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Infidelity in the movies


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I was just watching the excellent film  "The Women" (1939) starring Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell,  Joan Crawford and Joan Fontaine.  When Mary (played by Norma Shearer) finds out that her husband is having an affair with a salesgirl Crystal (played by Joan Crawford), she is advised by her mother to let it go - basically all men do this during marriage - including Mary's father.  Mary and her mother then depart on a trip to Bermuda.  This attitude toward male infidelity by the older generation I understand.  I think my older relatives felt this way.  I am deeply disturbed by it.  It ignores the deep emotional pain and feeling of betrayal that infidelity causes.  How many women were advised to "stick it out" and ended up really hurt?  I prefer the attitude toward this topic in the recent movie "A Marriage Story" (2019) starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson which shows the couple pushed toward emotional extremes in a stinging and (at least to me) more honest way.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and about any other films that deal with this difficult subject in a good (or not good) way.

image.jpeg.18c26f17d2bef91064579048d2e714cc.jpeg    image.jpeg.fd4b5aba26559c2a2a8770c9a58b1764.jpeg

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Outside of European arranged marriages in the 19th century, I seriously doubt male infidelity was ever really common or winked at in the first half of the 20th century. Like suburban wife-swapping in post-war years, I suspect it was more talked about than actually done. But I wasn't there in any case so I don't know. 

Edit: Oh. As for movies that deal with it seriously, Dodsworth is often said to be an example. 

Edit 2: Then maybe 10 North Frederick. But both of these titles are sympathetic to the husband, which may not go over well in the #MeToo age.

 

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Let's keep the focus on that we're discussing movies here, movies made for entertainment  and escapism.  Every now and then social issues are dealt with in classic film, but neither as an endorsement or condemnation.  And truly, I do believe audiences at the time never felt infidelity was as rampant as the movies unintentionally tried to put across.  But it can often serve as a tasty plot driver or story angle.  and sometimes not involving the main characters in the movie( like the implied dalliance between the doctor and Jean Harlow in DINNER AT EIGHT) .

Sepiatone

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3 hours ago, Toto said:

I was just watching the excellent film  "The Women" (1939) starring Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell,  Joan Crawford and Joan Fontaine.  When Mary (played by Norma Shearer) finds out that her husband is having an affair with a salesgirl Crystal (played by Joan Crawford), she is advised by her mother to let it go - basically all men do this during marriage - including Mary's father.  Mary and her mother then depart on a trip to Bermuda.  This attitude toward male infidelity by the older generation I understand.  I think my older relatives felt this way.  I am deeply disturbed by it.  It ignores the deep emotional pain and feeling of betrayal that infidelity causes.  How many women were advised to "stick it out" and ended up really hurt?  I prefer the attitude toward this topic in the recent movie "A Marriage Story" (2019) starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson which shows the couple pushed toward emotional extremes in a stinging and (at least to me) more honest way.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and about any other films that deal with this difficult subject in a good (or not good) way.

image.jpeg.18c26f17d2bef91064579048d2e714cc.jpeg    image.jpeg.fd4b5aba26559c2a2a8770c9a58b1764.jpeg

Impressive Interwoven Topic Here.  LOVE It.! I'll Be Back Later this evening with some recommendations if that is what You Speak Of Toto.

 

 

      I'll Leave it At "Two" though, for now: Gods Little Acre & (A) Cold Wind In August. (BOTH Phenomenal - Exceptional imo.)

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3 hours ago, LuckyDan said:

Outside of European arranged marriages in the 19th century, I seriously doubt male infidelity was ever really common or winked at in the first half of the 20th century. Like suburban wife-swapping in post-war years, I suspect it was more talked about than actually done. But I wasn't there in any case so I don't know. 

Edit: Oh. As for movies that deal with it seriously, Dodsworth is often said to be an example. 

Edit 2: Then maybe 10 North Frederick. But both of these titles are sympathetic to the husband, which may not go over well in the #MeToo age.

 

Thank you for your comments LuckyDan.  A couple of thoughts.  In the first half of the 20th century, divorce was still considered "taboo" and as a result, infidelities occurred.  I have read that male infidelity was actually not uncommon at this time.  I really appreciate that you brought up female infidelity and the absolutely amazing movie "Dodsworth" (1936) directed by William Wyler.  Walter Huston's performance  as the husband is so powerful.  Men can absolutely also suffer the problem of infidelity.    I'll look for 10 North Frederick and I think I will rewatch "Dodsworth".

One movie that features infidelity is of course "Citizen Kane".  That really didn't work out well for Kane.  Below:  Scenes from "Dodsworth" and "Citizen Kane".

Dodsworth | Trailers From Hell     image.jpeg.ab0639661c7de7ec09db249ea2fed0fa.jpeg

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9 hours ago, Toto said:

I was just watching the excellent film  "The Women" (1939) starring Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell,  Joan Crawford and Joan Fontaine.  When Mary (played by Norma Shearer) finds out that her husband is having an affair with a salesgirl Crystal (played by Joan Crawford), she is advised by her mother to let it go - basically all men do this during marriage - including Mary's father.  Mary and her mother then depart on a trip to Bermuda.  This attitude toward male infidelity by the older generation I understand.  I think my older relatives felt this way.  I am deeply disturbed by it.  It ignores the deep emotional pain and feeling of betrayal that infidelity causes.  How many women were advised to "stick it out" and ended up really hurt?  I prefer the attitude toward this topic in the recent movie "A Marriage Story" (2019) starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson which shows the couple pushed toward emotional extremes in a stinging and (at least to me) more honest way.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and about any other films that deal with this difficult subject in a good (or not good) way.

image.jpeg.18c26f17d2bef91064579048d2e714cc.jpeg    image.jpeg.fd4b5aba26559c2a2a8770c9a58b1764.jpeg

Here Are + Other, Recommendations. (Keep In Mind, Some of These Are MASSIVELY Red-Band. Though Probably, Given the Topic. Thats More than Obvious.)

Blade Runner 2049.

Enemy.

Queen of Hearts.

A Patch of Blue.

Blue Is the Warmest Color.

Adore.

Afternoon Delight.

The Shape of Water.

Princess Cyd.

Daughter of Mine.

American Honey.

Petulia.

Dreamland.

 

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Blonde Venus is interesting for many reasons, one of which is that it's the woman, played by Marlene Dietrich, who is unfaithful to her husband (Herbert Marshall). She has an affair with Cary Grant, who gives her money for the medical treatment her husband needs. I think this is a rare example of a woman's infidelity, for which she suffers. A great film, famous for the "Hot Voodoo" number, but so much more than that.

hot-voodoo.gif

"I'm going to blazes, I want to be bad!"

Venus-04a-620x358.jpg

 

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1 hour ago, Swithin said:

Blonde Venus is interesting for many reasons, one of which is that it's the woman, played by Marlene Dietrich, who is unfaithful to her husband (Herbert Marshall). She has an affair with Cary Grant, who gives her money for the medical treatment her husband needs. I think this is a rare example of a woman's infidelity, for which she suffers. A great film, famous for the "Hot Voodoo" number, but so much more than that.

hot-voodoo.gif

"I'm going to blazes, I want to be bad!"

Venus-04a-620x358.jpg

 

"Blonde Venus" is a fascinating movie with the incredible collaboration of Marlene Dietrich and director Josef von Sternberg.  Von Sternberg creates a world with a sexy fairy tale feeling with his careful lighting and long shots where the camera seems to float.  The costumes are extremely creative.  When I first saw the "Hot Voodoo" number, I was stunned when Dietrich came out of the gorilla costume.  It's a sentimental story but Dietrich doesn't overplay the sentimentality.

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A great film with a theme of infidelity is "The Apartment" (1960) directed by Billy Wilder, starring Shirley MacLaine, Jack Lemmon and Fred MacMurray.  Lemmon plays C.C. Baxter who gets ahead in his company by lending his upper east side apartment to company bosses for their extramarital affairs.   I love Fred MacMurray in an uncharacteristic role as a bad guy boss in Baxter's company.  MacLaine gives a touching performance as the MacMurray character's mistress.

The Apartment (1960) Movie Summary and Film Synopsis on MHM

 

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11 hours ago, Toto said:

I was just watching the excellent film  "The Women" (1939) starring Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell,  Joan Crawford and Joan Fontaine.  When Mary (played by Norma Shearer) finds out that her husband is having an affair with a salesgirl Crystal (played by Joan Crawford), she is advised by her mother to let it go - basically all men do this during marriage - including Mary's father.  Mary and her mother then depart on a trip to Bermuda.  This attitude toward male infidelity by the older generation I understand.  I think my older relatives felt this way.  I am deeply disturbed by it.  It ignores the deep emotional pain and feeling of betrayal that infidelity causes.  How many women were advised to "stick it out" and ended up really hurt?  I prefer the attitude toward this topic in the recent movie "A Marriage Story" (2019) starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson which shows the couple pushed toward emotional extremes in a stinging and (at least to me) more honest way.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and about any other films that deal with this difficult subject in a good (or not good) way.

image.jpeg.18c26f17d2bef91064579048d2e714cc.jpeg    image.jpeg.fd4b5aba26559c2a2a8770c9a58b1764.jpeg

(Quite a Few) More..

 

    Conversations With Other Women.

    Poweder Blue.

     Perfect Sense.

      White Bird In A Blizzard.

       Anomalisa.

       2 Lovers.

        The Master.

         Cosmopolis.

         Burning Man.

         Broken Circle BreakDown.

   It Could Easily Be Argued Some of These I List.. Dont OutRight Deal With Infidelity per se. However, Due to the Nature of Most if Not All of These Scripts and Stories.. ... the "dna" of Infidelity is tightly (and Masterfully) Woven in to each Respective Story Here, imo.

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13 hours ago, Toto said:

I was just watching the excellent film  "The Women" (1939) starring Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell,  Joan Crawford and Joan Fontaine.  When Mary (played by Norma Shearer) finds out that her husband is having an affair with a salesgirl Crystal (played by Joan Crawford), she is advised by her mother to let it go - basically all men do this during marriage - including Mary's father.  Mary and her mother then depart on a trip to Bermuda.  This attitude toward male infidelity by the older generation I understand.  I think my older relatives felt this way.  I am deeply disturbed by it.  It ignores the deep emotional pain and feeling of betrayal that infidelity causes.  How many women were advised to "stick it out" and ended up really hurt?  I prefer the attitude toward this topic in the recent movie "A Marriage Story" (2019) starring Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson which shows the couple pushed toward emotional extremes in a stinging and (at least to me) more honest way.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and about any other films that deal with this difficult subject in a good (or not good) way.

image.jpeg.18c26f17d2bef91064579048d2e714cc.jpeg    image.jpeg.fd4b5aba26559c2a2a8770c9a58b1764.jpeg

     I (Unfortunately) Unloaded the Nina. The Pinta,. (Now) Here is the Santa Maria. After which i will attempt to Shut,. Up.

 

 - The Empty Hours.

 - Klute.

 - Meadowland.

 - Let the SunShine In.

- I Smile Back.

- BangGang: A Modern Love Story. (Apologies. This Title Is Quite Forthright and Blue.)

- (the) Diary of A Teenage Girl.

 

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Going along with Swithin's (now SWITHIN) example of the woman being unfaithful, I just (re)watched A Walk on the Moon (1999), with Diane Lane, Liev Schreiber, Viggo Mortensen and Anna Paquin. SPOILER ALERT:  It's set in the Catskills in 1969 in the vicinity of Woodstock and at the time of the moon landing. Diane Lane's husband (Liev} works in the city but comes up on weekends. Diane is drawn to an itinerant "blouse man" (Mortensen) whose van visits the cottage colonies. Some of the psychological underpinnings are familiar: she became pregnant young and married the first man she'd been with, gave up her dreams in favor of his, which he didn't end up realizing either because of the demands of supporting a family. They've grown to love each other and are both devoted to the family, but she feels the frisson of the unknown and the undone more than her stoic husband. On the drive up they pass a couple of hippie hitchhikers, whom he dismisses with a pejorative as both the mother and daughter (Paquin) look back curiously. The affair happens in fits and starts, then blossoms when she's offered the kind of experiences she's wanted (and asked for) from her husband but never had, but it becomes onerous as she understands fully what she's doing. The mother-in-law who lives with them guesses and confronts her, then finally alerts her son when it goes on. The husband is hurt and unforgiving but eventually understands it's he who is being tested, not just "the marriage". I can't really do all of his thought processes justice here, but he finally sees there's a way forward for them if he becomes a more willing participant. In the final scene, she turns on the radio on the porch and asks him to dance with her. They start to but he balks. It seems for a moment that he's unwilling to dance with her, but then he changes the station to find a current "psychedelic" rock song and they begin to dance loosely and more freely in a way they never have before. 

My husband, who watched it with me on my recommendation, was less inclined to forgive her transgression and didn't like the ending, but I think it's a great example of "the ties that bind" and how they can weather (or not) almost anything. The fact that it's set at a pivotal moment in American culture and history may seem obvious to some, but for me the added resonance was welcome.

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The Bridges of Madison County is more like a fairy tale, albeit a very compelling one.    Toward the end, when she sees him standing in the rain and is ready to bolt,  I was literally  yelling "Don't open the door!"

 

Clint Eastwood still has that truck parked in Carmel but with CA plates.

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10 hours ago, Swithin said:

Blonde Venus is interesting for many reasons, one of which is that it's the woman, played by Marlene Dietrich, who is unfaithful to her husband (Herbert Marshall). She has an affair with Cary Grant, who gives her money for the medical treatment her husband needs. I think this is a rare example of a woman's infidelity, for which she suffers. A great film, famous for the "Hot Voodoo" number, but so much more than that.

hot-voodoo.gif

"I'm going to blazes, I want to be bad!"

Venus-04a-620x358.jpg

 

And the way Sternberg photographs Dietrich as she goes through the stages of degradation, as if she's **** and Madonna at once!  The film is as much about woman's sacrifice as about infidelity itself.  Of course, if I had my druthers, I would take the kid and go off with Cary Grant for keeps.

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Interesting thread. I'm intrigued by the OP's premise that maybe modern movies handle a subject matter better than older ones, certainly not a prevailing opinion, as far as I can tell, on the network or on these message boads. 

I starrted thinking immediately of The Philadelphia Story, where Katharine Hepburn is incensed with her father for carrying on with an exotic dancer when everyone else in the family, including her mother, seems to have forgiven him. There's some odd Freudian stuff in it that maybe he was driven into the arms of a younger woman because she didn't provide him what he needed as a daughter.  And they reconcile in the end mostly through her apologizing.

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STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET('60)   With Kirk Douglas, Kim Novak, Barbara Rush and Walter Matthau

BOY'S NIGHT OUT ('62)  Mostly ATTEMPTED infidelity, but nonetheless....  ;) 

Sepiatone

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Cheating on your wife...with your own wife?!

Lucille Ball pretends to be a fiery Latina in order to seduce her husband (James Ellison) in the romantic farce YOU CAN'T FOOL YOUR WIFE (1940).

Wonder what Desi thought of this particular get-up..?

C7341287-22FE-48A0-A7E8-93A405A1EB57_4_5005_c

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Many great movies on this topic have been posted.  It's interesting.  Another great film, and one of my favorites, is "Scarlet Street" starring Edgar G. Robinson and Joan Bennett and directed by Fritz Lang.  Robinson plays a middle-aged artist who is in a miserable marriage, has an affair and is taken advantage of by criminals.  Edgar G. Robinson's performance is wonderful showing a vulnerable side.

image.jpeg.40a3d938c7c558bf30b3362a694b34b5.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Cheating on your wife...with your own wife?!

Lucille Ball pretends to be a fiery Latina in order to seduce her husband (James Ellison) in the romantic farce YOU CAN'T FOOL YOUR WIFE (1940).

Wonder what Desi thought of this particular get-up..?

C7341287-22FE-48A0-A7E8-93A405A1EB57_4_5005_c

Similar premise in the I Love Lucy episode The Black Wig (S3E26)

 

Papermoon Loves Lucy — “The Black Wig”

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