How To Murder Your Wife Movie Review Summary

Actors: Jack Lemmon, Virna Lisi, Terry-Thomas, Eddie Mayehoff, Claire Trevor

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of How To Murder Your Wife

Cartoonist Stanley Ford (Jack Lemmon)is a happy 37-year-old bachelor in the swinging '60's, living and working in his elegant townhouse amid the skyscrapers of New York City. To ensure the authentic feel of his strips about Bash Brannigan, Secret Agent, he stages capers - complete with fake gunplay and chases through alleys and docks - before he draws them, using photographs snapped by his dedicated English butler, Charles (Terry-Thomas.)
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One night, Stanley drinks too much at a bachelor party and marries the girl who emerges from the cake (Virna Lisi.) In the morning, he proposes an annulment. She, speaking only Italian, doesn't understand. His lawyer Harold Lampson (Eddie Mayehoff) merely laughs and welcomes him to the ranks of the married, while Mrs. Lampson (Claire Trevor) befriends the girl. Stanley is further beset by his attraction to his affectionate new wife, and his inability to endure her tears. Reluctantly, he settles into married life, losing Charles, gaining weight from her Italian cooking, losing sleep from her all-night tv-watching, and enduring her yappy dog. His cartoon strip hero evolves from a single tough guy into a hapless married dope. The strip gains female fans, and men find it hilarious. But Stanley's resentment grows. When his wife crashes a meeting at his all-male club, he snaps. Maybe he can't get rid of his wife, but Bash Brannigan can. So, he decides to write Mrs. Brannigan out of the strip by "killing" her at a party.

Meticulous as always in his research, he hosts a real party with his wife. Secretly, he slips a "goof ball" knockout drug into her drink. Her dancing turns rapturous and wild, she jumps onto the piano, then falls, limp, into his arms. He carries her upstairs to his studio and lays her on the bed, then carries a mannequin replica of her out through the skylight and, with Charles snapping photos from across the street, "kills" her. When the real Mrs. Ford awakes and sees the resulting comic strip on his drawing board, she sadly removes her ring and walks out without a word to him. To his dismay, he misses her.

The combination of her disappearance and this strip being seen by 80 million readers leads to his arrest and trial. His lawyer feels defeated, and even Charles - the one man who knows it's a hoax - becomes convinced that Stanley must have killed the real Mrs. Ford and not the dummy. Seeing his hopes fade, Stanley takes over as his own defence, and tries to convince the jury to acquit him on the grounds of justifiable homicide.      
The review of this Movie prepared by vjm

Script Analysis of How To Murder Your Wife

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1960's-1970's Romance/Love/Hugging    -   Yes Kind of romance:    -   marriage of convenience spurring real love Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   writer

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   artist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Sex/nudity in movie?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only Any profanity?    -   None

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