The Unholy Wife

The Unholy Wife

Infobox Film
name = The Unholy Wife

image_size = 150
caption = Theatrical poster
director = John Farrow
producer = John Farrow
writer = William Durkee
Jonathan Latimer
narrator =
starring = Diana Dors
Rod Steiger
music =
cinematography = Lucien Ballard
editing = Eda Warren
distributor = Universal Pictures
released = June 24 1957
runtime = 94 minutes
country = United States
language = English
budget =
gross =
amg_id = 1:51856
imdb_id = 0051136

"The Unholy Wife" is a color film noir 1957 drama film produced and directed by John Farrow. The screenplay was written by William Durkee and Jonathan Latimer. [imdb title|id=0051136|title=The Unholy Wife.]

The film is about a "femme fatale" named Phyllis (Diana Dors) who tells her sordid story from her prison cell.


The film begins with Phyllis (Diana Dors) telling her story in flashbacks. It begins how she meets rich vinter Paul Hochen (Rod Steiger) from Napa Valley in a bar and marries him soon after.

Not long after the marriage, Phyllis begins having an affair with a local rodeo rider, seeing him every time her husband is away, which is frequently. One night, Phyllis' elderly mother-in-law (Beulah Bondi) thinks a burglar is breaking into the house, so she calls the police.

Phyllis sees this as an opportunity to kill her husband and blame the burglar for the crime. The plan backfires a day later when Phyllis instead kills her husband's best friend. Not wanting to go to jail, she convinces her husband to confess to the killing and they concoct a story that would set him free after the trial.

Unfortunately for her husband, Phyllis lies at the trial and he is put away for murder. The "unholy" wife finally get the punishment she deserves when her mother-in-law dies of poisoning and the blame goes to Phyllis, who is sent to prison--for a crime she had nothing to do with.


* Diana Dors as Phyllis Hochen
* Rod Steiger as Paul Hochen
* Tom Tryon as San Sanders
* Beulah Bondi as Emma Hochen
* Marie Windsor as Gwen
* Arthur Franz as Father Stephen Hochen
* Luis Van Rooten as Ezra Benton
* Joe De Santis as Gino Verdugo
* Argentina Brunetti as Theresa
* Steve Pendleton as Deputy Bob Watkins
* Douglas Spencer as Judge
* Gary Hunley as Michael
* James Burke as Sheriff Tom Watling
* Tol Avery as Dist. Atty. Carl Kramer

Critical reception

The film has received mixed reviews. Dennis Schwartz at the "Ozus' World Movie Reviews" web site called the film, "A ponderous melodrama that even becomes more awkward by the film's end." [ [ Schwartz, Dennis] . Ozus' World Review, July 22, 2001. Last accessed: December 5, 2007.]



External links

* [ "The Unholy Wife"] trailer at Back Alley Noir

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