A Bride for Henry (1937)
March 19, 2007 § Leave a comment
The film itself is like an aborted “comedy of remarriage” à la Stanley Cavell, since the girl does marry the wrong man but does not remarry the right one in the end — rather, the wrong man reveals himself to be quite the playboy (hey, he’s a lawyer!) and to be the right one after all.
Was this really made in 1937 ? It looked more like 1931 to me: the social-cultural background of big honeymoon hotel in some very fake , do-nothing American gentry, very awkward frontal staging at all times
it just doesn’t look like Gone with the wind is a mere 2 years away ! The only 1937 element I can identify for sure is the Ginger Rogers-like performance of Anne Nagel as a vivacious, messed-up, but deep-down good minx.
The most interesting element is the absolute lack of any non-diegetic music. Even in the titles: the organ playing the wedding march is linked to the very first scene (the bride waiting for her bridedgroom). The only exception is in the closing title where the same wedding march is heard with no diegetic justification. But otherwise,, this takes place in eery silence, and every time music plays in the background, someone is sure to remark that the orchestra plays beautifully, or “did you hear this music” — in other words, they make double sure that we don’t think the music comes from anywhere else. Such emphasis seems rare to me — and it can’t be just a way to save money from Monogram (even their B westerns from that period have background, non-diegetic music).