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Films: G is for...

Guide for the Married Man, A

A film of two halves, this Walter Matthau middle-aged libido-com. On the one hand, it’s dated, lairy cobblers of the first water, with endless sub-Playboy dolly birds, ‘hilarious’ clandestine affairs and up-for-it/subservient women, which pretty much wastes not only Matthau but Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Joey Bishop, Sid Caesar, Carl Reiner, Phil Silvers and Terry-Thomas (who plays host to a braless Jayne Mansfield) in a series of sketches poorly linked by the story of Matthau’s rocky road to fidelity. On the other hand Gene Kelly, in the director’s seat, takes one look at the calendar on the wall reading ‘1967’ and fills the film with jump cuts, location swaps, psychedelic effects and speeded-up/slow-mo work (the final shot, with Matthau rushing home from a Bunny-filled office to his family, which starts in extreme Benny Hill mode and ends in slow motion may be old hat by today’s standards, but back then must have been a hell of an achievement). All this conspires to make a film it’s impossible not to watch, if you’re a fan of Casino Royale (and if you’ve read this far, you must be). And don’t forget that swinging theme song by The Turtles.

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  1. Matt Patton

    July 28, 2010 at 6:50 am

    In the movie’s defense, it has one truly brilliant sequence — the “Deny! Deny! Deny!” sketch with Joey Bishop and Ann Morgan Guilbert. Also, a nice juicy supporting role for Sue Ann Langdon, one of the great film-savers of 60’s Hollywood.

  2. paulus - bangkok

    July 29, 2010 at 6:15 am

    there is a scene where they go to a beatnic style coffee joint and there is a ‘bunny’ go-go dancing to some mega-funky trumpet rift… it is burned into my memory.. I have no idea why

  3. George White

    September 12, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Mansfield’s last film was with a Michael Musto (not the Village Voice columnist or the host of Drive/BUllrun with Chris Harris off Top Gear).
    She upset Ireland by simply arriving in Tralee and was forced out. Within weeks she was dead. Blame the church.

  4. George White

    September 12, 2016 at 9:35 am

    A Michele MUsto worked on Teen Angel – the series which ripped off Eric Idle’s Nearly Departed.

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