We’re back for some more screwball fun with the 1935 comedy The Bride Comes Home starring Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray and Robert Young!
Coming Up Shorts! with… Love Business (1931)
(available on Blu-ray as part of The Little Rascals: The ClassicFlix Restorations, Volume 2 (1930-1931) from ClassicFlix)
(Length: 20 minutes, 27 seconds)
Miss Crabtree (June Marlowe) comes to stay at Jackie’s (Jackie Cooper) house. This causes trouble for some of the kids, as both Jackie and Chubby (Norman Chaney) have a crush on her. This was another fun one, as has been typical so far of June Marlowe’s appearances as Miss Crabtree. There were many wonderful moments, from Jackie’s mother accidentally knocking a box of mothballs into the soup (and everybody’s reactions when they try to eat it) to Jackie’s attempts to distract Chubby when he tries to propose to Miss Crabtree. Not to mention Wheezer’s (Bobby Hutchins) complaints about Jackie kissing him at night. Overall, very fun, very memorable, and one I look forward to watching again and again!
And Now For The Main Feature…
One night in Chicago, Jack Bristow (Robert Young) throws a party with his society friends to celebrate him inheriting nearly three million dollars. In trying to get ready for the party, one of his friends, Jeanette Desmereau (Claudette Colbert), finds out from her father, Alfred Desmereau (William Collier, Sr.), that they are broke, since he had to let most of their servants go. So, she makes plans to find a job (although, at her father’s insistence, she will pretend that she is just doing it for a lark so that nobody knows they are broke). Jack’s bodyguard, Cyrus Anderson (Fred MacMurray), is looking forward to being able to quit his job after Jack inherits the money (since he was appointed to his position by Jack’s guardian). However, Jack doesn’t look forward to going back to his big mansion alone, and stays the night with Cyrus. As they talk, Jack learns about Cyrus’ dream to be the editor of a magazine, and decides to use his new inheritance to start the magazine (and be the publisher). The magazine is called The Man, which Cyrus intends to be for men who have earned their way (as opposed to inheriting their money like Jack). Jack promises to let Cyrus do all the hiring, but when Jeanette comes around asking for a job, Jack breaks that promise and hires her as the assistant editor (much to Cyrus’ annoyance). The next day, when they come in to work, Cyrus decides to give her some of the most mundane tasks he can think of to get her out of his hair, but she still keeps pestering him as she tries to follow his orders (even though she knows that he’s trying to get rid of her). When all three go to lunch at the same place, Jack and Jeanette find out why Cyrus has been giving her a hard time, and she reveals that she and her father are broke. Cyrus now feels ashamed of his actions, but Jeanette isn’t immediately willing to forgive him. It’s only when she comes to Cyrus and Jack’s apartment (since Jack had moved in with him), intending to start another fight with Cyrus, that the two of them realize they love each other. They start going out together as a result. Jack, who has been proposing to Jeanette since childhood, keeps trying, but, as usual, she turns him down. Cyrus proposes, and she accepts. However, on the day they plan to get married in his apartment, Jeanette comes over early to clean up the place. When Cyrus arrives earlier than expected with the Judge (Donald Meek), she is a bit of a mess, and he finds that she’s moved around some of his important papers. After an argument, they decide to break things off, since all they seem to do is argue. After a while, Jack again proposes, and she decides to accept. But will this relationship work out, or will Jeanette and Cyrus come to the conclusion that they belong together?
The Bride Comes Home, which was the second of seven movies that paired up Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray, was based on a short story (of the same name) written by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding for Hearst’s International-Cosmopolitan. I hadn’t heard of the film until the Blu-ray was announced (more on that in a moment), and, upon that announcement, I found myself wanting to see it for several reasons, including the description of it as a screwball comedy, the fact that it starred Claudette Colbert (whom I’ve seen in several good comedies and whom I had just featured as a Star Of The Month), and Fred MacMurray’s presence (since I’ve enjoyed a number of his films over the years). Having seen it, I now find myself with mixed feelings towards this movie. I will readily admit that I did enjoy this movie, and got a few good laughs out of it. However, I find it to be a film that I would not recommend. My biggest problem? That the film almost promotes domestic violence. I say that, because Claudette Colbert and Fred MacMurray’s characters (Jeanette and Cyrus, respectively) almost seem to be the type that are sexually aroused by engaging in it (ok, the movie doesn’t go quite that far, but that’s most likely because of the then-recent implementation of the Code that would have prevented them from going that far). To be fair, there is no actual violence shown on the screen, it is just hinted at in the conversations for the characters. Admittedly, this does in some respects lead to some of the funnier moments in the film, particularly the end when we see Jeanette wanting to argue with somebody, but dealing with some wishy-washy people until she meets Edgar Kennedy’s justice of the peace. The other main part that is funny is watching her try to follow Cyrus’ orders on her first day. Admittedly, that brings up another problem, in the early emphasis on her needing work, but all the work stuff disappears completely from the movie once she admits to being broke. It would have been nice to at least see what Cyrus actually had her doing once he realized how much she actually needed the job. Like I said, I did enjoy this movie. But, when all is said and done, I would much, much prefer to watch any of the other comedies that I’ve seen her in so far (like It Happened One Night, The Palm Beach Story or Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife). Purely on the domestic violence aspects of this movie, I cannot bring myself to recommend it.
This movie is available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber Studio Classics. This release seems to have an older HD scan. For the most part, the transfer looks quite good. There are some moments here and there that look like they might have used lesser elements to work with, and the film has not been cleaned up of all the dirt and scratches. Still, the transfer is quite watchable, and likely to be the best this movie will look for some time.
Film Length: 1 hour, 23 minutes
My Rating: 5/10
List Of Actor/Actress Filmographies/Collections
Fred MacMurray – Remember The Night (1940)
Robert Young – Honolulu (1939)
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