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This film is hilarious and what I consider to be the best film starring
A man is convinced by scarce circumstantial evidence that his wife is
unfaithful. Although still very much in love with his wife, he is "told"
an Italian employee that he must kill her. So begins a spiral where Claude
(Moore) plans the murder of his wife. However, when he tries to put the
into action, things go wrong.
The music in this movie is fantastic. The movie also contains the funniest scene I have witnessed in any movie which I can only describe as the "violin war". It is brilliant.
The actors and actresses chosen in the film fit their characters perfectly. The events in the film are easy to believe and thus make the plot more enjoyable. It also quietly sends a message to the audience... Don't be quick to condemn, your probably wrong.
This film is a mix between comedy and drama that is enjoyable. Watch this film, I think you'll love it.
I haven't seen the Preston Sturges original, but I know the hero there conceived THREE alternative murderous plans. The fact that this (unfaithful) remake contains only one certainly doesn't suggest that the filmmakers were full of ideas. It's still a generally agreeable (if uneven) comedy, but the laughs, even for Moore fans, are scattered.
Although this film is predictably funny, it maintains a sense of light comedy that justifies its viewing. Dudley Moore is his uniform self in his role as a conductor husband filled with jealousy. Natassja Kinski is his beautiful wife. Both are entertaining and charming in this cinema that is worth the evening of fun.
Preston Sturges, that genius of the American cinema, made a statement
when he wrote and directed the 1948 film, which in comparison with this
1984 attempt seems to be brilliant. Not only was the film great, it had
a wonderful cast of accomplished comedians with Rex Harrison, Linda
Darnell, and Rudy Vallee in the main roles.
Howard Zieff's version suffers in contrast in that is not as effective and even handed as the original one. Where Preston Sturges went for subtlety and sophistication, Mr. Zieff goes for a more splashy comedy, that at times seems forced.
Basically, the film doesn't improve on its model. Dudley Moore goes overboard with his take on Claude Eastman, the conductor. Natassja Kinski is terribly miscast as the Italian actress Daniella, who is married to Eastman. Armand Assante does what he can.
The film, photographed in Manhattan, takes us to places that are not around any more, like it's the case with the Russian Tea Room, where a few scenes were shot.
Find the original for a more satisfactory view.
Moore shines bright in this reworking of the 1948 Preston Sturges black comedy about a jealous symphony conductor who tries to fulfill a fantasy of murdering his sexy wife, (Kinski) whom he suspects is having an affair with another man. (Assante) It doesn't have the timing of the original, but it's a laugh riot for fans of Moore's bumbling hijinks, which as always is a torrent of laughter.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Unfaithful is an appropriate word here. The movie with its writing is
totally unfaithful to the movie industry. This is an inane film with
the late Dudley Moore proving once again how foolish he could act.
Of course, the film blames it on a person who couldn't speak English and who misinterpreted something leading Moore to believe that wife Natassja Kinski has been carrying on with violinist Armand Assante. The only good things about the movies are the long hairs of Armand and Dudley and the music interludes with Dudley great as being an orchestra leader.
The film goes downhill as Moore fantasizes the perfect murder plot only to see the plot go entirely awry. Ditto for the writing and everything else here.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not bad for a remake. The central character is altered to suit Dudley
Moore instead of Rex Harrison. Harrison was more suave. This script has
Moore doing a variation of his stone roles in "Ten" and "Arthur." He
gets bombed on tranquilizers during the climactic act-out and stumbles
into walls and broom closets, detracting a bit from whatever
sophistication the original had but making this version no less
The plot. Dudley Moore is a celebrated orchestra conductor. A series of mistakes leads him to conclude that his wife, Nastasja Kinski, is having an affair with a man who wears argyle socks. There is a furious search for argyle socks, with Moore ducking under the tables of fancy restaurants to check the socks worn by his companions. It's an old scene, this ducking under restaurant tables, but Moore pulls it off as well as anyone could. The only argyle socks he can find are those worn by his friend, the violinist Armand Assante.
Moore concocts a scheme to kill his wife and frame the violinist for the murder. The scheme isn't so much improbable as it is impossible, but it's funny enough in fantasy. When Moore tries to pull it off, everything goes wrong, of course, and the movie more or less collapses into frenzy.
Moore is good at these kinds of roles. God knows he's had enough practice. And he's a likable chap. It's difficult to envision him in an action movie -- "My Knife Is Quick", or something. Armand Assante is fine in a comedy. The first impression he makes is one of beefy, self-confident masculinity, but he's quite good in comic roles and is capable of self ridicule in a way that, say, Sylvester Stallone is not. Of Nastassja Kinski, what is there to say? She's sinewy, stunningly beautiful, more animated than usual, and edible.
Not a masterpiece but enjoyable.
I suppose remakes are rarely eligible for best picture nominations, but the story and the way this film presents it is wonderful. Jealousy and mistaken identity make a great plot. I'm sure it is much more enjoyable than any other 1984 film nominated for best picture. I admit I have not seen the 1948 original and perhaps if it comes on cable/satellite TV I will. I would like to know if the same music is used. The music, Tchaikovsky's "Violin Concerto, 1st Movement", what a fine and difficult symphony. Then there is the dueling violins scene using Vittorio Monti's "Czardas," excellent passionate music for the passion Dudley Moore's character feels about his wife played by Natassia Kinski. Dudley Moore and Armande Asante make as good a team as Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, but without the foul language. This movie is clean and has substance.
This is a comedy of errors in which the viewer knows almost everything while the on screen actors are in a perpetual state of confusion. Dudley Moore has the enviable task of playing a famous middle aged music conductor who is married to a young, ravishing Italian starlet played by Nastassja Kinski. And she is passionately in love with him. For the times, this would have been the ultimate middle aged, male fantasy. Via a misunderstanding, Dudley Moore ends up in a comedy of errors scheming to kill off the delicious Nastassja Kinski who easily fits into her innocent role. Lots of fun to watch, especially with Nastassja as the eye candy.
Don't ask me why but I absolutely wanna see all films with Nastassja Kinski and with this in mind I know I have to see some bad ones as well. Is this one a stinker? Not really but it's just one of those eightiescomedies in where a goldfish is funnier than Dudley Moore himself. Still wearing his playboyattitude (never could get that!) from "Ten", Moore plays the role of Claude Eastman who happen to be one of the most respected musicconductors. He just has married his new Italian wife Daniella (never understood why she wasn't Russian as madame Kinski speaks with a very Russian accent) and due to a stupid householdkeeper Giuseppe (Richard Libertini, the sole man with whom you can laugh even if he plays a complete idiot) his wife is followed by a detective as Claude told him to keep an eye on her.... This comedy could have been made in the 60's as this is pure Boeing Boeing-style, you know one situation leads to another situation that is based on false suspicions and so.... Naaah you saw it million times before, you saw it million times better but you never saw it with Nastassja Kinski
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