|A Question of Adultery|
|Directed by||Don Chaffey|
|Produced by||Raymond Stross|
|Written by||Anne Edwards|
|Music by||Phillip Green|
Raymond Stross Producitons
|Distributed by||Eros Films (UK)|
April 1959 (USA)
The controversial nature of the film led to it being given an X rating in the UK and rated "Condemned" by the US Roman Catholic Legion of Decency leading to the film being delayed for release in the United States.
Racing car driver Mark Loring, the heir to the Loring fortune complements his competitive spirit with jealousy of his wife Mary. Enraged by the attention shown to her by a "fan" during an evening at a restaurant, the couple is greeted by longtime friends of Mark's family, who invites them to join them at their table. Mark declines, but relents by saying, "just one drink".
After divulging to Mary that Mark's mother was a singer who walked out on the family when Mark "was a baby", Mrs. Duncan's asks Mary (who, too, was a singer), to sing a favorite old song. Mark tells Mary not to, and that he "won't have it", but she defies Mark and does. Miffed, Mark purposely does not light Mary's cigarette, upon which she retaliates by leaning over exposing her cleavage to Mr Duncan, who delightedly obliges.
Seconds later, Mary runs to the beach and Mark follows. He asks her what the devil is she trying to do to him, and proceeds to make angry and fiery love to her. After reconciliation from the night before, Mark, once again becomes jealous when Mary receives a call from her "fan" who wants to return her dropped glove form the previous day's race. Mark pouts, that he "doesn't care to share her, he never seems to have her to himself, and there's always something--somebody". With that, Mark decides to whisk American Mary away home, to London.
During their drive, Mary tells Mark that she is going to have baby, and Mark replies, "ours, I hope". Mary slaps Mark and they get into an accident. While recovering in separate rooms, Mark's father tells him that Mary lost their unborn child; the doctor informs Mary that Mark is sterile. When the couple comes together, they console each other, however, Mark is unaware of his condition. Mark's father anticipates and hopes the "affair" will end, and attempts to buy Mary off. But she holds firm and tells Sir John she's not for sale, that she and her husband needs to be alone, and what Mark doesn't know is that his father is the enemy.
Mary learns that Mark's father later revealed that he was sterile when Mary tells Mark she wants a baby. She comes up with the idea of artificial insemination and attempts to resolve their difficulties by travelling with Mark to a clinic in Switzerland. Soon pregnant, and though Mark had initially agreed, he becomes alienated from the idea when he thinks Mary is having an affair with a local skier who helps Mary to his cabin when she injures her ankle on the ski slopes.
Returning to London alone, Mark and his father Sir John Loring take Mary to court for divorce on the charge of artificial insemination being a case of adultery. Undeterred, Mary decides to fight to preserve the reputation of her unborn child, and to confirm why another child would bring the two closer together; she only wanted her husband love—although the prosecution cried material benefit to Mrs. Lording.
During proceedings Mary's attorney encouraged her to continue when she wanted to quit. He needed her permission to re-examine her husband's character (jealousy). Upon cross, Mark's personality was brought into cler view; establishing that he didn't like Mary being civil, accepting a light from a friend, singing in a nightclub or offers of hospitality when there was no other alternative. It was established that Mark was jealous from the very outset of the marriage and that the divorce proceedings were motivated purely and simply by his unreasonable and uncontrollable jealousy.
Mark was also reminded that he made a spectacle of his wife during the Iberian Gran Prix, when, at the Hotel Playa, he forced himself on his wife while other eyes were watching from a terrace overlooking the public beach—even though he was aware, yet his wife unwilling. Mark's actions were further put on trial when it was noted that he told his wife he would "make up" their loss of the baby, that he signed a document agreeing to wife's treatment of artificial insemination—but later changed his mind (without saying so), and he made love to her after she first told him she was pregnant. This proved he condoned and accepted her "condition".
Sir John was also cross examined about his feelings and objections (similar to those he felt of his former wife) toward his son's show-biz, theater, singer wife. And it was uncovered that a bribe was offered. Sir John claimed he was protecting his son by informing him of his sterility, his passing infatuation with his wife, and the protection of the Loring Estate. In deep contemplation after the senior Loring's testimony, Mark exited the coutroom for a cigarette without a word to his father.
Dr. Cameron's was next to defend his position. The prosecution's claim of "technical adultery" by artificial insemination was struck down as not being adultery at all. Producing a baby "artificially" via "test tube" and not another via intercourse was not the same as adultery. Moreover, the definition of adultery also negated the very act of which Mary was accused.
In the end, Mark stands up to his father, finally realizing he's made a mess of his marriage and recognizes his father as the controlling figure who plays God. He walks out telling his father there will be no more dinners. Back at court, Dieter offers his assistance to Mary, if ever in need. Mark and Mary meet while waiting the decision and tells her, he will always love her.
The verdict could not be read, as the jurors could never agree. Mark refuses a retrial and says he was completely wrong and should never "have brought it". Through his attorney, Mark begs the court's indulgence, apologizes for the trouble he has caused, withdrawals the charges, and ask the judge to dismiss the petition.
The response: "I find this an imminently most satisfactory ending". Closing shot with Mark waiting for and receiving her as they walk together with "Strange Affair" playing in the background.
- Julie London as Mary Loring
- Anthony Steel as Mark Loring
- Basil Sydney as Sir John Loring
- Donald Houston as Mr. Jacobus
- Anton Diffring as Carl Dieter
- Andrew Cruickshank as Dr. Cameron
- Frank Thring as Mr. Stanley
- Conrad Phillips as Mario
- Kynaston Reeves as Judge
- Mary Mackenzie as Nurse Parsons
- Georgina Cookson as Mrs. Duncan
- Richard Caldicot as Mr. Duncan
- John Rae as Jury Foreman
It was the first movie about artificial insemination. It was produced by Raymond Stross, who had just enjoyed box office success with The Flesh is Weak, the story of prostituion, directed by Don Chaffey.
The film was announced in August 1957. It was reportedly based on an original story by Anne Edwards written with producer Raymond Stross. The film was approved "in principle" by the Production Code, but final approval had to be given on seeing the final movie.  The title came about because British courts at the time regarded artificial insemnination as adultery.
In October Rick Jason was offered the male lead but he turned it down. Eventually Anthony Steel was cast. Filming began in England in November 1957 at Elstree Studios. The film was also known during production as My Strange Affair, the name of a song London sang in the movie.
Producer Raymond Stross described it as "a very clean film that is accurate and authentic." The film was to be released on a special handling basis by Theatrical Presentations. Part of the finance came from American Joe Harris' Essex Company.
My Strange Affair
music and lyrics by Bobby Troup
sung by Julie London
Variety called it "a soggy novelitish affair" in which "stiltled dialogue and a screenplay that sits firmly on the fence has resulted in a subject of some significance being wasted."
Filmink called it "a fascinatingly odd courtroom drama about artificial insemination, with Steel as a possessive infertile racing car driver married to Julie London, roused to jealousy at the thought of someone else impregnating her. Frank Thring is superb as a barrister, London sings a random song, and there’s a sequence where Steel ravishes London on a Spanish beach intercut with a flamenco performer; Steel is quite effective as a man tormented by his lack of potency." 
The film was released in Los Angeles in April 1959. The Los Angeles Times said the film "appears to be more sensational than it really is."
The New York Times said "the film's extensive discussion of the problem seems, at best, superfluous."
- "A Question of Adultery (1958) - Don Chaffey | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related". AllMovie.
- Goble, Alan (8 September 2011). The Complete Index to Literary Sources in Film. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 9783110951943 – via Google Books.
- Wellesley, Gordon; Edwards, Anne (24 March 1958). A question of adultery: the burning topic of the hour ... should a wife be denied motherhood?. Brown, Watson Ltd. OCLC 7618614.
- p.402 Fitzpatrick, Peter The Two Frank Thrings Monash University Publishing, 1 Aug 2012
- FILM THEME WINS APPROVAL OF CODE: Movie Concerning Artificial Insemination Planned New York Times 29 Aug 1957: 23.
- Hollinger, Hy (14 May 1958). "Screen's new Boldness Marked by Film About Artificial Insemination". Variety. p. 34.
- 'Panic in Rain' Readied for Whitman; Stockton to Sub for Deep South Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times 29 Aug 1957: C11.
- Looking at Hollywood: 'Nogales' Is Payne's 1st Independent Film Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune 26 Oct 1957: 20.
- Plans Bulge for New Year: Ryan, Jourdan Ventures Novel; 'Roger Willians Story' on Slate Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 3 Jan 1958: C13.
- Hollinger, Hy (14 May 1958). "Screen's new Boldness Marked by Film About Artificial Insemination". Variety. p. 1.
- Review of movie at Variety
- Vagg, Stephen (23 September 2020). "The Emasculation of Anthony Steel: A Cold Streak Saga". Filmink.
- 'Question of Adultery' Airs Moral Problem Warren, Geoffrey. Los Angeles Times 27 Apr 1959: C11.
- Screen: Marital Problem: 'Question of Adultery,' From Britain, Opens Archer, Eugene. New York Times 6 July 1961: 18.