Preston Sturges; what a genius. The movie ‘Unfaithfully Yours’ takes place over a 24 hour period when a famous orchestra conductor (Rex Harrison) returns home from an engagement overseas to his much younger loving wife (Linda Darnell). An innocuous remark to his stuffy brother-in-law (Rudy Vallee) before leaving for his trip ‘Please keep an eye on my wife while I am gone’ turns the movie into a comedy of errors…
Sturges’s usual cast of supporting actors ad to the fun; Edgar Kennedy, Alan Bridge, Julius Tannen, Torben Meyer. Music background always integral to a good or great movie was perfect as he incorporated the music of the greats; Tchaikovsky, Wagner, Rossini.
Chilling scenes: For me even imagining slicing Darnell’s character’s throat was a little to ‘déjà vu’ of a famous 90’s murder trial, and of course there it was a few scenes later, Harrison’s character trying to find a pair of gloves that would fit to set up the dastardly deed.
Fun scenes: Harrison’s character’s emotions flow with the music he is conducting. In his imagination everything works perfectly. The first song conveyed; rage, the imagined murder of the wife, setting up the murder to look like the alleged lover did it. (The fun part was the huge phonograph/recording machine used to record alleged cries for help. Putting the recording on the phonograph player with other records which would play at a certain time giving the real culprit ‘get away’ time, and machine instructions indicating that it is ‘So simple a child can use it’. On the ‘Thin Man Collection’ as a special treat they had a half hour version of the 50’s television series of ‘The Thin Man’ with Peter Lawford and Phyllis Kirk. In this particular episode…they used the very same ploy to commit murder). The next song expressed; forgiveness for a price, the last; melancholia with a twist.
Linda Darnell as always was beautiful, her gowns were lovely one with an accenting fur stole; I am sure not popular with today’s crowd but high-lighted costuming perfectly. Her acting was flawless as the wife that is just trying to figure out what in the heck is going on inside of her husbands head.
I liked Rex Harrison in this role, however I found myself always comparing him to the son; Noel. Noel was a 60’s crush of mine from the ‘Girl from U.N.C.L.E’ television series. Like father like son moments were especially when Rex was wearing that Turtle Neck sweater and Jacket, hmmmm, sometimes ‘déjà vu’ is good.
Preston Sturges, wrote, directed, and produced this movie. As a writer I marvel at his talent, this may not be a great movie, but it is fun and sometimes you just need a little bit of mindless fun and as always ‘a kiss’ to happily end the movie.