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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.33:1 Standard
  • English Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • 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

Unfaithfully Yours


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Preston Sturges
Starring: Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Rudy Vallee, Barbara Lawrence, Kurt Kreuger, Lionel Stander
1948 | 105 Minutes | Licensor: 20th Century Fox

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #292
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: July 12, 2005
Review Date: April 2, 2009

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SYNOPSIS

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.

Forum members rate this film 7.9/10

 

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PICTURE

The Criterion Collection presents Preston Sturgesí Unfaithfully Yours in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1 on this dual-layer disc.

Itís a fine looking transfer despite a few minor issues. The transfer is a little soft around the edges at times and contrast looks to be boosted slightly, which robs some of the detail in a few sequences with heavy whites or blacks. But generally itís a very clean looking transfer and I didnít notice any instances with artifacts or noise. The print used is in wonderful shape, with very little in the way of damage.

They may have overdone it in a few cases but overall I was pleased with the presentation here.

7/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

Criterion presents a nice mono track for the film. Dialogue and music are both crisp and sharp, and thereís a nice amount of range to it. The track overall is free of distortion and background noise, appearing to have been thoroughly cleaned up. More than adequate for the film.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Criterion includes a nice collection of supplements on this DVD release. I'm amazed that they were even able to add more to this set since they covered Preston Sturges so extensively in their other two releases for his films The Lady Eve and Sullivan's Travels.

The commentary on this disc is a bit of an odd beast. I can't say I cared much for it and I have to say it hurt the grade for the supplements on the disc. It brings together Sturges experts James Harvey, Brian Henderson, and Diane Jacobs together. They talk about Sturges, his career, and his work overall, focusing on the film itself less than I would have liked. In all honesty I didn't find it altogether too interesting, except when someone would disagree with another view. But I think the next supplement would be better to spend time with rather than the commentary.

Next we get a 17-minute interview with former Python member Terry Jones, a big Sturges fan. He starts by talking about how he first discovered Preston Sturges and how much he loves his films. He then states that he wasn't the biggest fan of Unfaithfully Yours and wasn't looking forward to viewing it again for this DVD release. But it appears he took a full 180 as he now loves the film. The remainder of the interview is him deconstructing the film, explaining what's so good about the film and talking about the sequences he now loves. Excellent, analytical interview that works better than commentary.

Also included is a 24-minute interview with Preston's widow, Sandy Sturges. It's an excellent interview as she gives her personal feelings about Preston, talks about how they met and got married, his working technique and then anecdotes about the film, including its advertising and reception. She's a very engaging speaker and manages to cover his career and the film quite thoroughly for a small piece.

A gallery includes a lot correspondence between Sturges and various other players, most notably Daryl Zanuck. These actually make for interesting reading if you can make out everything. The set up allows you to navigate through using the arrows on your remote, showing an entire page on one screen but then zoom in on a specific portion on the next. The one letter I found interesting was one from Zanuck saying that the title (originally called A Symphony Story or Unfinished Symphony) could not have the word "symphony" in it. Okay... I also found it interesting once we got to letters showing Zanuck's concern about how well the film might perform. The gallery then concludes with production photos.

And then you get a trailer which is pretty bad. It's all over the place never signifying what the movie is really about. Itís interesting more in the fact itís obvious Fox had no idea what to do with the film, and it also contains a few alternate takes of some scenes.

And there you have it. Itís not as jam-packed as Criterionís Sullivan's Travels DVD but Criterion has gone all out in trying to give you a great bang for your buck, not releasing it at the higher-tier $39.95 price point but rather the lower $29.95 price. Despite my dissatisfaction with the commentary (which maybe others might enjoy) itís not a mark against this release since the rest of the supplements more than make up for it.

7/10

CLOSING

I have to say Iíve always liked this film and donít completely understand some of the criticisms against it. Criterion covers this all rather well in its supplements and gives the film a fine looking transfer, and the fact that itís available at the lower price of $29.95 makes it a definite deal, even if Iím not a fan of the commentary track. A high recommendation from me.


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