A Guide For The Married Man

Until recently, it had been a long time, probably a couple of decades, in fact, since I’d watched the 1967 film, A Guide for the Married Man.  However, I have actually never forgotten this picture from my first viewing of it.  It was just so much fun, and the cameos were awesome.  I have always remembered the very last scene, too, and could easily play it back in my mind.  So, not having actually watched the movie in years did not affect my fondness for the movie, and I was really excited to see it again.

This comedy masterpiece stars Walter Matthau as a man with a roving eye, even though he is married to the stunning Inger Stevens.  Still, he keeps being pulled into the dark side and considers having an affair with his secretary.  Advising him on his journey is his neighbor, a married man, of course, played by Robert Morse.  Morse has great comedic timing and his deliveries are very well done.  He is quite believable in his mentor role.

Much of the fun of the film is Morse relaying both successful and horrid tales of men as they go through the process of having an affair.  All of these stories feature cameos by a long list of A-list talent, and what is also fun is that they are listed as technical advisers.  These sections of the film were an inspiration.

Some of the advisers were Lucille Ball as a very clueless wife, Jack Benny, Polly Bergen, Joey Bishop, Sid Caesar, Art Carney, Wally Cox, Jayne Mansfield in an inspired bit about a missing bra, Carl Reiner, Phil Silvers, Ann Morgan Guilbert who plays confusion brilliantly, Jeffrey Hunter, and Sam Jaffe.

I also chuckle at seeing a soap opera favorite from General Hospital, Bobbie Jordan, in an uncredited role as a waitress.

The ending is classic and is so funny.  This is just a nice, clean film, even with the subject matter.  Matthau is perfect, even though I never quite see him as a romantic lead.  The women of the film are more window dressing than anything else, but it was still nice to see them.

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