How To Murder Your Wife

Synopsis: He had what every man wanted… then she came along! Legendary funnyman Jack Lemmon stars in this “hilarious farce of almost remitting fun” (The Hollywood Reporter) with the “breathtakingly beautiful” (L.A. Herald Examiner) Virna Lisi.

Bachelorhood is bliss for cartoonist Stanley Ford (Lemmon)- complete with an English butler (Terry Thomas), delectable dames and extra-dry martinis. But when he attends a bachelor party and meets an Italian beauty (Lisi) who pops out of a cake, his fate is sealed. The next morning, he discovers he’s married to her even though she can barely speak English – and now the consummate bachelor will go to any lengths to untie the knot!
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How To Murder Your Wife 7.5

While it would have made for an unusual black comedy (especially for such an actor as Jack Lemmon), it turns out that this film is more conventional than the title would suggest. It’s basically about the dramatic changes a confirmed bachelor has to face when he wakes up married one morning.

This is NOT ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ or ‘The Addams Family’! In fact, it probably wouldn’t be too unusual if it had been a British comedy, as they always tended to be more audacious than their American counterparts.

It sort of reminds me of the brand of humour found in ‘Send Me No Flowers’, which is one of those rare American comedies of the era that had a dark side. Coincidentally enough, the two principal male roles (here played by Jack Lemmon and Eddie Mayehoff) were perfectly suited for Rock Hudson and Tony Randall.

In fact, I believe Randall would have been superior to Mayehoff. While I’m a fan of Lemmon, a substitution would have been excellent, as Hudson and Randall play off of each other perfectly, deliciously.

The rest of the cast is also very good: Virna Lisi is perfectly suited for her role and Terry-Thomas, aside from the courtroom outburst, is brilliant here.

It may end up being a slow cooker for me; I genuinely liked it, but my expectations were different. I believe that it has the potential to grow on me over time, and repeat viewings.

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