Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


THE UNHOLY WIFE (1957). Director: John Farrow.

Paul (Rod Steiger) is a vintner who marries a woman, Phyllis (Diana Dors), who admits from the first that she's not very good. It's not just that she has no maternal instinct, she doesn't even have any particular love for her little boy, Mike (Gary Hunley), and as he's a charmer that puts her in an especially bad light. We learn from the first that Phyllis has fallen for hunky rodeo man San Sanders (Tom Tryon, who later became a novelist), and wants to murder Paul. But will she succeed in her plans? There are ironic and compelling aspects to this sultry melodrama, which features an interesting cast and good performances. Steiger is excellent, as usual, and Dors is pretty good, although one could say that she plays it a little too cool and unemotional for the most part. [Even sociopaths can at least act emotional when they have to.] Tom Tryon, little Gary Hunley, and Arthur Franz as Paul's priest brother are notable, as is Beulah Bondi as Paul's mother. [It's hard to imagine Diana Dors and Beulah Bondi in the same movie, but there they are, sometimes in the same frame.] Marie Windsor is her usual sardonic self in a brief bit as an associate of Phyllis' in a nightclub. Dors appears very deglamorized in certain sequences.

Verdict: May not seem promising at first but stick with it. ***.