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on 15 September 2017
I loved this one! Linda Darnell is terrific - is she as innocent as she seems?? Lovely music, too.
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on 30 July 2017
It's worth five stars just for the scenes at the end, Rex Harrison is brilliant and so funny.
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on 25 June 2015
Excellent film with very charming and good actors.
Would recommend it to anyone.
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on 11 February 2018
Excellent!
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 11 October 2006
With rare exceptions like Frasier or Comme une Image, most supposedly `sophisticated' comedies are usually either too clever by half or not half as clever as they think they are: this definitely falls into the latter category. It may be slightly more articulate, but it still comes down to pratfalls and clichés clumsily dispensed (not to mention an incredibly one-dimensional role for Linda Darnell as the wife whose sole reason for existence seems to be to worship her husband). Unfortunately it soon becomes apparent that despite his confidence in the early part of the film, Rex Harrison is entirely wrong for the part: aside from being so incredibly unsympathetic that he simply alienates you for most of the film, he has absolutely no facility for physical comedy, which renders what could and should have been a great comic setpiece where he accidentally trashes his hotel room far more thoroughly than any rock star ever could even dream of rather tedious and protracted. (Alfred Newman's surprisingly crudely over the top slide-whistle and horn 'comic' underscoring all but stones the scene to death, a surprising lapse of judgment from a great composer in a film revolving around classical music.) In the hands of an actor with a modicum of physical comedy timing it could have been gold, but instead it's almost reduced to a technical exercise.

But the same could be said for much of the film. The idea of having the execution and resolution of Harrison's fantasies dictated by the pace of the music he conducts (Rossini for murder, Wagner for mournful forgiveness, Tchaikovsky for suicide) is inspired, but it results in scenes that feel forced, as if at the mercy of a galley slave master's drumbeat. That the scenes themselves are so predictable doesn't help, as goodwill and admiration gradually gives way to boredom in the second half.

There are, however, two saving graces. One is the scene in private detective Edgar Kennedy's office, where Harrison is furious to discover that the man he has come to castigate is a knowledgeable fan with his own tale of loss. The scene is crudely performed and reads better than it plays, but there's heart and humanity there that's lacking in too much of the rest of the film. But the film's genuine standout moment is the orchestra rehearsal, one of the best pieces of filmed musical performance in the movies, not only showing how the music is constructed but showing the life, character and human soul behind it. The loss of those qualities in the rest of the movie is all the more keenly felt in an increasingly arid and overplayed technical exercise.
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VINE VOICEon 26 June 2004
Although not as brilliant or daring as some of Sturges' earlier work, "Unfaithfully Yours" is still quite funny. Rex Harrison is a conducter who suddenly starts to have suspicions about his wife and plans the best way to kill her... only nothing goes according to plan. As for the DVD the picture is quite good throughout (my guess is that has been restored), but the sound does get a bit annoying from time to time. As for the extras there are some interviews, but nothing very interesting - still is the film thatmakes it worth.
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on 19 April 2009
Preston Sturges directed this delightful 1940s Hollywood comedy starring Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallee and Barbara Lawrence.Rex Harrison plays a conductor of an orchestra who suspects his wife is having an affair and during his conducting of the music he imagines all sorts of dramatic revengeful scenarios.However when it comes to putting these plans into action, all sorts of things go comically wrong.Rex's character is very clumsy and he nearly ruins their apartment trying to get his disc recorder to work from is supposedly simple instructions in order to make fake a recording.
Its Preston Sturges last film and one of his cleverist and most funny comedies and I rated it 3/5 stars.
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on 30 May 2014
what can I say... wonderful actor ther is not any of his work that isnt worth watching be it drama or comedy
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on 19 May 2009
This film is complete rubbish.

This is the story - for the first 45 minutes absolutely NOTHING
happens. This is quite difficult to achieve so deserves a mention. Rex
Harrison hams it up, trying to be funny (his technique being to speak
loudly and quickly) but he only succeeds in irritating the viewer.
Then, whilst conducting an orchestra, he imagines 3 scenarios as a
result of believing that his wife has cheated on him. He tries to put
one of these scenes into practice and makes a drawn out mess of it that
tests the viewers' patience as we are expected to laugh along with the
unfunny antics that ensue.

Harrison is way too OTT and the film contains a lot of slapstick, very
obvious, visual humour which tediously drags on. An example of the
humour you can expect goes like this: Harrison stands on a chair but
puts his foot through it (ha ha ha), then he opens a cupboard and
something falls on his head (ha ha ha), then he drops something (ha ha
ha), then he puts his foot through the chair again (ha ha ha), then he
falls over, etc - this scene goes on for 10 -15 minutes but it seems
like a billion hours. And its not funny at any point.

The film is very boring.
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on 20 September 2010
It is easy to understand why they changed everything but the bare premise of this movie for the 1984 remake. After all, the 1948 original staggered beneath the weight of massive burdens. Its star performer not only consented but actually seemed to delight in delivering precisely articulated dialogue in long blocks, one after another--and all at crackling pace, too. Worse, Preston Sturges' clever, witty script plainly assumed that his audience possessed both general knowledge and willingness to pay attention for whole minutes at a time. Worst, Sturges' plot satirized both movie stereotypes and audience expectations.

Those 1948 audiences, for good and sufficient reasons of their own, did not turn out in droves nor did they shell out much money to see "Unfaithfully Yours." The 1984 production team did their very best to avoid that dismal fate by jettisoning Sturges' near-perfect script, ruthlessly dumbing everything down and shrinking the film to fit the talents of twinkly little Dudley Moore.

(Rex Harrison to Dudley Moore, what a falling off was there!)

Harrison plays British conductor, Sir Alfred de Carter, whom the script clearly expects the audience to identify with the real conductor, Sir Thomas Beecham. The initial satirical thrust at audience expectations is that de Carter turns out to be a super-egotistical prima donna rather than the smooth, lovable and--yes!--twinkly Sir Thomas. By a series of satisfactorily ridiculous plot developments, Sir Alfred becomes convinced that his beautiful and much younger wife is having an affair with his assistant.

Sir Alfred has a high comedy encounter with a detective played by Edgar Kennedy, one of the finest second bananas in movie history. The detective does his level best to convince the wronged husband to ignore or forgive his wife's little failings, lest he lose far more than he can ever hope to gain from shallow, trifling revenge. In the course of the scene it becomes clear that the detective had not taken his own advice in the past and now bitterly regrets it. This is a wonderful scene, and probably Kennedy's last hurrah on the screen, for he died shortly thereafter--a perfect mixture of hilarity and wistfulness.

The egotist brushes aside the warnings of the detective and transforms himself into Othello's younger brother. Before, he had been over-generous and almost too-eloquent for belief with his loving words; now, he sneers and derides. If he does not quite get around to demanding that his bewildered wife hand over a handkerchief, it is only because time is short and he has a concert to conduct.

The performance begins with an overture by Rossini. The up-tempo music puts the conductor into a manic mood and his mind turns to a plot in which he murders his wife and casts damning suspicion on his rival. The elaborate machinations of the murder scheme satirize whole flocks of creakily overblown films from "The Bat" to "Philo Vance and the Kennel Murders." The second selection is the music of the pilgrims from Wagner's Tannhaeuser--a downer after Rossini. The conductor's imagination shifts from murderous revenge to world-weary forgiveness as it satirizes the emetic nobility of films such as the often-remade "Four Feathers." Finally, a Tschaikovsky piece moves Sir Alfred's thoughts to grim competitiveness. He will challenge his younger rival to a game of Russian roulette with his wife as a reluctant witness--think of about half the films made by John Barrymore or Doug Fairbanks, Jr.

After the concert, the conductor rushes off to his home to prepare for his elaborate murder scheme, only to come hilariously crashing against the harsh reality of ruthlessly hostile mechanisms, cheerily incomprehensible operating instructions and painfully fragile chairs.

In the end, the conductor's wife offers an explanation that allows him to dismiss all his suspicions and return to his original state of (illusionary?) wedded bliss.

With brilliant performances, crackling dialogue, smart plotting and fine physical gags, "Unfaithfully Yours" ranks with "The Ladykillers," "Kind Hearts and Coronets" and "Monsieur Verdoux," the best of black comedies.

Five stars.

IDLE SPECULATIONS:
Good as it is--and it is very good--"Unfaithfully Yours" might have been better still.

Rex Harrison, however brilliant he may be in the dialogue scenes, is not by any stretch of the imagination a physical comedian. Even though screen credit is given to a conducting coach, Harrison is painfully stiff as a conductor and as often as not behind the beat of the music he is supposed to be conducting. And the physical comedy sequence is weakened by the obvious substitution of a stunt double from time to time--not to mention the fact that Harrison's record player is far funnier than he is. In 1948 there was an actor of the right age, one who who could have gotten away with the conductor's dialogue and would unquestionably have been side-splittingly funny while conducting or going two falls out of three with the demon record player--Charlie Chaplin. Now THAT would have been something to see!

Then there is the script. The film ends on a subtly false note. As "Unfaithfuly Yours" stands now, Linda Darnell as the innocent wife neatly explains away every suspicion; she leaves not only her own virtue unblemished but also that of her unpleasant younger sister who throughout the film had been positioned as the eventual fall girl. At the very end of the film, the fully reconciled conductor and wife turn away to depart for a happy evening on the town.

I think that the studio or even Sturges, himself, cut a final scene to conform to the nervous dictates of the Film Code. I think that as the happy couple and their friends leave the hotel, they were intended to pass by Edgar Kennedy, the detective who had striven so hard to preserve the de Carter marriage. I think that Darnell and Kennedy were intended to make eye contact in shared acknowledgment that the pack of lies they had concocted to reassure Sir Alfred had worked. Then, at last, the conductor's straying wife would indeed have been Unfaithfully His.
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