The first of two films that Preston Sturges would make at 20th Century Fox before bowing out of the Hollywood landscape, "Unfaithfully Yours" was but a blip on the radar until recently, where it's now deservedly considered one of its invaluable creator's more skillful and ingenious originations.
The story of a brilliant conductor (Rex Harrison) who suspects his wife (Linda Darnell) of cheating and thus plots her murder, the film re-examines the same marital insecurities and infidelities of "The Palm Beach Story," only more so on this occasion with the added conditions of excess paranoia and baleful begrudging.
Sir Alfred de Carter is the dapper and soon to be obsessive conductor, played wonderfully by the aforementioned Harrison, who incidentally uncovers the suspicious findings of a private detective who shadowed his wife will he was away to his native England. Offended by the gesture, he destroys the revealing documents, only the hear the findings later, straight from the horse's mouth.
The rest of the film is played out in the deranged and highly vengeful mind of Alfred as he imagines three completely different scenarios involving the confrontation of his wife's infidelity as he conducts that night's symphony concert.
It's here, where Alfred's musical pieces become the soundtrack for his vindictive fantasies that the film's brilliance is on full display. It becomes more than just a black comedy on marital suspicion, but an example of our natural inclination to project our lives into our art. [A-]
Monday, March 7, 2011
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