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20th Century Fox presents
Unfaithfully Yours (1984)

"Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it."
- Claude Eastman (Dudley Moore)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: June 30, 2005

Stars: Dudley Moore, Nastassja Kinski, Armand Assante
Other Stars: Albert Brooks, Cassie Yates, Richard Libertini, Richard B. Shull
Director: Howard Zieff

Manufacturer: PDMC
MPAA Rating: PG for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 01h:36m:15s
Release Date: June 07, 2005
UPC: 024543131571
Genre: comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B- C+B-B- D-

DVD Review

Roman Polanski sure knows how to pick leading ladies, and when he released Tess in 1979 I developed a thing for Nastassja Kinski, so much so that I was probably one of the handful of people that actually saw the simply godawful Exposed (1983) in a theater just because she was in it. She seemed to be playing mostly offbeat characters (Cat People, Hotel New Hampshire, Paris Texas) and I liked that, but when this loose 1984 version of the Preston Sturges screenplay cast her as Dudley Moore's trophy wife I was left slightly askew.

Let's discount the plot for a second. Rest assured the core is classic Hollywood stuff, and for the most part is was left largely unchanged by director Howard Zieff, working off an adaptation by Valerie Curtin, who would later pen the dreadful Toys. Dudley Moore, borrowing heavily from his Ten/Arthur persona, plays Claude Eastman, a world-famous orchestra conductor who suspects his gorgeous young wife Daniella (Kinski) of having an affair with accomplished violinist Max Stein (Armand Assante). The crux of the comedy is that Moore's character reads the clues all wrong, and becomes convinced he must kill his wife for her perceived infidelity.

Moore does a shadow of his early 1980s Moore-schtick, staying well within the lines, leaving Kinski not much to do but be stunningly anonymous, while Assante gets left with the thankless role of implied cad. For me, I couldn't accept Kinski as Moore's wife in 1984, and I still can't really buy into it today, but this is one of those early 1980s marquee titles, where it was familiar faces over substantive characters. With today's headlines, maybe a guy plotting to kill his wife isn't necessarily the surefire laugh riot plot it once was, so Zieff's film, wrapped as it is in all of its New York City decorum, has become something of an antique.

This is hardly Moore's strongest comedic outing, Assante is wedged somewhere between straight man and lead, and for Kinski it was a mainstream speedbump on a career that for the most part was driven by oddly compelling characters. The supporting cast—including Albert Brooks, Richard Libertini, Richard B. Shull—fills things out, but I was left wanting more Kinski, less Assante, and a funnier Moore.

Rating for Style: B-
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 OneTwo
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyesno
Anamorphicyesno


Image Transfer Review: 20th Century Fox has included a pair of mediocre transfers on this two-sided disc, with 1.33:1 fullframe on one and 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen on the other. Colors tend to look rather washed out, and overall the print looks dingy. The film itself is in decent condition, though there is a fine layer of grain throughout.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, French, Spanishyes
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Not a major difference between the English mono and English 2.0 stereo tracks, but at the very least both offer clean dialogue. There is a noticeable lack of depth to the audio presentation, which when coupled with the drab image transfer makes for a rough ride.

French and Spanish mono tracks are also included.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
2-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: No extras other than a theatrical trailer. The disc is cut into 28 chapters, with optional subtitles in English or Spanish.

Extras Grade: D-

 

Final Comments

Classify this is as one of those "cute" early 1980s New York comedies, with a lineage stretching back to Preston Sturges. The cast seems impressive, but none of them seem to ever connect together onscreen.

 


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