The Bride Wore Red (1937)

February 27th, 2024
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Dorothy Arzner | Cast: Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Robert Young, Billie Burke | US Drama

With a title like that The Bride Wore Red is guaranteed to stand out in even the most casual perusal of Dorothy Arzner’s oeuvre; along with the fact that one of the writers and the editor were also women.

Although Ms Arzner disliked making this film and left it in high dudgeon after having a happy ending imposed by Metro, it remains a most diverting Tyrolean lark (a fact appropriately reflected in Franz Waxman’s score).

In a role originally intended for Luis Rainer the film’s biggest liability is as usual Joan Crawford (her most impressive moment being as a cake decoration behind the credits) but she certainly brings an authentically feral quality to the scene where she hunches up her shoulders and gets stuck in when offered lunch.

While of the two leading men Robert Young has the most screen time Franchot Tone has the more interesting part, while standouts in support include George Zucco before he was typecast as mad doctors, and Mary Philips is as usual a robust presence.@RichardChatten


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