Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Bride Walks Out

This movie infuriated me.

Gene Raymond plays a man who essentially bullies Barbara Stanwyck into marrying him and then makes her quit her job. But he doesn't make very much money (possibly because he gets fired all the time) and that means she lives in poverty. All the furniture gets repossessed and he still thinks everything's fine. And whenever she brings up the possibility of getting a job, he laughs at her. He's a huge jerk!

The movie thinks it's a movie about Barbara Stanwyck having to decide between her poor husband and a rich suitor, but the rich guy is always drunk and nearly as big a jerk. It's clear that she needs to get away from both of these guys, but that's not what the movie thinks should happen.

The only part I liked was the cavalcade of character actors, including Billy Gilbert and Hattie McDaniel. And especially Ned Sparks, who chomps a cigar the whole time and says funny things with a sour face. Unfortunately, a lot of the jokes are about wife-beating, which isn't as funny as it was seventy years ago.

At the end of the movie, Barbara Stanwyck tearfully agrees to quit her job and live in poverty. She'll be sad, but at least she knows her place now! Grr.

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