For Reel

Young Bride (1932)
October 4, 2015, 7:09 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: William A. Seiter
4 Stars
Young BrideAn unjustly overlooked pre-Code melodrama, Young Bride stars Helen Twelvetrees as a librarian who works with kids. She teaches them fairy tales as she awaits her own Prince Charming, and soon enough she unfortunately mistakes a brash swindler (Eric Linden) for the man she’s been searching for. He, unlike the hard-working Twelvetrees, feels that he’s above an average job and suggests that he’d rather be in the 1% of people who make the big bucks without busting their teeth (a line that takes on a new relevance in the contemporary political landscape!). Besides the interesting performances and the well-written characters who are both equally, in their own contrasting ways, inherently self-destructive, Young Bride is distinguished by the impressive camerawork from cinematographer Arthur Charles Miller. The opening shot tracks back from a clock face before unveiling the whole of the library setting, and throughout the picture there are similarly graceful movements that liven up the typical stilted aesthetics of an early 1930s melodrama programmer. Late in the film, the heartbroken Twelvetrees walks through the streets during Christmastime as a newspaper peddler shouts that a young woman has committed suicide due to her failures with love. The incongruity of the moment–of the falsified holiday cheer in the streets as those who walk it are suffering–is typical of the film’s sense of melancholy.

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