How to Murder Your Wife
Action / Comedy
How to Murder Your Wife
Action / Comedy
Stanley Ford leads an idyllic bachelor life. He is a nationally syndicated cartoonist whose Bash Brannigan series provides him with a luxury townhouse and a full-time valet, Charles. When he wakes up the morning after the night before - he had attended a friend's stag party - he finds that he is married to the very beautiful woman who popped out of the cake - and who doesn't speak a word of English. Despite his initial protestations, he comes to like married life and even changes his cartoon character from a super spy to a somewhat harried husband. When after several months he decides to kill off Bash's wife in the cartoon, his wife misinterprets his intentions and disappears. Which leads the police to charge him with murder.
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May 31, 2017 at 05:12 AM
Possible spoilers. This movie only works because Jack Lemon's (Ford character) lawyer is probably the most incompetent lawyer in motion picture history. Everything the lawyer said showed he wasn't working for his client. After the couple came to his office, there are several totally legal ways the lawyer could have gotten Lemon's character out of the marriage. (Check out annulment, Vegas marriage, and marriage of foreigner to U.S. citizen rules.) And at least one at the end to stop the trial before it begins, like checking on people who airline flights to Rome. But all this would kill the movie.
An Okay Movie in the '60s, but Not Today
I remember seeing this in theaters upon initial release. I know I saw it a few more times on TV in the '70s. Although it wasn't by any means a favorite, I remember that it was a pleasant experience.
Fast forward to yesterday. I started to watch it for the first time in 30 years, and I had to abandon it. It was unwatchable. Why?
1) I despised the way Stanley was railroaded by his attorney, Harold. What a schmuck that character was.
2) I despised his attorney's wife, Edna. What a *beep*.
3) Virna Lisi's personality was awful. Couldn't stand it whenever she opened her mouth.
4) What was with that really ugly insect that Ms. Lisi carried below her lip. "Beauty mark" my a$$.
5) The drowning rats that are Yorkshire Terriers are contemptible. And women dressing them up in bows and ribbons and parading them around in their arms are equally contemptible. That thing should have gone in the gloppitta-gloppitta machine first.
6) I've spent the vast majority of my adulthood as a single man, living alone. I like it. And interestingly, like Stanley, I've had to deal with a number of "friends" and acquaintances along the way who voiced their opinions that there was something wrong with me. To them, and to Stanley's detractors, I say, *beep* ***.
I guess I've become a crotchety old koot. Of course, I know that some of these things were plot/comedy devices. I know that my opinion here at IMDb is in the minority.
Hey, I am a big, big fan of Terry Thomas, and a fairly big fan of Jack Lemmon. But I find it interesting that those affections are no longer enough to get me to sit through this movie. In the '60s and '70s, I would have given it a 6 or so, but now it gets a 3.
Read more IMDb reviews
How To Murder Your Wife ( HTMYW) is not a movie to be taken seriously. It is a spoof of spy movies and sex comedies. . I can imagine there would be a lot of women who would not care for this movie ( and a lot of guys who do ( myself included)). It's about a cartoonist named Stanley Ford (Jack Lemmon) who gets drunk and marries the girl who comes out of the cake ( the luscious Virna Lisi). Here is the thing: Lisi ( who as an Italian speaks no English) actually takes good care of Stanley ( if the writers wanted to be nasty, they could have made her a shrew ( like his lawyer's wife played by Claire Trevor)). Spoilers ahead: What it is about is killing his wife in a comic strip so the character can go back to being a spy. For that reason Stanley gets indicted for killing his wife ( she actually ran away because she ( like everyone else) thinks he will kill her). He admits to killing her, but gets acquitted ( to send a message to the jurors wives). What is important is Stanley really loves his wife which he admitted to his nasty woman hating butler ( Terry-Thomas) who along with Lisi ( for different reasons of course) steals the movie. Lisi's character who is called "Mrs. Ford ( you never learn her first name), eventually wins the battle of the sexes because even Terry-Thomas says "If he ( Stanley) can stand her, so can I." He then meets her mom and falls for her. What is important is almost any guy would love to be with Virna Lisa ( think Marilyn Monroe meets Sophia Loren), but she is actually decent ( she will not sleep with him at the end without the ring on her finger ( which he has)), and actually makes his life better ( even though she gets him kicked out of his men's only club by showing up there), and has him gain weight. What you see throughout the movie is a lot of unhappy men who picked the wrong woman ( since all are successful ( except the jurors), it makes you think they married not out of love but for social status) so they are miserable ( that is why they join clubs to get away from them). Stanley ends up with an entirely different kind of woman and learns to love her because of who she is. Besides if the choice is getting drunk with the guys or spending the night with Virna Lisi, the choice is very easy. 10/10 stars.