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Architect Larry Coe has a wife and family, but becomes embroiled in an affair with beautiful Maggie Gault, a neighbor with her own family. The two lovers are forced to face the choice between love and loyalty. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Kim Novak reportedly enjoyed a lot of latitude on the set because she was involved with director Richard Quine and used that latitude to make unsolicited suggestions to various crew members. However, when Novak tried to make suggestions to Kirk Douglas on how he should be acting, he took offense and the result was a chilly relationship between them off-set. See more »
When she's getting ready to leave the party at Larry's house, Maggie goes to their bedroom to pick up her coat (all of the partygoers' coats had been laid out there on the bed). There is at least another coat or jacket by the pillow area of the bed when she comes in, but a moment later after she has looked around the bedroom and peeked into their bathroom, when Maggie walks by the bed to leave, the other coat or jacket by the pillow is missing. It is "possible" another guest "could have" have reached in and grabbed it, but it is highly unlikely since Maggie was only in the bedroom for a moment and she was never surprised by anyone coming in and catching her kind of snooping around. See more »
I've seen much commentary depicting this film as little more than a soap. If the themes of marital infidelity and dissatisfaction are soap-operish, then I guess it is.
That said, I want to add that the subject matter is handled quite delicately and skillfully by all involved. Kirk Douglas is good as the architect who finds himself attracted to his new neighbor. He delivers the dialogue quite well, not falling into the easy trap of overacting. The only dissatisfaction may come with the Ernie Kovacs subplot, but that is so minor, it barely registers. More lasting are the scenes between Douglas and Kim Novak. One scene in particular, when they find themselves together at the beach discussing his wife, is particularly poignant.
The film belongs to Kim Novak, however, as the housewife who has the affair with Douglas. She is heart-breakingly good in this movie. Joshua Logan, director of "Picnic", once said that Novak wore her beauty like a 'crown of thorns' and that quality is on full display in SWWM. A natural desire for love and affection come through wonderfully, and her subtle style of acting is pitch perfect. Her best moment comes when she is talking to her husband - in effect trying to seduce him. The moment could come off hokey or overdone, but Novak doesn't miss a beat. She is neither crass nor coy. The desire is honest and heartfelt, and one senses real pain at her rejection.
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