Unfaithfully Yours (1948)
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Preston Sturges' Unfaithfully Yours is one of those quick-patter comedies and just a delight from top to bottom. Rex Harrison plays a famous symphony director with a loving, young wife, but also an over-zealous brother-in-law who has her followed by detectives while he's on tour. Rex is outraged at first, but that niggling thought sprouts an ugly vine that chokes his heart, and pretty soon, he's imagining the worst. What's fantastic is that they let the symphony play. A LOT. There's a number that's just played for a bit of comedy, and then three more that become background to delicious fantasies in which Rex imagines how he might confront his wife and her presumed lover. And I think we still like Rex after he imagines a bloody murder. I do think the slapstick sequence near the end goes on a bit too long, but I want to forgive it because it works as a percussion piece (and it IS telegraphed by small clumsy moments earlier, things you discount as small onset mistakes). Lots of fun characters help support the film's lightness too, including a music-loving Private Eye, and the ending solves the mystery rather well. Too often, romantic comedies give their leads jobs that don't really mean anything to the plot. Unfaithfully Yours is entirely built around Rex's. It's great.
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In 6 official lists
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This movie ranks #333 in The Criterion Collection
This movie ranks #352 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
This movie ranks #376 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
This movie ranks #911 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films: 1001-2000
This movie ranks #949 in TSPDT's 1,000 Noir Films
This movie ranks #1024 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema