A thriller about a wife who has an affair while her GI husband is off fighting in the Pacific. Then, after the war and happily reunited with her husband, she stabs the castoff lover in what may or may not be a case of self-defense.
The wages of sin are deceit, heartbreak and possibly murder in The Unfaithful, a thriller about a wife who has an affair while her GI husband is off fighting in the Pacific. Then, after the war and happily reunited with her husband, she stabs the castoff lover in what may or may not be a case of self-defense.
Ann Sheridan gives one of her finest performances - variously calculating, terrified and remorseful - as a woman desperate to keep her past a secret and her marriage whole. As her attorney, Lew Ayres turns the film's courtroom scenes into riveting drama. Is the wife a good woman who made a single mistake? Or is she a cold-hearted seductress capable of murder? The Unfaithful lets you decide."
Though not readily apparent at first, THE UNFAITHFUL is a remake of the 1940 Bette Davis vehicle THE LETTER, which in turn was adapted from the play by W. Somerset Maugham. The locale of the Maugham original has been shifted from the jungles of Malaya to the cozy confines of a middle-sized American town. Ann Sheridan stars as Chris Hunter, who late one night kills a man who tries to attack her in her own home. At least that's her story: it turns out that the dead man had once had an affair with Chris while her serviceman husband Bob (Zachary Scott) was overseas. When it appears as though Chris might have intentionally murdered her assailant, faithful family friend and attorney Larry Hammaford (Lew Ayres) puts his career and reputation on the line by suppressing a valuable piece of evidence. Shorn of the class and race consciousness -- not to mention the eroticism and bitter irony -- of the Maugham original, THE UNFAITHFUL is able to move more logically to a happy (or at least satisfying) denouement.
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