Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Warner Archive Wednesday ~ The Bride Walks Out (1936)

Screen cap of the intro title

The Bride Walks Out (1936) stars Barbara Stanwyck as Carolyn, a model who makes decent money and enjoys her independence. She's got her own apartment, a steady job and even a maid.

Barbara Stanwyck models an evening gown in the film.

Her beau Michael (Gene Raymond) is an engineer who is down on his luck. It's the Depression and there aren't enough well-paying engineering jobs to go around so Michael makes do while he waits for an opportunity to come along. All Michael can offer Carolyn is a $35-a-week lifestyle. And a happy marriage. But Carolyn isn't so sure that's what she wants.

Michael (Gene Raymond) offers Carolyn (Barbara Stanwyck) a small modest bouquet of flowers.

Michael offers Carolyn a small modest bouquet of flowers.

While Michael is in court for a serious traffic violation, after trying (successfully) to get fired from his taxi driver job, Carolyn meets wealthy and permanently drunk Hugh McKenzie (Robert Young). Hugh is the opposite of Michael. He's carefree and reckless. But they have one thing in common. They are both in love with Carolyn.

And Hugh (Robert Young) offers Carolyn (Barbara Stanwyck) huge fancy bouquets.

And Hugh offers Carolyn huge fancy bouquets.

Carolyn marries Michael but life is hard as a stay-at-home wife on $35 a week. Bills start adding up, payments missed and repossessors are knocking on their door. Carolyn tries to keep this from Michael but she can't much longer. She needs to work to help support the family. But Michael is old fashioned and wants to be the only bread winner. And then rich boy Hugh steps in to save the day but what about their marriage?

You can't really afford a $49.50 gown on a $35-a-week budget

You can't really afford a $49.50 gown on a $35-a-week budget

The Bride Walks Out (1936) is a light drama with some comedic elements. I love watching films about people during Depression era 1930s trying to make something of their lives with very little opportunity. In many of these films there is a strong tension between love and money. Barbara Stanwyck is quite lovely as Carolyn. I enjoyed Gene Raymond's and Robert Young's performances as well. To add some humor to the story there is Ned Sparks as Paul Dodson as Michael's sidekick. You may remember Ned Sparks as the disgruntled show producer in Gold Diggers of 1933. Also, Helen Broderick plays Paul's wife Mattie and she brings a wonderful element of comedy to the story. Paul and Mattie are a sour couple whose bickering overshadows their deep down devotion for each other.

Screen cap of Ned Sparks and Helen Broderick looking like a disgruntled married couple.

Also of note is Billy Gilbert who plays Mr. Donovan, a collector for the Acme Furniture Company. There is a hilarious scene in which he comes to collect Carolyn's furniture and he, Carolyn, Mattie and the movers all get drunk over champagne that Hugh (Robert Young) brought over. Hilarious!

Drunk as skunks. A picture of a bunch of characters in the movie drunk and singing to some piano music.

Also the delightful Hattie McDaniel has a small role as Carolyn's maid.

Screen cap of the lovely Hattie McDaniel

This movie really hit home for me. Times have been a bit tough financially with house expenses and some surprise medical and car bills. We want to buy a home and start a family but not having the funds to do that keeps us from moving forward with our lives. It comforts me in a way to see another couple going through something similar.

The Bride Walks Out (1936) is available on DVD via Warner Archive.

Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. Movies selected are rented from Classicflix, watched on TCM or purchased from Warner Archive, Classicflix or TCM. This series is not sponsored by Warner Archive.


  1. This movie sounds like a gem! I'll probably look for it now on the TCM website ;)

    1. Vanessa - It is quite a gem. Let me know what you think of it when you watch it and thanks for stopping by!


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