The Unfaithful

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The Unfaithful
The Unfaithful movie poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Vincent Sherman
Produced by Jerry Wald
Screenplay by David Goodis
James Gunn
Based on The Letter
1927 play
by W. Somerset Maugham
Starring Ann Sheridan
Lew Ayres
Zachary Scott
Music by Max Steiner
Cinematography Ernest Haller
Edited by Alan Crosland Jr.
Release date
July 5, 1947 (1947-07-05TUnited States)[1]
Running time
109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2,250,000 (US rentals)[2]

The Unfaithful is a 1947 film noir directed by Vincent Sherman, starring Ann Sheridan, Lew Ayres and Zachary Scott. The movie is based on the W. Somerset Maugham-penned 1927 play and William Wyler-directed 1940 film, The Letter.[3]


Chris Hunter (Ann Sheridan) stabs a man in her home one night while her husband Bob is out of town. The dead man's name is Tanner and she claims not to know him.

A blackmailer, Martin Barrow (Steven Geray), shows up with a bust of Chris Hunter's head signed by Tanner, who was a sculptor. Larry Hannaford (Lew Ayres), her lawyer and a good friend, realizes that Chris is lying about not knowing the man she killed.

Barrow double-crosses her by taking the artwork to Tanner's wife (Marta Mitrovich), who is now convinced Chris had an affair with her husband. She relays this information to Bob Hunter (Zachary Scott), who demands a divorce after Chris admits having an affair with Tanner while her husband was away during the war.

Chris is charged with murder and tried. Hannaford persuades the jury that while Chris was indeed guilty of adultery, she stabbed Tanner in self-defense. Hannaford then convinces Bob and Chris at least consider trying to save their marriage rather than rush into a divorce.



Critical response[edit]

The New York Times gave the film a mixed review: "The Warner Brothers have turned out a better than average murder mystery in The Unfaithful, but they have badly over-weighted with melodramatics the things they obviously wanted to say about a pressing social problem. The new picture at the Strand stabs and jabs like a hit-and-run prizefighter at the subject of hasty divorces and the dangerous consequences to society of this ill conceived cure all for marital difficulties, but it never gets across a telling dramatic punch. However, through some uncommonly persuasive acting and skillful direction the patently artificial plot stands up surprisingly well."[4]


  1. ^ "The Unfaithful (1947) Detail View". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved 13 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Top Grossers of 1947", Variety, 7 January 1948 p 63
  3. ^ The Unfaithful at the TCM Movie Database.
  4. ^ The New York Times, film review, June 28, 1947. Last accessed: November 18, 2009.

External links[edit]