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A Guide for the Married Man Movie Review

technical advisor morse matthau

1967 – Gene Kelly –

Or should it be called The Twelve-Year Itch? Walter Matthau is the happy but bored husband who after twelve years of marriage to beautiful Inger Stevens starts to fancy every woman he passes on the sidewalk as a possible partner for a fling. For tips on how to succeed without getting caught, Matthau turns to his friend Robert Morse, who brims with sage advice. The use of a large cast of Hollywood comedians in cameos to illustrate Morse's series of cautionary tales indicates an attempt after four years to recapture some of the epic scale of Mad, Mad World, but the actual effect is more like a long episode of Love, American Style. When the two main stars signed on for the project, Morse was cast as the naive one (somewhat similar to the character he played in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) and Matthau as the experienced man of the world. It is rumored that Matthau's friend director Billy Wilder suggested that they switch roles and work against type, a change that remains one of the film's clever touches.

All of the comic episodes illustrating Morse's advice are short and snappy. In one of the better interludes, Morse tells Matthau about the mistake of taking his partner to his home for the rendezvous. Terry-Thomas is the friend who learned the hard way: he took his girlfriend, Jayne Mansfield, home for the afternoon, but as they were dressing she couldn't find her bra. Fearful that his wife would later come upon it, Thomas in desperation all but dismantles his house. Weeks later, old and gray before his time, Thomas still hasn't found it, but he knows it's there—somewhere. Jack Benny, who tries to get his lover to break up with him by putting on a cheap act, looks the most uncomfortable of the cameo celebrities. Just a few years later, after the start of the women's movement, this film probably seemed as fossilized as the series of cave drawings that turns up in the opening animation.

Cast: Walter Matthau (Paul Manning), Inger Stevens (Ruth Manning), Sue Ane Langdon (Mrs. Johnson), Robert Morse (Ed Stander), Lucille Ball (Technical Advisor), Jack Benny (Technical Advisor), Polly Bergen (Technical Advisor), Joey Bishop (Technical Advisor), Sid Caesar (Technical Advisor), Art Carney (Technical Advisor), Wally Cox (Technical Advisor), Jayne Mansfield (Technical Advisor), Hal March (Technical Advisor), Louise Nye (Technical Advisor), Carl Reiner (Technical Advisor), Ben Blue (Technical Advisor), Phil Silvers (Technical Advisor), Ann Morgan Guilbert (Technical Advisor), Terry-Thomas (Technical Advisor), Jeffrey Hunter (Technical Advisor), Marty Ingels (Technical Advisor), Sam Jaffe (Technical Advisor) Screenwriter: Frank Tarloff Cinematographer: Joseph MacDonald Composer: John Williams Producer: Frank McCarthy for Twentieth Century Fox Running Time: 91 minutes Format: VHS.

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