Unfaithfully Yours misses that stamp of originality which marked the scripting and direction of Preston Sturges' previous films. The fabric of stale ideas and antique gags out of which this pic was spun is just barely hidden by its glossy production casing.

Unfaithfully Yours misses that stamp of originality which marked the scripting and direction of Preston Sturges’ previous films. The fabric of stale ideas and antique gags out of which this pic was spun is just barely hidden by its glossy production casing.

The yarn is too slight to carry the long running time. It’s a takeoff on the suspicious husband-beautiful wife formula, which is stirred up into a frothy pastry only on occasion. With Rex Harrison playing a symphony orch leader, Sturges executes some amusing highjinks with serious music, but the humor is mild and unsustained.

The yarn unfolds via three long revenge fantasies which race through Harrison’s brain while he batons his way through a concert. During a frenzied number by Rosini, there’s a gruesome sequence in which Harrison slashes his wife, Linda Darnell, with a razor and then pins the rap on her supposed lover. Against a background of Wagnerian music, he daydreams of nobly renouncing his wife in favor of the other man. Finally, against a Tchaikovsky number, he imagines playing Russian roulette with his rival in a test of passion.

Stylization of the fantasies would have given these sequences that comic energy which is lacking.

Unfaithfully Yours

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Preston Sturges; Producer Preston Sturges; Screenplay Preston Sturges; Camera Victor Milner; Editor Robert Fritch; Music Alfred Newman; Art Director Lyle R. Wheeler, Joseph C. Wright

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1948. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Rex Harrison Linda Darnell Barbara Lawrence Rudy Vallee Lionel Stander Edgar Kennedy
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