The Sturges film with the odd flavour. As nutty as usual in its treatment of character and language, it adds a strong dash of poison to its tale of a famous conductor (Sir Thomas Beecham wickedly parodied) who comes to suspect his wife's fidelity. His imagination, fed by Rossini, Wagner and Tchaikovsky, conceives scenes of delirious revenge, reconciliation, and renunciation, only to find reality letting it down with a humiliating bang on each occasion. A bitter black comedy, some of it (like Harrison's struggles with a recalcitrant recording machine in preparing the perfect murder) is incredibly funny, but the rest is shot through with a painful tang of despair. Not much liked at the time, but a small masterpiece just the same in its skilful blending of moods, genuinely moving and quite beautifully played by Harrison and Darnell.
Cast and crew