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A cop quits the force after too much disappointment in the system. He becomes a bodyguard of a rich recent widow. She is on trial for her husband's murder. He decides to help her clear her name... and get over her husband.
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 <email@example.com>
When Felix is advising Larry about the dangers of cheating on his wife, he warns him to watch out not to leave blonde hair pins laying around because Larry's wife Eve has black hair. In reality, actress Barbara Rush sported reddish auburn hair. 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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