Cinema: Homicidal Bash

How to Murder Your Wife is a nimble comedy that doesn't make much sense because it makes nonsense, most of it screechingly funny and played by knockabouts who know that the slapstick was invented for keeping an idea aloft, not for beating it into the ground. Jack Lemmon, too often compelled to flail around in boudoirs as the All-American lecher, demonstrates that he can wipe the leer off his face and make homicidal impulses more hilarious than hard breathing.

Scene of the crime is an improbable Manhattan town house where Cartoonist Lemmon, abetted by...

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