Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Thursday, 7 August 2014
Summer views: The Constant Husband, 1955
Nice to see Sidney Gilliat's THE CONSTANT HUSBAND crop on tv - particularly after having read Carol Matthau's chapter on its stars Rex Harrison and Kay Kendall in her marvellous memoir, as reviewed below. I had not seen the film since I got he dvd some years ago,. It is mid-'50s England in aspic really as amnesiac Rex Harrison wakes up in Wales with no idea of who he is or how he got there. Its amusingly put together as with the help of jolly psychiatrist Cecil Parker his past is slowly unravelled as he ends up in court, presided over by judge Michael Hordern, charged with being a serial bigamist. It turns out of course that the women - all 7 of them - would all take him back - and even his defence barrister, a very dry Margaret Leighton, also falls for those legendary Rex charms. Its a perfect role for Harrison, coming into his own here, just before taking on the role of Henry Higgins.
The interest here now though are the women. Not only Leighton and Nicole Maurey (and her hilarious Italian restaurant family) but Kay Kendall at her most divine as Monica, the society photographer. Harrison was still married to Lilli Palmer when starting this, but you can see this is where he and Kendall began, she is obviously entraced with him, (and he with her), and she looks lovely here - as she does in GENEVIEVE and SIMON AND LAURA, before that make-over by MGM for her following films QUENTIN DURWARD, LES GIRLS, RELUCTANT DEBUTANTE and ONCE MORE WITH FEELING. Splendidly entertaining then. Now for another look at SIMON AND LAURA ...