To help his divorced neighbor claim a substantial inheritance, a family man poses as her husband. The ruse spills over into his career in advertising, and his recent promotion relies on his wholesome and moral appearance.
Two quirky Manhattanites crash into each other at an ophthalmologist's office. Peter is a grouchy cartoonist/author whose vision is failing; divorced mother Theresa is also reluctant to ... See full summary »
Jane Osgood runs a lobster business, which supports her two young children. Railroad staff inattention ruins her shipment, so with her lawyer George, Jane sues Harry Foster Malone, director of the line and the "meanest man in the world".
In New York, newly-promoted Wall Street broker Howard Brubaker is invited by his boss Ted Gunther to come to his apartment. However, there is a party and Howard feels uncomfortable and out ... See full summary »
Stanley Ford leads an idyllic bachelor life. He is a nationally syndicated cartoonist whose Bash Brannigan series provides him with a luxury townhouse and a full-time valet, Charles. When he wakes up the morning after the night before - he had attended a friend's stag party - he finds that he is married to the very beautiful woman who popped out of the cake - and who doesn't speak a word of English. Despite his initial protestations, he comes to like married life and even changes his cartoon character from a super spy to a somewhat harried husband. When after several months he decides to kill off Bash's wife in the cartoon, his wife misinterprets his intentions and disappears. Which leads the police to charge him with murder. Written by
The comic strip art in the film was done by Mel Keefer, the artist on Perry Mason, Mac Divot and Rick O'Shay comic strips. In addition, Alex Toth drew a comic strip of the characters as part of a teaser campaign to promote the film. See more »
After the trial is over, Stanley and Charles are in the bar having a drink. The bartender hands them their drinks and goes behind Charles to tend to the bar. Sound is heard over their dialog, of cash register buttons being pushed and the total being rung. Problem is, if you look closely, the cash register is not on the customer side where the bartender is standing, but on the bottle side of the bar space. Who would put a cash register where a customer could reach into it? No, it's on the other side of the bar space, where no one is standing, so no one can be ringing them up. See more »
Stan, Stan, uh, I wanna' remind you, lad, that you're now 37 years old. And quite frankly, it's time that you settled down. Now, Edna and I were discussing it last night, and Edna feels - and frankly I agree with her - that there is something almost immoral about a man of your age who isn't married. Doesn't go to an office, sits around drawing an infantile comic strip, that appeals only to morons, Stanley... Stanley? Stanley? Are you listening?
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At first, it only says How to Your Wife on the screen, in white letters. Then, the word Murder shows up in red letters in the space between the two rows of text. See more »
Sure, it has a weak third act which pounds a particularly misogynistic message. And the end is so formulaic it hurts. But up until then, it classifies as among the best of comedies.
I have a particular admiration for it as what I think is the first example of a cartoonist whose drawings interweave with his life. Its a clever idea at root but handled with extra sophistication here.
The setup is that our hero (Jack Lemmon) is a cartoonist who draws himself in his strip as a sort of James Bond character. But before he draws each strip, he actually acts it out as movies that we see in the movie within the movie. (How he hires the actors and arranges the locations is a detail left unexplained.)
Thus, strip and life have a relationship within the story proper. Much is made of conflating the movie, the life depicted in the movie, the strip, and the movies within.
He ends up with an unwanted (well, sort of) wife and acts out her murder. Since she left in a huff, he has no defense when his readership (the whole country it seems) accuses him of real murder.
The pinnacle of this confabulation comes when his butler comes to the realization that the murder has actually been real with the enactment an alibi. Things go downhill from there. But until that point, this is sublime, a comic "Draughtsman's Contract."
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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