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Not With My Wife, You Don't!
Not With My Wife,
You Don't!


The Film | The Music
Audio | Video | Sheet Music
References | Links

Compositions: Films

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The Film

Release date: November 2, 1966
Studio: Warner Bros.
Running time: 118 minutes
Director: Norman Panama
Cast: Tony Curtis, Virna Lisi, George C. Scott, Carroll O'Connor, Richard Eastham, Eddie Ryder, George Tyne, Ann Doran, Donna Danton, Natalie Core, Buck Young, Maurice Dallimore, Robert Cleaves, Karla Most, Betty Bresler, Alfred Shelley
Technical information: Technicolor, mono

About as sophisticated as its title implies, Not With My Wife, You Don't! unfortunately does not live up to the potential of the talent on both sides of the camera (including screenwriter Larry Gelbart, animator Saul Bass and a talented cast).


Following a brief animated introduction featuring the "green-eyed monster of jealousy", we are quickly introduced to Air Force Col. Tom Ferris (Curtis) and his beautiful Italian-born wife, Julietta (Lisi), who thinks he pays too much attention to his boss (O'Connor) and not enough to her. Tom runs into an old acquaintance, Col. Tank Martin (Scott), sparking a flashback to the Korean War, where the two pilots spent more time competing for female officers than flying missions. One such episode ends in a barroom brawl which sends Tom to the hospital, where he is attended by, and falls in love with, Julietta. Tank, also desiring her affections, arranges for Tom to be sent to Tokyo for recuperation so he can woo Julietta, but Tom returns as the relationship is about to be consummated. Soon afterward, Tank is shot down over the Pacific; Tom learns Tank is alive, but keeps this secret so that Julietta will marry him.

Back in the present day, Tank accompanies Julietta for a night on the town while Tom is in Denmark on business; Tank then arranges for Tom to be sent to Labrador for Arctic survival training, so he can fly off to Italy with Julietta. When she tells Tom she wants a divorce, he makes a madcap race to Rome to stop Tank from taking away his wife, who decides she really loves Tom after all.

Variety called the film "an outstanding romantic comedy", while The New York Times suggested that the film would play better on television. The Times was probably closer to the mark: although the film remains mildly amusing throughout, it is far from a comic masterpiece. The highlight is a movie-within-a-movie spoof of an Italian romantic melodrama, where Julietta envisions herself and her two suitors in the lead roles. Despite some well-choreographed slapstick, the rest of the film never rises to this level.

Not With My Wife,
You Don't!


The Film | The Music
Audio | Video | Sheet Music
References | Links
The Music

Music Composed & Conducted by: Johnny Williams
Songs: Music by Johnny Williams, Lyrics by Johnny Mercer

While neither the best nor worst of the string of bedroom farces he scored during this period, Williams fondly recalled his experience working on this film as an opportunity to work with lyricist Johnny Mercer. (The two would later collaborate on the title song for The Long Goodbye.) Of the three songs written for the film ("A Big Beautiful Ball", "My Inamorata" and "Not With My Wife, You Don't!"), "My Inamorata" is used the most often. It is first heard in a choral version as source music when Tom and Julietta dance at a party early in the film. Thereafter, it is used as a theme for Julietta, heard both as source and underscore, in several instrumental arrangements. By contrast, "A Big Beautiful Ball" is heard during the main and end titles and only referenced once or twice during the film. The lyrics seemingly don't relate to the film at all, but it is a catchy jazz waltz. The main title begins as an instrumental (harmonized more adventurously than the versions heard on the soundtrack album), a chorus enters singing nonsense syllables, and then picks up the lyrics for the final chorus. The third song, "Not With My Wife, You Don't!", which one might have expected as the main title tune, is featured only as source music when Julietta and Tank go dancing later in the film. It is a quickly forgettable pop anthem, similar in nature to Williams' title song to A Guide for the Married Man.

In addition to "My Inamorata", there are many other opportunities for source music, mostly pop instrumentals firmly rooted in the period. (The catchiest of these, "Trumpet Discotheque," can be heard on the soundtrack album.) Most of the underscoring is divided between low-key romantic music or cartoonish cues for the slapstick scenes. Of special note are "Defending the Flag," which makes use of Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever; "Foney Poochini," in which Williams has an opportunity to present a P.D.Q. Bach-like Rossini pastiche; Arrivederci Mondo, where he provides music for the spoof of an overwrought Italian melodrama (ironically, a few years later Williams would score just such a film, Storia di una Donna); and a couple of military marches. Danish composer Jacob Gade's Jalousie for violin and orchestra is utilized in the animated "green-eyed monster" sequence.

Audio

A soundtrack album was released on LP (Warner Bros. Records WS 1668); it was reissued on CD by Film Score Monthly (FSMCD Vol. 9 No. 3) on February 23, 2006 (coupled with George Duning's soundtrack album for Any Wednesday). The album is primarily a rerecording, featuring vocal and instrumental versions of the Williams-Mercer songs, a few source cues, album versions of a couple film cues, and two tracks not heard in the film at all.


Harms TMK-S-2664-3
Video

This film is available on VHS (Warner Home Video 11697 purchase).

Sheet Music

Piano/vocal versions of songs "A Big Beautiful Ball" and "My Inamorata" were issued by Harms at the time of the film's release. This sheet music is long out of print.

Not With My Wife,
You Don't!


The Film | The Music
Audio | Video | Sheet Music
References | Links
References

"Film Reviews: Not With My Wife, You Don't!" A.D Murphy
Variety, Sep 21 1966, 6:1

"Review: Not With My Wife, You Don't!" Vincent Canby
New York Times, Nov 3 1966, 45:2

"Where is John Williams coming from?" Richard Dyer
Boston Globe, Jun 29 1980, MAG

Not With My Wife,
You Don't!


The Film | The Music
Audio | Video | Sheet Music
References | Links
Links

Internet Movie Database entry for Not With My Wife, You Don't!

Cinebooks Database entry for Not With My Wife, You Don't!

All Movie Guide entry for Not With My Wife, You Don't!


Page last modified
June 05, 2006
 
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