After taking off some time to do a comedy, MR. AND MRS. SMITH, for Alfred Hitchcock, Montgomery returns to the maniac role he played in NIGHT MUST FALL. This time, he's the scion of a huge British fortune but he's been confined to a mental hospital in France because his mind is bent to the
point of snapping. His mother, Watson, doesn't know that he was incarcerated, and when he escapes from the hospital and returns to England, he doesn't tell her. (Montgomery's attempts at a British accent are negligible and only bottomed by Robert Redford's complete disregard of the British
ancestry of the character he played in 1985's OUT OF AFRICA.) Bergman is working for Watson as a social secretary and Montgomery quickly charms her. They are married soon after and it isn't minutes before Montgomery's weirdness surfaces. Sanders is Montgomery's best friend, and when he attempts to
be benignly charming to Bergman, Montgomery's anger rises and his jealousy flares. As he has never actually done anything besides being an heir, Montgomery's attempt to run the family business causes an employee riot. Sanders and Bergman rush in and Sanders' cool, calm, and detached assessment of
the situation saves the day. By this time, Montgomery is so insane that he tries to kill Sanders and make it look like an accident. The attempt fails but Sanders finally understands something is deeply wrong with Montgomery, who begins to accuse Bergman of having a love affair with Sanders.
Montgomery plans to kill himself and elaborately schemes to have Sanders arrested for his "murder." He provokes a fight with Sanders, then ties a knife to a door and pushes himself into it. (Any good detective would see right through this.) Sanders is convicted for Montgomery's death and sentenced
to be executed. Bergman saves Sanders by going to see Homolka, Montgomery's Paris psychiatrist, and secures evidence that saves Sanders' life in the nick of time. The picture was begun by Robert Sinclair, but he was replaced by Mayer's "fix-it" man, Van Dyke, who brought the film in on schedule as
expected. Montgomery was so obviously nuts in his characterization that it's hard to believe it took everyone so long to notice.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: After taking off some time to do a comedy, MR. AND MRS. SMITH, for Alfred Hitchcock, Montgomery returns to the maniac role he played in NIGHT MUST FALL. This time, he's the scion of a huge British fortune but he's been confined to a mental hospital in Fran… (more)