The Bride Walks Out
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When a young wife accustomed to champagne and caviar finds married life means weenies and beans, The Bride Walks Out. This brisk, engaging comedy asks "Can love conquer all – especially on a $35-a-week budget?" And, of course, through bills and battles, quarrels and quirks, the answer is "yes."
Barbara Stanwyck stars as the extravagant, clothes-loving bride and Gene Raymond is her devoted, underpaid groom. Robert Young (TV's beloved Marcus Welby) is the boozy playboy who teaches the bride that luxury is expensive…but love is priceless. With first-rate stars, an endearing theme and a supporting cast full of veteran wisecrackers and wise guys, The Bride Walks Out walks in a winner in this "breezy comedy hit" (Richard B. Jewell, THE RKO STORY).
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Mike Martin (Gene Raymond) is an engineer who basically nags model and long-time girlfriend Carolyn (Barbara Stanwyck) into marrying him. The arguments begin at their quickie civil marriage ceremony and continue as Mike's estimate that $35 a week is enough for them to get by on is incorrect. Plus no wife of his is going to work! It's a Martin tradition. Before this film is over I felt like if it was a Martin tradition to walk a tightrope strung between high rises on your 30th birthday Mike would be up there doing it. He's not exactly a deep thinker.
Meanwhile, Carolyn is stuck making Mike's maxims work. Mike gets to live the dream of supporting a wife that doesn't work, but his dream is really a mirage. Carolyn is the one that actually deals with overdue bills and the bill collectors coming to the door threatening repossession. After their furniture is repossessed and is only returned because wealthy friend Hugh McKenzie (Robert Young) pays the amount due - all happening before Mike gets home and thus without his knowledge - Carolyn decides to go to work so their budget will stretch and hide the fact from Mike. When Mike beats Carolyn home one day and discovers the truth, it is actually the knuckle-dragging groom that walks out.
All through the film there is the involvement of wealthy Hugh, who loves Carolyn but wants her to be happy whatever she decides. Let me tell you, Robert Young does not play a drunk well at all. In fact he's quite annoying as drunken partying Hugh. But when he plays a sober Hugh he's a stark and pleasant contrast to the Neanderthal Mike.
Now this is a 1936 production code era romance, so you know it's going to work itself out in some conventional way already, so I'll just let you watch and find out how that happens.
I give this 3 out of 5 stars because Barbara Stanwyck makes almost any film watchable, plus there are the hilarious antics of Ned Sparks and Helen Broderick as Paul and Mattie Dodson, friends of the couple who don't seem to like each other at all and can't even remember what town in which they were married. When Carolyn asks them why they get married in the first place they say "because it was raining", whatever that means.
I would consider this film a take it or leave it proposition.