The Joy of Infidelity

March 2, 2018 | By

I’m holding off on posting a review of Paul Leni’s The Man Who Laughs (1928) as I wanted to pair it with the 2012 version, so in the meantime, let’s advance to a set of tales that kind of embrace the virtues of infidelity.



Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives (1992) is one of his best works – raw, darkly funny – and follows two couples as one splits voluntarily and merrily, while the other struggles with its own unspoken issues. Twilight Time’s Blu showcases Carlo Di Palma’s gorgeous cinematography, and it’s hard not to feel a little unsettled in watching Allen and Mia Farrow playing a troubled couple in what was their last film before the pair separated.



Paul Mazursky’s 1969 take in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice is more reflective of shifting times, as a couple impose their New Age philosophy of thinking and behaving freely without guilt onto their best friends. There are overtly dated aspects in BCTA, but the behaviour and performances are beautifully detailed, and TT’s Blu features an isolated track with Quincy Jones’ sparse score that’s quite different from the more up-tempo variations on the re-recorded soundtrack LP.

BCTA also features an early unbilled role for future teen heartthrob Leif Garrett as Bob & Carol’s son. At one point he’s given a tiger hand-puppet – a wholly inconsequential prop – except I weirdly remember having that same puppet when I was a kid. I even remember its furry texture and heavy head!




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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