For Reel

The Secret Bride (1934)
July 21, 2014, 1:10 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: William Dieterle
2.5 Stars
The Secret BrideRobbed of the sexuality and brazenness that she brought to her pre-Code efforts at Warner Brothers (including Baby Face, Ladies They Talk About, and Night Nurse), Barbara Stanwyck is wasted in this slog of a mystery melodrama. She and the similarly castrated Warren William play a newly-married couple who must keep their marriage a secret while he, a district attorney, handles a case involving the accusation that her politician father has been taking bribes. In typical Warner’s fashion, the plot moves efficiently and the cast is stacked with heavyweight stars and character actors, however the screenplay is far below par. The dialogue is lame and understandably delivered with zero conviction by a cast who mostly appears bored and stiff throughout. Glenda Farrell, while underutilized, has a few decent moments, but the real star of the picture is the talented Grant Mitchell, who plays an increasingly-anxious aide to the financier that has purportedly committed suicide.

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