Movie Review: The Unfaithful (1947)

Synopsis: The night before her husband returns home from a business trip, Chris Hunter stabs a man to death in her house. She claims he was a stranger trying to steal her jewelry. However, evidence points to that story being a lie and as further details emerge, her motive for stabbing the man is brought into doubt.

Who's in it? The movie stars Ann Sheridan, Lew Ayres, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden and Jerome Cowan.

Review: I've had this movie saved in my library for a few weeks and finally got around to watching it this morning, when I couldn't find anything else to watch. At first, I didn't know if I would enjoy it, but it turned out to be an interesting and entertaining.

I especially liked how the nature of the relationship Chris (Sheridan) had with the victim was kept a secret throughout the majority of the movie. It was clear she lied about not knowing him and I suspected her revised story, about him stalking her after she agreed to let him create a sculpture of her, wasn't completely true as well and when she finally did admit the truth, it wasn't a surprise but also didn't clear up why he was at her house, and she needed to kill him.

Adding to the intrigue was the fact Chris seemed to truly love her husband, Bob (Scott). This made the idea of her having an affair much less likely (especially when the movie was made), or at least a long affair. It also made her reasons for keeping secrets just as likely about protecting him as it would be her trying to protect herself.

Her secrets also made me wonder what would wind up happening with Bob. He was equally in love and devoted to his spouse and the truth was something that could either drive a wedge between them or result in him taking steps to protect her.

The victim's widow (Marta Mitrovich) added a bit of a wild card as well. She clearly hated Chris, even without knowing all the facts, and had a valuable piece of evidence (the sculpture the artist had made of Chris) in her possession, something that could either be used for blackmail or to get Chris convicted of murder.

The court trial when she was eventually charged was entertaining and intriguing, mostly because it was unclear if the jury would be able to separate their own moral opinions from the facts of the case (which despite the parts she had tried to keep a secret, still clearly was self-defense). Plus, even if she was acquitted, it was unclear what it meant for her reputation and her marriage.

Final Opinion: This is an interesting movie with an unpredictable storyline and outcome. I highly recommend watching it if you get a chance.

My Grade: A


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