Dudley Moore plays a composer who suspects his wife of cheating. He plots to kill her and frame it on her lover. The whole movie sort of compares his expectations of a perfect result to reality. In the end nothing turns out as planned.
Sir Alfred De Carter suspects his wife of infidelity. While conducting a symphony orchestra, he imagines three different ways of dealing with the situation. When the concert ends, he tries acting out his fantasies, but things do not go as well in reality as they did in his imagination. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
Carole Landis, who was dating Harrison at the time, was originally to play Daphne. But personal problems between them caused her to be replaced by Linda Darnell. See more »
Just prior to the first murder-scenario fantasy, Sir Alfred's shadow is visible on the rear-screen projection screen as the camera tracks in on his eye. See more »
I give you my solemn word, August: if I don't regain control of myself in a few minutes, concert or no concert, I'll take this candelabrum and beat that walnut you use for a head into a nutburger, I believe they're called!
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In Preston Sturges' last studio film, Rex Harrison plays an orchestra conductor who believes his wife is having an affair. While conducting, he plans various schemes for revenge, each played out with the utmost precision and skill. He grows increasingly paranoid and grows more insane after each plan he came with fails.
I expected much more of this, but this was based largely on my liking of SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941). Most of Sturges' other films are perhaps not brilliant but at least they were hilarious and make for fine comedy, but this one strains for laughs, that are simply not there. Often hailed as some kind of masterpiece, I failed to see it. I'll take any other of his films for this one. At least they're funnier, hands down.
The film is beautiful to look at, very stylish, and masterfully scored, but the main problem is, I'm supposed to root for a deeply unsympathetic character in a story that seems to exist solely to marvel it's own genius and complexity. What's more, Rex Harrison has no talent for comedy whatsoever. He tries hard but to no avail. All we are left with is supposedly witty dialog that has no purpose at all. I wouldn't dare to dismiss any Sturges-film, and perhaps the genius of this film is beyond my reach, but if you're looking for the old-fashioned madness of earlier Sturges, you won't find it here.
Camera Obscura --- 5/10
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