An office clerk loves entering contests in the hopes of someday winning a fortune and marrying the girl he loves. His latest attempt is the Maxford House Coffee Slogan Contest. As a joke, ... See full summary »
Temperamental saloon singer Freddie Jones, jealously shoots at her cheating boyfriend Blackie but mistakenly hits Judge Alfalfa J. O'Toole's honorable behind, forcing her to skip town under the guise of a schoolteacher.
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>
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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