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Unfaithfully Yours is a 1948 film from Twentieth Century Fox, written and directed by Preston Sturges, and starring Rex Harrison and Linda Darnell, with a remake in 1984 starring Dudley Moore and Nastasia Kinsky.
Renowned conductor Sir Alfred De Carter has been Happily Married to his wife, Daphne, for a number of years. But when he arrives home from a trip, he receives distressing news. His brother-in-law misunderstood when Alfred asked him to keep an eye on Daphne, and hired a private detective to watch her. Then it turned out the detective actually did find evidence that Daphne might be having an affair, due to seeing her enter and leave the room of Anthony Windborn, Alfred's secretary.
Distressed over this apparent betrayal, Alfred has differing fantasies over what to do as he conducts a concert, each fueled by the three extremely different musical pieces, Rossini's Semiramide overture, the overture to Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet-fantasy overture, which he conducts during the performance. The first is about murdering Daphne and framing Winborn, the second about forgiving Daphne and letting her be with Windborn, and the third about confronting them over their affair, respectively.
But then he tries implementing these fantasies for real.
This film could have been many things with its premise, but it's actually a dark comedy about how Alfred deals with his feelings. This is suspected to be reason it didn't do well at first, but grew in reputation with audiences used to such subject matter.
Another possible reason the film did not do well was the suicide of Carole Landis, a film actress and lover of Rex Harrison, who took a fatal overdose of sleeping pills after Harrison refused to leave his wife for her. Unfaithfully Yours--a comedy in which Harrison imagines murdering his wife--came out only four months after Landis's suicide and the ensuing scandal.
The movie was remade in 1984, but that was criticized as just mediocre, cutting out many elements of the original, such as the second and third fantasies and how the main character dealt with them.
Contains Examples Of:
- Black Comedy: While mild by today's standards, it might have been too much for The Forties.
- Cannot Spit It Out
- Crazy Jealous Guy
- Hilarity Ensues: Alfred trying to fulfill the first fantasy.
- I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: The second fantasy.
- It Works Itself: The claim for the instructions of the recorder.
- Mental Story: The fantasy sequences.
- Love Triangle: Or at least it seemed to be one.
- Opera Gloves: Daphne wears a particularly pretty, sequined pair to accompany her black strapless gown throughout almost the entire second half of the movie.
- The Perfect Crime: The first fantasy.
- Pimped-Out Dress: Daphne's dress for the concert, and the dress "with the plumes at the hips".
- Pretty in Mink: Several, with Daphne even asking her sister what fur she would be wearing so Daphne wouldn't end up wearing an identical one.
- The Remake
- Rule of Three: The different fantasies Alfred has.
- Russian Roulette: The third fantasy has Alfred force Windborn to play this with him.
- Subverted when he tries to actually do it with Daphne, and she get's confused over which game.
"My father and I played it all the time."
- Socialite: Daphne and her sister.
- What Could Have Been: The remake was originally going to star Peter Sellers, but his death in 1980 scuppered that.
- Your Cheating Heart: The driving force of the plot. But it turned out Daphne's sister slept with Windborn, and Daphne trying to help her sister sneak out of the room made it look like it was her.