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USA 1948
Directed by
Preston Sturges
105 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Unfaithfully Yours

The central character of Sturges' marital farce, Sir Alfred De Carter (Rex Harrison) was apparently based on the real life English conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham. As such, Harrison is a good choice for the role although one cannot help but wonder how much more effective the film would have been if Cary Grant had been cast in his stead as the well-heeled older male who suspects his younger wife (Linda Darnell) of having an affair.

Sturges' script has some captivating verbal flights that Harrison with his superb diction handles beautifully and a cleverly entertaining device that explores his fantasies of revenge to the accompaniment of Rossini, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky. Unfortunately the film is not entirely successful, particularly in the latter stages where Grant's seemingly effortless way with the most ludicrous situations might have come in handy. As it is, this section of the film is too straightforwardly re-iterative, Harrison's physical comedy is laboured, and the final confrontation between Harrison and Darnell, badly dubbed (Sturges makes quite a bit of use of sound effects over-dubbing during the film to add to the comedy).

Unfaithfully Yours was the last film of note by Sturges who left Paramount after this film, had a brief and unhappy association with Howard Hughes at 20th Century Fox before moving to France (Sturges, whose artist-mother created and gave to Isadora Duncan the hand-painted scarf which caused Duncan's accidental death by strangulation, ' was a fluent speaker of French).

FYI: The film was remade with Dudley Moore and Nastassia Kinski in 1984, directed by Howard Zieff.




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