MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 13,919 this week

Marriage a la Mode (1955)
"The Constant Husband" (original title)

 |  Comedy  |  21 April 1955 (UK)
6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 178 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

Charles Hathaway wakes up in West Wales with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. With the help of a Cardiff specialist he traces his life back to his gorgeous wife and their ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: March

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in March.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

list image
a list of 46 titles
created 30 Sep 2012
 
a list of 100 titles
created 10 Feb 2014
 
a list of 1883 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 28 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Marriage a la Mode (1955)

Marriage a la Mode (1955) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Marriage a la Mode.
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A devoted family man tries to help a beautiful alcoholic showgirl with her life, and becomes the the only suspect when someone else murders her.

Directors: Reginald Beck, Anthony Bushell
Stars: Rex Harrison, Lilli Palmer, Tania Heald
Certificate: M Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A Frenchwoman (Rosemary Harris), suspecting her lawyer husband (Rex Harrison) of having an affair, plots to catch him in the act.

Director: Jacques Charon
Stars: Rex Harrison, Rosemary Harris, Louis Jourdan
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Vivian Kenway, a young Englishman from an aristocratic background, flunks out of Oxford, and decides to use his considerable charm to achieve his goal of, apparently, making dissipation his... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Stars: Rex Harrison, Lilli Palmer, Godfrey Tearle
Adventure | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

While leading the Third Crusade, King Richard Lionheart battles treachery in his own camp as well as the Saracens and their charismatic leader Saladin.

Director: David Butler
Stars: Rex Harrison, Virginia Mayo, George Sanders
The Honey Pot (1967)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Inspired by a performance of his favorite play, "Volpone," 20th-century millionaire Cecil Fox devises an intricate plan to trick three of his former mistresses into believing he is dying. ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Rex Harrison, Susan Hayward, Cliff Robertson
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

John Lewis is bored by his librarian's job and henpecked at home. Then Liz, wife of a local counciller, sets her sights on him. But this is risky stuff in a Welsh valleys town - if he and ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Stars: Peter Sellers, Mai Zetterling, Virginia Maskell
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Chaos ensues for staff and students alike when an all-boys and an all-girls school are amalgamated into one.

Director: Frank Launder
Stars: Alastair Sim, Margaret Rutherford, John Turnbull
Midnight Lace (1960)
Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In London, a newly-wed American woman's sanity comes into question, when she claims to be the victim of a stalker.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Doris Day, Rex Harrison, John Gavin
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Union ex-officer plans to sell up to Anchor Ranch and move east with his fiancee, but the low price offered by Anchor's crippled owner and the outfit's bully-boy tactics make him think ... See full summary »

Director: Rudolph Maté
Stars: Glenn Ford, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After the nurse who declares that a recent surgical death was a murder dies also, an enigmatic Scotland Yard inspector arrives to investigate.

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Stars: Alastair Sim, Sally Gray, Trevor Howard
Endless Night (1972)
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Based on an Agatha Christie suspense novel; a newly-wed couple are threatened after building their dream home on cursed land.

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Stars: Hayley Mills, Hywel Bennett, Britt Ekland
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Percy Boon lives with his mother in a shared rented house with an assortment of characters in central London. Although well intentioned, Percy becomes mixed up with gangsters and a murder. ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Gilliat
Stars: Richard Attenborough, Alastair Sim, Fay Compton
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
In the Hospital: The Patient - Charles Hathaway
Cecil Parker ...
In the Hospital: The Professor
Sally Lahee ...
In the Hospital: The Nurse
Kay Kendall ...
The 'Wives': Monica
Nicole Maurey ...
The 'Wives': Lola
Valerie French ...
The 'Wives': Bridget
Ursula Howells ...
The 'Wives': Ann
Jill Adams ...
The 'Wives': Joanna
Roma Dunville ...
The 'Wives': Elizabeth
Robert Coote ...
Friends and Relations: The Best Man
Raymond Huntley ...
Friends and Relations: The Boss
Noel Hood ...
Friends and Relations: Gladys
...
Friends and Relations: Papa Sopranelli
Marie Burke ...
Friends and Relations: Moma Sopraneli
George Cole ...
Friends and Relations: Luigi Sopranelli
Edit

Storyline

Charles Hathaway wakes up in West Wales with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. With the help of a Cardiff specialist he traces his life back to his gorgeous wife and their large London house, so all seems well with the world. But more detective work starts to uncover an alarming chain of further stunning wives and a way of going on that the new Charles finds pretty unacceptable. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

21 April 1955 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Marriage a la Mode  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

First shown in the United States on NBC television, 6th November 1955, but with twenty minutes cut so that the film could be shown with commercials in a 90-minute time slot. This was the first time that a feature-length film premiered in the United States before reaching the theaters. It was also the first time a feature film was broadcast in color, but, since few viewers had color receivers at this time, most people saw it in black and white. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Disturbing froth from a forgotten master.
19 April 2000 | by (panama city, panama) – See all my reviews

It is hard to believe that there was a time when some of the last century's greatest artists were considered mere entertainers: Hitchcock made thrillers, Sirk made weepies, Hawks made comedies. Of course, we now know that these auteurs worked in genres that many other directors worked in, but transcended them by subversion, critique, extension, parody, genius.

There aren't so many English genres - the documentary-style war film is probably the most persistent - but in the 1950s, there were a spate of comedies that ran the gamut from glossily glamorous (GENEVIEVE etc.) to the cheerfully cheap (all those precursors to the CARRY ONs, like TWO WAY STRETCH and TOO MANY CROOKS), all of which invariably starred a small pool of exceptional players, including Alistair Sim, Terry-Thomas, Kenneth More, George Cole, John le Mesurier, Michael Hordern, etc.

Like most generic products, these films were modest, content to entertain in an unsurprising fashion, which they did. But, as with every genre, there is always a superior artist who expands its limits. Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat may not, as a directorial team, reach the dizzy heights of the Archers, but, since writing THE LADY VANISHES for Hitch in 1938, they produced a steady stream of highly literate and cinematically inventive comedies, which, while smuggling in complex and disturbing ideas, never failed the first duty of comedy, which is to be funny.

THE CONSTANT HUSBAND may not be a masterpiece, but it is extraordinarily daring. A lot of critics like to talk about disjunction and alienation implied in films, disturbances in character, crisis in identity, but it's rare to find a supposedly frothy comedy which has this as its overt subject matter. A man (Rex Harrison) wakes up dazed in a strange country with a strange language, no idea who he is, or how he got there.

With the help of a professor of psychiatry, Llewellyn (THE LADYKILLERS' Cecil Parker), he pieces together his life, and discovers that they are indeed pieces, that he is a cad, a gold-digger and a bigamist, who hit on women with the prospect of wealth, and dumped them when it fell through. He is rather appalled by his past, and is brought to court for bigamy. Yet such is his charm that all his normally intelligent wives pay for his defence, and declare they would gladly take him back.

From the opening sequence, you know you are watching something special, as Gilliat presents us with a series of fragments (a lampshade, a view out the window, a wardrobe mirror) as a dazed man comes back to consciousness. We do not see him first, but his reflection, as he looks in the mirror; the sequence is very broken in its editing to suggest the characters alienation from himself. In one hilarious sequence, he ponders the various possibilities of who he is - judge, priest, sportsman etc. - which are visualised in the mirror.

And this is what the film essentially is, a detective story, as a man searches for himself, his true identity. As such, it can be counted as an early anti-detective film, three years before VERTIGO. Unlike a normal detective, objectively analysing a crime, Harrison is personally involved; like Oedipus, the first detective, he is the answer to the question. But it is not a reassuring answer - the further Harrison searches the truth, the more diffuse that answer is - he is not one person, he is a series of endlessly proliferating identities, an abstraction made concrete in the number of wives he collects. And while this might seem to minimise women, it obliterates him until he becomes nothing. This leads to genuine, if comic, bewilderment in the court, as legal questions of identity and responsibility take on an ontological aspect.

This is a man who has so effaced himself that he can no longer live in the world, and sees prison as a refuge. I think it was Andre Breton who once suggested that Surrealism never took off in England because its desperate normality is already so surreal, and it is amazing how many predictions of the late Bunuel can be found here, as in so many English comedies of the period.

The great thing, though, is how accessible all this is: the comedy is expert and witty; the identity mystery compelling; the ending up in mysterious Wales mind-boggling. The faded 50s colour is beautiful, doubly so when you think of the monochrome uniformity of the war films that dominated the period; and the old hands in the cast are a joy, as is sexy Rexy, who cannot help (unconsciously?) repeating his past mistakes, adding another ironical layer to the film.


30 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Marriage a la Mode (1955) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?