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 ...
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The camera zooms to a big closeup of Rex Harrison's left eye just before fading to each of Alfred de Carter's infidelity fantasies. Harrison happened to be blind in that eye, the result of childhood measles. See more »
In one shot the phone receiver gets knocked off the hook, but moments later the phone rings and the receiver is in place on the phone. See more »
Writer director Preston Sturges made a habit out of kicking the legs out from under some of our most cherished virtues, and he turned his attention to the sanctity of marriage in this late career classic: a dark and malicious (but no less hilarious) comedy easily several decades ahead of its time. The vow 'til death do us part' takes on an entirely new meaning when a world-renowned symphony conductor (Rex Harrison) begins to question the fidelity of his beautiful young wife, and while in concert is inspired to fantasies of revenge, noble sacrifice, and suicidal self-pity by the music of (respectively) Rossini, Wagner, and Tchaikovsky.
This is Preston Sturges at his iconoclastic best, sharpening his trademark wit to a keenness matched only by the startling, contrasting darkness of his humor. Notice how the catharsis of Rex Harrison's murderous daydreams lends an emotional brilliance to his interpretation of each musical score, and note too the malicious glee he takes in slashing his wife's pretty neck with a straight razor, and later watching his bête noir consigned to the electric chair.
Harrison's dapper English urbanity was perfectly suited to Sturges' unique, demented brand of verbal hysteria; one need only imagine Dudley Moore in the same role in the inevitable 1984 remake to appreciate the sophistication of the original. Sturges was not unaccustomed to getting away with murder in his comedies, but it's hard to believe a film of such daring poor taste could ever have been made under the moral straightjacket of mid-1940s Hollywood. Like all of the director's best efforts it hasn't aged a day since, and if anything is even funnier (and more chilling) when seen today.
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