How to Murder Your Wife
George Axelrod's script for How to Murder Your Wife isn't politically correct in the least, but you're likely to get a charge out of it -- provided you are of the male persuasion, that is. Jack Lemmon stars as Stanley Ford, a successful cartoonist and a confirmed bachelor who shares a lavish apartment with his misogynistic manservant, Charles (Terry-Thomas). While attending a friend's bachelor party, Stanley falls head over heels in love with the gorgeous bikini-clad girl (Virna Lisi) who pops out of a cake. He impulsively marries her, but thinks better of it the next day. Alas, Stanleycan't get a divorce because his bride is an Italian Catholic (this is 1966). Dicier still, she is a "domestic goddess," lovingly plying her hubby with rich Italian food until Stanley's once-athletic physique is as bloated as the dirigible Hindenberg. Stanley's descent into husbandhood is reflected in his work: his popular adventure comic strip "Bash Brannigan" metamorphoses into a Blondie-like "idiot husband" daily. As a catharsis, Stanley vicariously "kills" his lovely wife by having Bash Brannigan murder his missus. Stanley's wife sees the finished strip on his desk and runs tearfully out of his life (at least temporarily). The publication of the strip, coupled with his wife's disappearance, results in Lemmon being put on trial for murder. We won't tell you how things turn out; suffice it to say that most feminists will be outraged, while most husbands will laugh immoderately. Eddie Mayehoff and Claire Trevor provide sparkling support as Lemmon's bombastic editor and his dragon-like wife.