Unfaithfully Yours

Unfaithfully Yours

4.1 6
Director: Preston Sturges

Cast: Preston Sturges, Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Barbara Lawrence

     
 
Preston Sturges' Unfaithfully Yours is a typically witty and wild screwball comedy starring Rex Harrison as a symphony conductor named Alfred de Carter who is convinced his wife (Linda Darnell) is having an affair. During one of his concerts, Alfred begins planning three different ways of solving the problem -- including murder -- setting each to a different

Overview

Preston Sturges' Unfaithfully Yours is a typically witty and wild screwball comedy starring Rex Harrison as a symphony conductor named Alfred de Carter who is convinced his wife (Linda Darnell) is having an affair. During one of his concerts, Alfred begins planning three different ways of solving the problem -- including murder -- setting each to a different classical piece. Sturges' script and direction are lively and the actors are perfectly cast, capable of wringing all the humor, both physical and verbal, out of the story. Despite the artistic success of the film, Unfaithfully Yours was unsuccessful at the time of its release, yet it was well-regarded by critics and film buffs. It was remade in 1984, featuring Dudley Moore in the lead role.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
It’s more than a little ironic that this 1948 black comedy, savaged by many critics, virtually ended the brilliant career of writer-director Preston Sturges, who just a few years before had been Hollywood’s Golden Boy. Unfaithfully Yours had the same unique balance of sophistication and slapstick that earlier won the eccentric filmmaker legions of fans, yet its detractors couldn’t say enough bad things about it. Some called the film too dark and tasteless to be engaging comedy fare, while others decried Sturges’ use of old-fashioned pratfalls and corny wordplay. Today, the picture enjoys the reputation it deserves -- as a true classic. Rex Harrison portrays Sir Alfred De Carter, a world-famous symphony conductor obsessed with the notion that his glamorous wife (Linda Darnell) is having an affair. One night during a concert, he mentally spins an elaborate web of vengeful scenarios by which he might kill the woman. In a sensational cinematic tour de force, Sturges sets Sir Alfred’s fantasies to three separate orchestral works. The humor comes later, when he attempts to act out these scenarios, none of which work out as perfectly as he imagined. Harrison shows a surprising flair for slapstick, Darnell makes a radiant femme fatale (so to speak), and erstwhile bandleader Rudy Vallee is hilarious in a key supporting role. Compared to its lame 1984 remake starring Dudley Moore -- not to mention what passes for big-screen comedy these days -- Sturges’ Unfaithfully Yours is a 14-carat masterpiece.
All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
Unfaithfully Yours is among the darkest comedies of director Preston Sturges, telling the story of a symphony conductor (Rex Harrison) who fantasizes about the unfaithfulness of his wife (Linda Darnell). The film distinctively mixes classical music with slapstick comedy and a non-linear story line, a combination that had little appeal to 1948 audiences. When the film was a box office failure, it effectively ended the Hollywood portion of Sturges' career, though he would continue to work in film for another ten years. Many critics consider Harrison's performance the best of his career, in one of the few roles in which he played a character with deep, personal flaws. As with all Sturges classics, the dialogue is snappy, though the film also relies to a surprising extent on physical comedy.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/12/2005
UPC:
0715515016421
Original Release:
1948
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
2,765

Special Features

Closed Caption; New, restored high-definition digital transfer; Audio commentary featuring Sturges scholars James Harvey, Brian Henderson, and Diane Jacobs; New video introduction by director Terry Jones; New video interview with Sturges's widow, Sandy Sturges; Gallery featuring rare production correspondence and stills; Theatrical trailer; Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing; A new essay by novelist Jonathan Lethem

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Rex Harrison Sir Alfred De Carter
Linda Darnell Daphne De Carter
Barbara Lawrence Barbara Henshler
Kurt Kreuger Anthony
Rudy Vallée August Henshler
Lionel Stander Hugo Standoff
Edgar Kennedy Detective Sweeney
Al Bridge House Detective
Julius Tannen Tailor
Torben Meyer Dr. Schultz
Robert Greig Jules
Evelyn Beresford Mme. Pompadour
Georgia Caine Dowager
Harry Seymour Musician
Isabel Jewell Telephone Operator
Marion Marshall Telephone Operator
George Andre Beranger Maitre d'
Harry Carter Reporter
Bill Cartledge Page Boy
Ruth Clifford Saleslady
Douglas Gerrard Bit Man
Sam Harris Man
Laurette Luez Hatcheck Girl
John Farrell MacDonald Doorman
George Mathews Musician
George H. Melford Elderly Man in Audience
Frank Moran Fire Chief
Dave Morris Actor
Franz Roehn Actor
Charles Tannen Information Man

Technical Credits
Preston Sturges Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Bonnie Cashin Costumes/Costume Designer
Paul S. Fox Set Decoration/Design
Robert Fritch Editor
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Arthur L. Kirbach Sound/Sound Designer
Thomas K. Little Set Decoration/Design
Victor Milner Cinematographer
Alfred Newman Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Ben Nye Makeup
Fred Sersen Special Effects
Lyle Wheeler Art Director
Joseph C. Wright Art Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Maestro Arrives [4:53]
2. Questions [2:13]
3. Strangers Who Married Sisters [8:35]
4. Rehearsal [5:58]
5. House Dick/A Bit of Trouble [4:20]
6. A Square From Delaware [2:59]
7. They Way You Handle Handel [5:57]
8. Angry Alfred [3:12]
9. Daphne Responds [3:46]
10. Before the Concert [2:38]
11. Music Does Strange Things [6:03]
12. Preparations [3:06]
13. Crime and Cover-Up [5:36]
14. Tony's Fall [3:35]
15. Adulations [1:27]
16. Alfred Takes the Blame [5:00]
17. Russian Roulette [6:41]
18. Difficulties [11:59]
19. Simplicitas [3:43]
20. Nuttier Than a Fruitcake [3:18]
21. Explanations [9:58]
1. Sturges's Career [4:53]
2. Viciously Alive [2:13]
3. European Sensibility/Lubitsch and Capra [8:35]
4. The Ordinary American Face [5:58]
5. Howard Hughes/Slapstick [4:20]
6. Isolation [2:59]
7. Deflated Expectations [5:57]
8. Confidence [3:12]
9. What's Missing From This Film [3:46]
10. Zanuck/"Symphony Story" [2:38]
11. Rex Harrison [6:03]
12. No Parallels [3:06]
13. They Didn't Get the Joke [5:36]
14. Everything Goes Right [3:35]
15. Slapstick Returns [1:27]
16. Theatricality/Daphne's Ambiguity [5:00]
17. Alfred in Control/Sturges's Fall [6:41]
18. Women's Roles/Censorship [11:59]
19. A Man of Many Pursuits [3:43]
20. Supporting Characters [3:18]
21. Riding High/Romantic Love [9:58]

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Unfaithfully Yours 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
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