For Reel

Bride by Mistake (1944)
October 18, 2014, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Richard Wallace
4 Stars
Bride By MistakeThis update of the Joel McCrea/Miriam Hopkins comedy The Richest Girl in the World is a rare example of a remake improving on the preceding film. The original had it charms–Hopkins was at her peak as a romantic lead at the time–but it was ultimately forgettable. Bride by Mistake, adapted by Henry and Phoebe Ephron, bulks out the roles of the supporting characters and their performances are uniformly terrific. Marsha Hunt is always a winsome presence on screen, capable of conveying a certain honesty and dignity with terrific ease, and Edgar Buchanan is touching in an understated role as the worried guardian of the wealthy heiress. The reliable Allyn Joslyn just about steals the show as the exasperated husband who must bite his tongue while his wife plays a bachelorette. In the end, however, it’s Laraine Day’s picture, who gives a tremendously sympathetic, commanding performance as the heiress who wishes to be loved for more than just her money. Hurt as she is by her suitor’s (a merely serviceable Alan Marshal) dalliances with whom he believes to be the true heiress, she still manages to convey resentment for him. She’s testing him. It’s not simply a film about a victim who waits for a man to come around and realize he’s in love with her, but rather a film about a woman forcing a man to prove himself worthy of her.

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