“Without my wife, I'm comparatively alone in the world. Even with my wife, I'm comparatively alone in the world”
Barbara Stanwyck takes a turn at comedy in her 1936 film The Bride Walks Out. She plays a young woman named Carolyn. She has a boyfriend named Michael Martin (Gene Raymond) who is an engineer. Michael wants her to marry him but he makes no money in his job. To make things worse he wants her to give up her job so he can be the bread winner. Carolyn reluctantly marries him even though she loves him.
Carolyn and Michael marry in city hall and it is not the nice wedding with hundreds of ushers and bridesmaids she wanted. It is rushed because Michael has to go back to work. Carolyn starts to cry and yell at Michael and a police officer tells them to keep quiet or leave. Michael gets mad and hits the officer and is arrested. At court the next day he can pay fifty dollars or go to jail for a month. A young, rich man named Hugh (Robert Young) had been sitting next to Carolyn during the hearing and feels bad for them. He loans them the fifty dollars. Hugh becomes their friend or more Carolyn’s friend.
Things get rough with Michael only making thirty-five dollars a week and she is not working. Their bills are weeks and even months behind. Towards the end of the film their furniture gets reposed. It is New Year’s Day when their furniture gets taken. Michael wants to take her out with the fifty dollars he got working. She tries to make him see that they need to be saved but he thinks everything is financially alright. They go out and she brings up the fact that she needs to go to work but that does not go over well. The couple get back home and Carolyn sees the furniture is back in the house. Hugh has helped them out.
A little later Carolyn does not tell Michael she got a job. He gets home before she does and he sees a maid in the house and the maid tells him everything. He is not happy whatsoever when he gets home and his pride is hurt thinking he did not save for his equipment himself. Michael walks out and Carolyn seeks out a divorce.
Take a guess what happens at the end.
Barbara Stanwyck was so good in the film. She had so many good parts but my favorite is when she gets drunk with Robert Young, Helen Broderick, and the furniture guys. Hugh brought over two huge things of Champagne and they all drink together. She plays the piano and they are all drunk singing. The furniture guys move out the piano with Matti (Broderick) still on top of it. Michael and Matti’s husband are waiting for the women downstairs in the lobby. When the elevator opens both women cannot even keep their heads up they are so drunk. Matti is holding Carolyn up from falling. Carolyn cannot even say hello without hiccuping. Carolyn walks over to Michael who she is seeing six of and she says “I love all of you.” The whole scene is hysterical Stanwyck was so good and so funny. Another really cute scene was at the beginning of the film. Michael calls Carolyn to get up in the morning. After he calls she falls back to sleep. Michael calls again and she tells him she did not go back to sleep saying she is getting in the shower and that she has the towel in her hand and waves the blanket to the phone to show him. Stanwyck looked so adorable. She was much better looking as a brunette than a blonde. I liked seeing her in a comedy especially after seeing her so many times in dramas.
Now the rest of the cast was great except for Gene Raymond. I am not a fan of Raymond’s. I have seen him in other films and to me he is just a filler. He was so odd looking and not that great as an actor he was terrible as the leading man. Robert Young would have been perfect I can see Stanwyck going back to him and being in love with him instead of Raymond. The film would have been perfection if the lead male roles were reversed. Helen Broderick was awesome I love her deadpan-ness. She always seems to be paired with a bum for a boyfriend or husband and plays off that. She had a great scene where she was crying because she was afraid her husband would get hurt.
I wish The Bride Walks Out was available on DVD. It was so damn adorable!! Barbara Stanwyck was such a good actress that she could make a mediocre story and make it worth seeing. TCM aired the film in August. Definitely try to catch it if the station airs it again.