J.B. Ball, a rich financier, gets fed up with his free-spending family. He takes his wife's just-bought (very expensive) sable coat and throws it out the window, it lands on poor ... See full summary »
Just before Christmas, Lee Leander is caught shoplifting. It is her third offense. She is prosecuted by John Sargent. He postpones the trial because it is hard to get a conviction at ... See full summary »
Documentary short depicting the dangers of inadvertent dispersal of secret military information, showing the unintended and disastrous results of careless conversation and improper maintenance of secret records.
A man's life is retold just after his funeral. Beginning as a track walker, Tom Garner rose through all sorts of railroad jobs to head the company. In the meantime he lost touch with his ... See full summary »
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>
The orchestral conductor, Sir Alfred de Carter, is based loosely on the real life British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham. Beecham was the son of pharmacist Sir Joseph Beecham, the inventor of the laxative Beecham's Pills. Accordingly Harrison's character, Sir Alfred de Carter, is said to be named after Carter's Little Liver Pills, the American equivalent. See more »
During the rehearsal scene. A cigarette pack disappears from the podium as Harrison conducts. See more »
Have you ever heard of Russian Roulette?
Daphne De Carter:
Why, certainly. I used to play it all the time with my father.
I doubt that you played Russian Roulette all the time with your father!
Daphne De Carter:
Oh, I most certainly did. You play it with two decks of cards, and...
That's Russian Bank. Russian Roulette's a very different amusement which I can only wish your father had played continuously before he had you!
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Remarkably well made but as deeply felt as a drawer of silverware
Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
I've never quite loved Preston Sturges as a director or Rex Harrison as an actor, so having the two of them together here didn't bode well, and I thought I'd announce my bias. And sure enough, on this second viewing I was reminded of a kind of crisp calculation that both of them have. Sturges makes amazing movies, no question, and the best of them (Palm Beach Story is my favorite) are hilarious classics. To see this one for what it offers you might first see a classic Sturges screwball from 1941 or 1942. But even those are clinical at heart (if they have a heart), so it's a little like sipping a very dry, clean martini and getting drunk. Alone. No olives. Wit and sophistication do better in the hands of Cole Porter, somehow, but see for yourself.
Harrison the actor overcomes his harsh demeanor in a movie like My Fair Lady because the music and the style there give him some kind of liberty, but here he is supposed to be sympathetic in his demented cruelty, and I only wish him failure. He is, to be sure, plotting the death of his wife. Three times. And then the fourth, beyond the symphony podium, with its madcap bedlam. It's funny in that zany way you have to laugh at. And you will laugh.
I love classical music and like the structure of the film, but as usual with Sturges, this structure makes the whole process detached and too too clever. Sturges himself wrote the screenplay for this idea way back in 1932, and if it had been shot then, before the Hays code, before the real rise of screwball, we would have had a very different movie. But what we have here is admirable and interesting, for sure, if not the zinger it could have been with a different tilt.
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