movie Star" in the closing credits) indulges in the services of prostitutes, Victoria decides to pose surreptitiously as one in order to prove to herself that she is still sexually attractive.



  1. ^ "Big Rental Films of 1968", Variety, 8 January 1969, p. 15. Please note this figure is a rental accruing to distributors.

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