In Memento, Guy Pearce overcomes his short-term memory loss to solve his wife’s murder. In The Constant Husband, Rex Harrison is confronted by an altogether different problem.
In Utah it may be acceptable, but bigamy has always been frowned upon back in Blighty. So imagine Harrison’s shock when he snaps out of a lengthy period of amnesia to discover that he has not one, not two, but seven wives. Worse is to come. When the brides find out that he’s been skipping down the aisle with all and sundry, they quickly bring him to book. At the trial, rather than face their collective wrath, Harrison pleads guilty as charged despite the best efforts of his smitten barrister, Margaret Leighton. The question remains, however: who’s going to take him home when he’s released from prison?
Together with co-writer Val Valentine and long term production partner Frank Launder, Sidney Gilliat has whipped up a delicious comedy blancmange. As Variety noted, “The screenplay is light and amusing, and none of the sparkle has been lost in the translation to the screen” The charm offensive is maintained by a gleeful cast that includes Harrison’s future real-life wife Kay Kendall, a very young George Cole and the inimitable Michael Hordern.
USA Title: Marriage A La Mode,
Rex Harrison as The Patient – Charles Hathaway
Cecil Parker as The Professor
Sally Lahee as The Nurse
Kay Kendall as Monica
Nicole Maurey as Lola
Valerie French as Bridget
Ursula Howells as Ann
Jill Adams as Joanna
Roma Dunville as Elizabeth
Robert Coote as The Best Man
Raymond Huntley as The Boss
Noel Hood as Gladys
Eric Pohlmann as Papa Sopranelli
Marie Burke as Moma Sopraneli
George Cole as Luigi Sopranelli
Director: Sidney Gilliat
Writers: Sidney Gilliat, Val Valentine
Studio: Individual – British Lion
Year of Release: 1955
Duration: 98 minutes