Sunday, January 09, 2011

Tonight's Movie: The Bride Comes Home (1936)

The strong chemistry between Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray is well displayed in THE BRIDE COMES HOME, another of those entertaining Depression-era comedies about newspapermen and the idle rich.

Pampered Jeannette (Colbert) learns her father is flat broke and turns to her friend Jack (Robert Young) for a job. Millionaire Jack has just started a magazine edited by his former bodyguard, Cy (MacMurray), and much to Cy's chagrin, Jack makes inexperienced Jeannette his Assistant Editor.

Cy and Jeannette fight like the proverbial dog and cat, but soon discover that they're actually crazy about each other. They plan to marry, but find that they can't coexist without arguing, and they begin to doubt the wisdom of marrying. Jack, of course, would like nothing better than to marry Jeannette himself...

The movie is good fun, and unlike the previous Colbert-MacMurray film THE GILDED LILY (1935), it's clear from the outset which man Jeannette should choose. Cy may be a bit of an insensitive loudmouth at times, but he's got more going for him than the hapless milquetoast Jack. The handsome MacMurray's got real charisma in these early films, which are an eye-opener for anyone only familiar with his later "fatherly" roles. As always, Claudette is delightful, never more so than when she's arguing with the justice of the peace. Her love scenes with MacMurray seem sprinkled with movie stardust.

This 83-minute film was directed by Wesley Ruggles, who also directed THE GILDED LILY.

This was Robert Young's last film released before leaving for England, where he costarred with British star Jessie Matthews in IT'S LOVE AGAIN (1936) and played a key role in Hitchcock's SECRET AGENT (1936). After returning to the States Young would reteam with Colbert and director Ruggles for 1937's I MET HIM IN PARIS, again playing the second male lead.

William Collier Sr. is quite delightful as Colbert's father. Great faces like Edgar Kennedy, Donald Meek, Edward Gargan, and Richard Carle round out the cast.

After reading Moira Finnie's post on knitting in the movies and by movie stars, I particularly noted the funny scene where the wife (Kate McKenna) of the justice of the peace doesn't stop knitting while her husband tries to conduct a wedding ceremony!

Both THE BRIDE COMES HOME and THE GILDED LILY are available, along with FAMILY HONEYMOON (1948), in the Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray Romantic Comedy Collection. The print of THE BRIDE COMES HOME is beautiful. Extras include an intro by Robert Osborne, and galleries of stills and posters. This set may be a bit pricey for three films, but it's well worth the investment for those who are fans of the two stars.


Blogger MC said...

Like a lot of people, I grew up knowing Fred MacMurray only from reruns of "My Three Sons," so seeing him in his early movies has been quite a revelation. He was a very appealing and attractive leading man! I remember watching Remember the Night for the first time a few years ago and thinking "Wow, this is Mr. Douglas?" ;-)

Thanks for the review. Now I can't wait to see this one! I watched The Gilded Lily a week or so ago and really enjoyed it. Colbert and MacMurray have such a great onscreen rapport.

MC of Happy Thoughts, Darling

4:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Welcome, MC! Glad to know you've been enjoying Fred (and Claudette!) too. MacMurray's early work really is quite a surprise. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend his 1943 film with Colbert, NO TIME FOR LOVE. MacMurray was quite a hunk in his younger days. :)

I've bookmarked your blog -- looks like some nice pieces on THE MORE THE MERRIER and other favorite films.

Best wishes,

4:39 PM  

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