Anne Parkson feels neglected by her lawyer-husband Ted, so she falls in love with night-club owner Tony Arnello, a shady character who is a client of her husband's. This being a MGM picture...
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Anne Parkson feels neglected by her lawyer-husband Ted, so she falls in love with night-club owner Tony Arnello, a shady character who is a client of her husband's. This being a MGM picture and MGM known to strive for General Audience ratings and avoid the dreaded Adult Audience tag, any affair that takes place is barely implied. Tony, a no-goodnik, kills Claire Lorrison, but Anne's compact is found near the body. Arnello threatens her with exposure unless she keeps quiet, as she is the only one who knows he is guilty. This being an Arch Oboler film, it is also filled with lots of "stream of consciousness" techniques in which the audience is able to share the thoughts of the central character. Oboler is highly praised in some quarters for bringing this from his radio programs where, of course, it was needed to let the radio audience know what was going on. In films, it comes off as just somebody talking to themselves. Gifford talks to herself a lot in this one, mainly about whether to... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This film received its USA television premiere on Monday 29 October 1956 on KTTV (Los Angeles); its New York City television premiere took place on 13 December 1956 on WCBS, and in San Francisco on 31 December 1957 on KGO-TV. See more »
The newspaper report of the murder misspells the word 'clue': "The police assert that the only clew is a woman's compact..." See more »
Though a remake of EVELYN PRENTICE, THE ARNELO AFFAIR is a perfect example of post-war films meant to reinforce the notion that a woman should be happy at home. If she strays too far from the nest, she will get embroiled in dangerous activities that threaten to destroy her marriage and put her in jail. Scare tactics to say the least, and people paid money to see it.
This said, the picture does have its merits. For one thing, John Hodiak gives a good performance as the bad guy. And the music conveys the mood of the piece well. Overall, the story is mostly well paced, with a lot of silent pauses for proper dramatic effects.
As for the troubled wife character. Frances Gifford helps us get a sense of the woman's internal state. When she reads her son's thoughts about her and breaks down, that's probably the emotional highlight of the film. Meanwhile, Eve Arden's character puts a bit of a satiric spin on the proceedings, helping it not to become too overwrought and to stay light in the right places.
Ultimately, it's another spin on the old infidelity story, combining the gangster genre with the woman's melodrama.
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