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Encyclopedia > Unfaithfully Yours

Unfaithfully Yours is a 1948 film written and directed by Preston Sturges and starring Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell and Rudy Vallee. Preston Sturges (August 29, 1898-August 6, 1959), originally Edmund Preston Biden, was a screenwriter and director born in Chicago. ... Rex Harrison in Cleopatra (1963) Sir Reginald Carey Rex Harrison (March 5, 1908 – June 2, 1990) was a British theatre and film actor. ... Linda Darnell Monetta Eloyse Darnell, better known as Linda Darnell (born October 16, 1923; died April 10, 1965), was a American film actress. ... Rudy Vallee (July 28, 1901 - July 3, 1986) was a popular United States singer, actor, bandleader, and entertainer. ...

Contents


Plot synopsis

The film can be effectively divided into three distinct sections. Rex Harrison portrays Alfred De Carter, a world famous symphony conductor. The first section of the film centers upon Alfred returning from an overseas tour, discovering that his brother-in-law (Vallee) misunderstood an instruction left him and hired a detective to follow Alfred's wife (Darnell) during the tour. De Carter is livid and attempts to destroy any evidence of this report.


Around the midpoint of the film, however, Alfred learns the content of the report: while Alfred was away, his wife was spied in a compromising situation with Alfred's valet. Alfred proceeds to the evening's concert, conducting three distinct pieces of romantic-era art music, and envisioning revenge scenarios during each one. These scenes are particularly memorable because the classical score plays throughout each scenario.


The final section of the film sees Alfred ineptly attempting to deploy each or any of three situations he envisioned, finding himself somewhat thwarted.


Reception

While rich with the sharp dialogue that becames Sturges' trademark, the film did rather poorly upon release. Critics usually attribute this to the extreme darkness of the subject matter, especially for a comedy. The idea of a bungling murderer did not sit well with 1948 audiences, and the fact that none of the characters are especially sympathetic certainly failed to help. Sturges, who had made his name as a director of Capra-esque comedies in the early 1940s, never fully recovered from the lukewarm reception of Unfaithfully Yours, and many point to it as the movie which effectively ended his career. Despite this, it is considered today by many critics to be an outstanding film, as evidenced by a recent release through the Criterion Collection. Frank Capra (May 18, 1897 – September 3, 1991) was an Italian-American film director and a major creative force behind a number of highly popular films. ... The Criterion Collection is a joint venture between Janus Films and The Voyager Company that was begun in the mid 1980s for the purpose of releasing authoritative consumer versions of classic and important contemporary films on the laserdisc and DVD formats. ...


Re-Make

It was remade in 1984 as a film (also called Unfaithfully Yours) starring Dudley Moore, Nastassja Kinski and Albert Brooks. Dudley Moore Dudley Moore, CBE (April 19, 1935 – March 27, 2002), was a British musician, actor and comedian who was enormously popular in his home country for many years but relatively unknown in the United States until he made the film 10 with Bo Derek. ... Nastassja Kinski photographed by Helmut Newton on the cover of Playboy, May 1983. ... Albert Brooks Albert Brooks (born July 22, 1947) is a Jewish-American actor, comedian and director. ...


External links

  • Jonathan Lethem essay at criterionco.com
  • James Harvey essay at criterionco.com

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