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It is the fifth anniversary of the death of Adolphe Noblet who died in a train wreck. His servant and friends still worship him but don't care much for his wife Sylvaine's second husband Gustave with whom she has recently had a child. Sylvaine's friends recommend that she use a new hairdresser, Leopold Trebel. However, when this womanizing coiffeur arrives, he turns out to be Adolphe suffering from amnesia. A doctor restores his memory using hypnosis but in the process wipes out everything that has happened to him over the last five years. Adolphe thinks he has been unconscious for only a few hours and the doctor tries to keep the truth from him thinking the shock could kill him. This becomes even more difficult as Leopold's wife, with whom he has had two sets of twins, shows up and insists he is Leopold. Gustave finally tells Adolphe/Leopold the truth and he is left with the decision of which man and in which family he wants to be. Written by
Brian Cady <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This stagey adaptation of a French play is fairly creaky but still provides the occasional chuckle as Frank Fay essays a double role as a husband missing with amnesia for five years. When he turns up on his 'widow's' doorstep one day as a trendy hairdresser, complications ensue. Harvey Thew's screenplay has a decent number of double entendres but is surprisingly restrained with the homoerotic subtext--especially when Fay is discovered in bed with James Gleason! Nicely though somewhat statically directed by Michael Curtiz, The Matrimonial Bed also features some nifty set design and a few memorable shots in silhouette.
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