Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Tonight's Movie: Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

Rex Harrison stars in this farce as Sir Alfred De Carter, an orchestra conductor who believes his beautiful young wife, Linda Darnell, has been unfaithful. During the course of a concert, Sir Alfred plots several dastardly ways to respond to the situation. In the end, not surprisingly, he learns he's been foolish not to trust his wife.

Writer-director Preston Sturges made some unusual and memorable films, including THE PALM BEACH STORY, but I can't say I cared for this one, despite its reputation as a classic. I found the rather morbid fantasy sequences leaden and distasteful, and Harrison's physical comedy routine in the film's final act was predictable and went on far too long. Exaggerated sound effects meant to amuse quickly became tiresome.

On the positive side, Linda Darnell was delightful as the bewildered wife, and, as with THE PALM BEACH STORY, Rudy Vallee almost stole the show.

UNFAITHFULLY YOURS is available on DVD from the Criterion Collection as well as on video.

April 2017 Update: I had the chance to see this on a big screen in a beautiful 35mm print at the TCM Classic Film Festival.


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