“You’re not marrying Shoots; you’re marrying the whole mob.”
In The Gay Bride Carole Lombard pretty much does end up marrying the whole mob. Although this is not one of Lombard’s best comedies she still manages to be all hilariously all over the place.
Mary (Lombard) is a chorus girl in a show in Atlantic City. She has been seeing gangster Shoots Maggiz (Nat Pendleton) who is completely infatuated with her. To get Shoots to leave her alone for a while Mary tells him she wants to get married and have kids. She thinks Shoots is a little kid himself but she would marry him for the financial security he could give her. They are set to marry in a small church. Shoots has sent his bodyguard Jimmie “Office Boy” Burnham (Chester Morris) to get Mary’s ring from Tiffany’s. On his way to the church Office Boy is held up by a rival gang. He manages to get to Shoots and warn him about the rival gang. This news means that Shoots has to go into hiding for a while and the wedding will not happen at that moment. Office Boy takes Mary out of the church and back to the hotel.
At the hotel Mary gets a call from Shoots that they cannot get married at the moment because things are too hot for him to come out of hiding. Mary has a fit and Shoots agrees to come to the hotel so a judge can marry them. They head to Europe for their honeymoon but none of the countries they land at want them entering. The only country that will accept them is Greece. Mary comes back from Greece with an expensive painting which she plans on selling for twice the amount she paid for it. She does this so that she has some money of her own just in case anything were to happen to Shoots.
One of Shoots’ men, Dingle, corners Mary in a phone booth. Dingle has been wanting her all to himself. He tells her he can off her money and security more than Shoots could. Not too much later Dingle has Shoots killed by a car bomb. Shoots has unfortunately left Mary with a lot of debt and not other money than to pay the debts off. Dingle asks her to marry him saying he can offer her a trust fund in case anything can happen to him. She marries Dingle but is not too happy. Office Boy has been following her around for her protection. He is sincerely in love with her and Mary can see that. Office Boy is the only man who has loved Mary just for her.
Dingle is soon killed off by Mickey another of Shoots’ gangster friends. Mickey is obsessed with wanting Mary. He leaves her no choice but to go away and marry him. Mickey has Dingle killed. Reporters come to the house to ask about her love being killed. Immediately Mary thinks Office Boy has been killed and she faints. Office Boy comes to her apartment. Mary realizes just how much she loves Office Boy and is willing to go away with him.
Some chaotic and crazy things happen before Office Boy and Mary can finally happily be together.
Carole Lombard as I said at the beginning is hilarious. What I love about Lombard was how when she had to cry in her films she was always so over dramatic about it which made her scenes that much funnier. Every time she cried in this film I was laughing. Chester Morris deserves so much credit I enjoyed him to no end. Office Boy was so sarcastic, quick, and snarky and Morris nailed his character from the time he first came on screen to the end. I will definitely be looking out for more of his films. I do not believe I have ever seen Zasu Pitts in a film before this. She was just as hilarious as Lombard. I read that a director said she was an actress whose scenes were always on the cutting room floor because she was a scene stealer. If she was this hilarious in this one film where he lines were very subtle and her scenes not that many I cannot even imagine what she must have been like in her other films. Nat Pendleton I am so used to seeing him as Inspector Guild from The Thin Man. It was odd yet fun to see him as a cooky in love gangster.
The Gay Bride was an alright film. The story of the main character marrying every time another husband died got a bit old after a while. The plot to me seemed to get out of hand towards the end. If you ever get a chance to see The Gay Bride ignore the plot and have a good time watching Carole Lombard and Chester Morris.