The Secret Bride
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Shhhh. Don't spill the beans about beautiful Ruth Vincent (Barbara Stanwyck), the governor's daughter. Don't reveal that she's the secret bride of the DA who's investigating her father on a bribery charge, or he might be yanked off the case before he can find evidence to clear Dad's name. And don't let on that Ruth is risking her lovely neck to do some sleuthing on her own! Draped in furs and dripping with mystery, Stanwyck is every inch a cinema queen in this crisply paced combination of whodunit, courtroom drama and political thriller. William Dieterle (The Life of Emile Zola) directs, and two standouts in memorable '30s films costar: Warren William (the Perry Mason series) and Glenda Farrell (the Torchy Blane series).
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If you like this, try these GREAT sets of Pre-Code Hollywood, some featuring the stars: Forbidden Hollywood, Volume One,Forbidden Hollywood, Volume Two,Forbidden Hollywood, Volume Five,Forbidden Hollywood, Volume Six,Frank Capra: The Early Collection,Perry Mason Mysteries: The Original Warner Brothers Movies Collection
The film has been released in the Warner Archive Series which means it is an unrestored print with no extras. The release could surely only be an attempt to cash in on the reputation of Stanwyck. The print is adequate.
Stanwyck is Ruth Vincent, Governor's daughter and in the opening of our film brand new bride to Warren's District Attorney Robert Sheldon. A funny thing happens on the way to tell the Governor, and the newlyweds find themselves in the center of a rapidly expanding scandal involving bribes, frames, and murder. Will our fearless duo solve the mystery, save Dad's job, and totter off into a lifetime of wedded bliss? And more importantly, where does Barbara get her fabulous hats?
Though it's Stanwyck on the cover of the DVD, she plays second fiddle to Warren William, who gets much more screen time and walks away with the film. Ladies, they don't make them like this anymore: Suave, sophisticated, utterly in control, conceding battle after battle until he finally wins the war. When the entire state cabinet demands his resignation he coolly informs Stanwyck "They can demand my resignation until they run out of words" and gets right back to work. I love it.
Like I said, not a five star classic (for one thing, at 64 minutes, a bit short) but a fun rainy day film. I don't know if it's worth buying, but a rental definitely and rating:
It's not out on video, but if you ever come across Warren's "Lone Wolf Spy Hunt" or "The Case of the Lucky Legs" RECORD THEM. Those are five star.