You might think of a color film starring Dudley Moore. That was the remake.
This week I watched "Unfaithfully Yours" online via Netflix. It's a black and white film from 1948.
STOP READING NOW IF YOU DON"T WANT SPOILERS.
The movie was a real surprise to me. I didn't hunt it down, it came up as a suggestion because of another film I'd watched and rated high.
I thought, "Preston Sturges?" (Writer and director.) I've heard a lot about him but really only seen the film he did with Veronica Lake. ("Sullivan's Travels"?)
It stars Linda Darnell (new to her) and Rex Harrison (know him from many films including "My Fair Lady.")
Rex arrives back in town. He's a symphony conducter. He's got to conduct that evening. He's married to Linda Darnell. Her sister is married to a loud man. The loud man tells Rex he had to go out of town himself so he wasn't able to 'keep an eye' on Linda for Rex.
Rex doesn't think he asked that. But Loud Man is making such a to do and he explains that he hired a private detective since he couldn't be there. Rex is outraged and throws the private detective's file in the trash (without reading it) and hurls the trash can out of the hotel room. The hotel's detective finds it and brings it back to him. Rex sets it on fire. The hotel room catches on fire. The fire is put out.
He's mad. He goes to the detective hired to gripe him out. The detective understands because the bad news must have been hard to take. Bad news?
She was in a man's hotel room, in her nighty. For thirty minutes.
The man? His secretary.
Rex begins plotting to kill her.
He comes up with an intricate plan. He records his voice on vinyl. Then sets it to play back at a faster speed and it sounds like a woman. His wife. And he has her screaming about being murdered. He sets up the bedroom door so that the phone will be knocked over when it opens.
That means the hotel operator will immediately pick it up.
He goes into the bedroom and slashes Linda to death with his shaving razor. Then he closes the bedroom door and greets the secretary. He tells him the razor's still not sharp so that the secretary will pick it up and get his finger prints on it. Then Rex takes it into the bedroom and leaves it on the bed.
He then goes back out and tells the secretary that Linda's changing. Rex leaves the hotel room and goes downstairs. The record Rex made plops down on the stereo and it sounds like Linda's screaming. The secretary goes rushing into the bedroom and the phone's knocked off the hook. The operator here's "Linda" -- hears the 'murder.'
The police arrest the secretary.
He goes on trial.
He's going to be put to death.
He is insisting he's innocent.
He's found guilty.
Rex can't stop laughing in the court room.
You're thinking, "Rex is going to give it away."
And you find out it was a dream.
I'll be honest. When he slashed Linda, I was thinking, "Well I wasn't expecting that." I wondered how the audiences at the time handled it?
And since the murder scene and frame up take probably 15 minutes, I wonder how they handled it still? That's a long time to think the hero of the movie is a cold blooded killer.
It's a really great movie -- with some real laughs in it -- and it will hold your attention. I think it's among the great movies of its era.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"