292 Unfaithfully Yours

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Martha
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292 Unfaithfully Yours

#1 Post by Martha » Sat Apr 02, 2005 2:12 pm

Unfaithfully Yours

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In this pitch-black comedy from legendary writer-director Preston Sturges, Rex Harrison stars as Sir Alfred De Carter, a world-famous symphony conductor consumed with the suspicion that his wife is having an affair. During a concert, the jealous De Carter entertains elaborate visions of vengeance, set to three separate orchestral works. But when he attempts to put his murderous fantasies into action, nothing works out quite as planned. A brilliantly performed mixture of razor-sharp dialogue and uproarious slapstick, Unfaithfully Yours is a true classic from a grand master of screen comedy.

Special Features

• New, restored high-definition digital transfer
• Audio commentary by Sturges scholars James Harvey, Diane Jacobs, and Brian Henderson
• New video introduction by writer-director Terry Jones
• New video interview with Sturges's widow Sandy Sturges
• Gallery featuring rare production correspondence and stills
• Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
• Plus: a new essay by novelist Jonathan Lethem

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Brian Oblivious
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#2 Post by Brian Oblivious » Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:45 pm

Unfaithfully Yours is another one of Sturges' masterpieces. Because it was made at Fox rather than Paramount, doesn't feature many of his Stock Company players such as William Demarest, wasn't made during his famously fertile 1940-1944 but rather during his "decline", and wasn't a hit with audiences at the time, it tends to get lumped in with inferior pictures like Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend and the Sin of Harold Diddlebock by some Sturges fans. I emphatically disagree (and I'm not the only one). It admittedly has a somewhat different "feel" from his string of Paramount hits, but got some huge laughs, a wonderful lead performance from Rex Harrison, and is at least as much of a statement by Sturges on the nature of film directing as Sullivan's Travels is (though where that film focuses on the place of the artist in relation to the world, this one is more about the process of creation itself). In other words, I think its up there with the two Criterion Sturges films, as well as Christmas in July, the Miracle of Morgan's Creek and Hail the Conquering Hero.

Good music in it too.

Jaime_Weinman
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#3 Post by Jaime_Weinman » Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:53 pm

I always liked the fact that the conductor in this film is obviously based on Thomas Beecham, the British conductor -- even his repertoire is based on Beecham ("Your Delius? Delirious!"). Though I suppose that as the film goes on he becomes more and more of stand-in for Sturges himself.

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#4 Post by cdnchris » Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:34 pm

I've been dying to see this movie ever since I saw it mentioned on the supplements of the other Sturges discs. I can't find it anywhere on VHS. It just sounded like a sick sort of comedy, and I like those (Arsenic and Old Lace, though over the top, I get a kick out of.)

I just have to ask, though, is it really more of a dark comedy? Does it have a sort of sick sense of humour? I'll probably blind buy it anyways, so I guess it doesn't matter.

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Derek Estes
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#5 Post by Derek Estes » Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:25 pm

I really love this movie! I think at times it's perversely dark. It doesn't suprise me that it was a failure at the box office at the time it was released. I mean there are several Film Noir that are as dark if not darker, but the average person expecting a Preston Sturges comedy surely felt brutalized after leaving the theater. I'm glad to see more Sturges appear on DVD, and the Criterion treatment will make this a must have!

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Gordon
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#6 Post by Gordon » Sun Apr 10, 2005 3:20 pm

The UK edition from Optimum via Fox, is excellent: luminous transfer, revealing interviews with Sandy Sturges and Terry Jones (and his cat!).

I can't see me replacing it with the Criterion, unless there is an extra-special extra.

Brilliant film. We need all of Sturges' films on DVD.

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alandau
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#7 Post by alandau » Sun Apr 10, 2005 10:23 pm

Sorry to spoil the party, but IMO this is not one of Sturges' best films. It lacks the creative wit and chaos of his Paramount gems (40-44).

I found the film difficult to sit thru. And this is watching the Fox Laserdic print which had an excellent transfer.

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david hare
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#8 Post by david hare » Sun Apr 10, 2005 10:45 pm

Am I alone in thinking SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS is Sturges' masterpiece? (and one of the great movies about moviemaking.)

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Gordon
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#9 Post by Gordon » Sun Apr 10, 2005 11:02 pm

Sullivan's Travels is one of best films ever made - period. It's an extraordinary film in every sense. Very, very funny, but also quite hard-hitting; whimsical, yet stark. A true 'lesson in screenwriting', if ever there was one.

Easily one of Criterion's finest discs. Totally essential.

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kschell
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#10 Post by kschell » Mon Apr 11, 2005 10:50 am

jorencain wrote:
JusteLeblanc wrote:Are we jumping the gun on this one, or is it a definate?
http://img169.exs.cx/img169/3909/criterion25gs.jpg
It's totally "definate"
I dunno... I have one of those sheet... a few years old now... listing "A Room With a View"

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justeleblanc
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#11 Post by justeleblanc » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:21 pm

So are we going to delete this thread, now that it turns out that it was just a joke?

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Andre Jurieu
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#12 Post by Andre Jurieu » Mon Apr 11, 2005 2:51 pm

This was real and has been since confirmed

viewtopic.php?t=1992&start=0

This was a fake

viewtopic.php?t=2059

If it turns out that the first one was really a fake, we will know by the end of the month and I'm sure that our admin will delete the threads.

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Brian Oblivious
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#13 Post by Brian Oblivious » Tue Apr 12, 2005 10:44 pm

I found the same catalog at my local Virgin Megastore as well the other day.

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devlinnn
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#14 Post by devlinnn » Tue Apr 12, 2005 11:45 pm

It admittedly has a somewhat different "feel" from his string of Paramount hits, but got some huge laughs, a wonderful lead performance from Rex Harrison, and is at least as much of a statement by Sturges on the nature of film directing as Sullivan's Travels is (though where that film focuses on the place of the artist in relation to the world, this one is more about the process of creation itself).
It has been a while since I've seen it, but I totally agree with Brian here. Harrison's sublime performance (did he ever falter on screen?) really is the surrogate Sturges at his most naked, showing us the dangers (both comic and tragic) of the artist who is fully aware of his gifts, but blinded by ego to the environment he inhabits. I think we can also read into the title of the film that what we have is an open letter by Sturges to those very close to him, as a way of seeking forgiveness and understanding for his personal shortcomings as a lover, father, friend etc. That he could so so in a major Hollywood production with a stellar supporting cast (Linda Darnel never more ravishing; Rudy Valley devilishly annoying and dead-on hysterical) only supports his genius as a writer/director/artist.

The Criterion DVD will be essential and treasured viewing.

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david hare
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#15 Post by david hare » Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:45 am

Devlinn surely Rex does more than falter in DR DOLITTLE and the abominable STAIRCASE!

BTW did you ever pick up one of those cheapie Oz PD discs of UNFAITHFULLY YOURS which came out a couple of years ago? (I realize no threat to a forthcoming Criterion but it was very reasonable quality for a 5 buck nasty, and carried the Fox logo at the top.)

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devlinnn
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#16 Post by devlinnn » Wed Apr 13, 2005 1:56 am

Dr. Doolittle is Harrison's Two Faced Woman - any poor bugger would have suffered with such screen competition. He wears those slacks and boots well though, so give him a little credit. Staircase is one of the few Donen's I have never been able to see - it has always sounded too awful to be true.

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david hare
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#17 Post by david hare » Wed Apr 13, 2005 5:08 am

Not only can you not see STAIRCASE you can't stomach it -- I saw it as one of the first "gay themed" movies passed by the Oz censors here in 1968. Tragique!! His nemesis Richard Burton plays it as the bitch! - frankly I found both of them completely unbelievable and offensive, Rex probably the more objectionable (despite Burton's Playboy Interview the year before in which he said, a la Marlon - "'I have loved many men..." etc.) !!!!!! Frankly I have a blind spot with Rex.

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ltfontaine
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#18 Post by ltfontaine » Mon Apr 18, 2005 3:42 pm

Because it was made at Fox rather than Paramount, doesn't feature many of his Stock Company players such as William Demarest, wasn't made during his famously fertile 1940-1944 but rather during his "decline", and wasn't a hit with audiences at the time, it tends to get lumped in with inferior pictures like Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend and the Sin of Harold Diddlebock by some Sturges fans.
Herewith a very belated reply to the premise that The Sin of Harold Diddlebock is an "inferior picture like Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend." While the film fails to attain the delirious heights of Sturges' best work in the early Forties, it is nevertheless a very enjoyable comedy with generous helpings of undiluted Sturges genius. The first half of the film is pretty much uniformly up to snuff, including the priceless long scene in which Harold Lloyd, Franklin Pangborn and Edgar Kennedy concoct and consume the potent potable dubbed, in Harold's honor, "the Diddlebock." The film admittedly runs out of steam somewhat during the protracted hijinks with Jackie, the lion, but The Sin is well worth viewing by those who enjoy Struges' other films. The performance by Lloyd, especially, rises well above the movie's other limitations.

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Brian Oblivious
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#19 Post by Brian Oblivious » Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:25 pm

Good point, Itfontaine. Though Sin of Harold Diddlebock is inferior to Unfaithfully Yours and the Paramount pictures, to simply lump it in with the all-but-unwatchable Beautiful Blonde From Bashful Bend without comment was unfair of me. Diddlebock is a severely flawed but nevertheless quite enjoyable film, and it even expands at least one of Sturges' key themes as an auteur, that of the "good fairy".

David Thomson even has a nice thing or two to say about Beautiful Blonde... though (in the context of Betty Grable's career, anyway). I'd like to hear a full defense of it from someone sometime.

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#20 Post by Ashirg » Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:39 pm

Amazon and DVD Soon have it for pre-order for July (12th or 19th)

lull
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#21 Post by lull » Sun May 01, 2005 2:06 pm

Fox are releasing Howard Zieff's Unfaithfully Yours (1984) starring Dudley Moore on DVD June 7, 2005.
hmm. dunno which one i'm gonna get now.

Sai
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#22 Post by Sai » Mon May 02, 2005 12:06 pm

The specs are up, and they continue the trend of an audio commentary on a lower-tier disc.

- New, restored high-definition digital transfer

- Audio commentary by Sturges scholars James Harvey, Diane Jacobs, and Brian Henderson

- Video introduction by writer-director Terry Jones

- Video interview with Sturges’s widow Sandy Sturges

- New essay by novelist Jonathan Lethem

- Gallery featuring rare production correspondence and stills

- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing

kieslowski
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#23 Post by kieslowski » Tue May 03, 2005 10:19 am

Presumably the Terry Jones and Sandy Sturges pieces are ported from the UK R2 Second Sight disc...

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FilmFanSea
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#24 Post by FilmFanSea » Thu Jun 23, 2005 2:34 pm

Nearly three weeks before its July 12th streetdate, the first review of Unfaithfully Yours is up at DVD Talk, and it is far from fawning. The "star" ratings seem unusually harsh, particularly when compared with the text.

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tryavna
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#25 Post by tryavna » Thu Jun 23, 2005 4:21 pm

FilmFanSea wrote:Nearly three weeks before its July 12th streetdate, the first review of Unfaithfully Yours is up at DVD Talk, and it is far from fawning. The "star" ratings seem unusually harsh, particularly when compared with the text.
Yeah, I'm not sure what to make of this review, particularly when it contains odd, unsubstantiated claims like:
Though it was a dud in theaters and today is one of Sturges' least respected films
Actually, it's rated pretty highly by many film critics. Leonard Maltin, for example, gives it his highest rating of 4 stars. I'd also place it highly in the Sturges canon -- perhaps a bit below Sullivan's Travels and The Lady Eve and Miracle at Morgan's Creek, but above others like Christmas in July and The Great McGinty.

Or:
The obvious changes to Sturges' style that marked his downfall as America's top filmmaker are evident here, and it's hard to argue that he had already begun his spiral.
Then there's no evidence offered to convince me that this film demonstrates a declining skill on Sturges' part.

All in all, an odd review.

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