Movie Mirrors Index

Unfaithfully Yours

(1948 b 105')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Preston Sturges wrote and directed this story of an orchestra conductor who has jealous fantasies of revenge against his wife, but he finds reality is quite different.

Daphne De Carter (Linda Darnell) meets her husband Alfred De Carter (Rex Harrison) at the airport, where they kiss and talk intimately. Her brother August Henshler (Rudy Vallee) tells Alfred that he kept an eye on his wife with a detective. Alfred angrily rips his coat, rips up the report, and kicks it out the door. Alfred asks Daphne if she loves him, and she says she does.

Alfred conducts the orchestra in a rehearsal and encourages the cymbal player to be more vulgar. The house detective tells Arthur that he read the torn report. Alfred sets it on fire, which spreads. They use hoses, and firemen come.

Alfred goes to detective Sweeney (Edgar Kennedy), who admires his music. Sweeney says his wife went to room 3406 in her negligée. Alfred rejects the report and gives him two tickets. Alfred comes home and is gruff to his wife, who cries. Alfred goes to 3406 and finds his secretary Tony (Kurt Krueger) there. Alfred goes back and quarrels with Daphne.

While conducting Rossini's Semiramide overture, Alfred fantasizes coming home with Daphne and suggests she go dancing with Tony. He makes a record of cries for help while she calls Tony. Alfred grabs her and slashes her with his razor. He puts on two records. Tony comes in, and Alfred has him handle the razor. Alfred leaves and has his room called. Tony hears the scream and runs into Daphne's room and trips. Tony is sentenced to death, and Alfred laughs.

The overture concludes. Alfred conducts a Wagner overture as he imagines telling Daphne he knows. He gives her a check. During applause Daphne and Tony praise Alfred backstage. While Alfred conducts Tchaikovsky, he tells Daphne and Tony that he knows of their affair. He proposes Russian roulette with one bullet. Tony refuses, and Alfred shoots himself. During the applause Alfred leaves and goes home.

Alfred puts on gloves and clumsily keeps knocking the phone off the hook while trying to get the phonograph down. When he gets it, the phone rings. Alfred asks Daphne to come home alone. He reads the instructions for recording and records himself calling for help. He plays it back at a slower speed. Daphne and Tony come in and find a mess. Alfred tells Tony to leave. Daphne doesn't want to go dancing with Tony. Alfred asks her to leave the room so he can disrobe. She says he is nutty. He sharpens his razor. When she comes back, he cuts his thumb. She takes care of him, and he forgives her. He tries to write a check, but the pen won't work. Daphne explains that she went to Tony's room late one night to find her sister Barbara (Barbara Lawrence). Alfred tells Daphne to dress up so that he can take her out and show her off because he loves her so much.

This farce contrasts the dramatic imagination which can easily fantasize many things very quickly with the practical realities that can be much more difficult to accomplish. The artistic temperament has excessive creativity and imagination, but in real life one may be a bumbler and not realize the simple truth.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

Movie Mirrors Index

BECK index