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Bridge Wives (1932)

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Mrs. Smith is participating in a marathon bridge tournament, and Mr. Smith has become anxious and desperate as a result.


(as William Goodrich)
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Title: Bridge Wives (1932)

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Cast overview:
Al Smith
Fern Emmett ...
Al's wife, Mrs. Smith
Billy Bletcher ...
Radio announcer
Lynton Brent ...


A marathon bridge tournament, which started three months ago, is being held at the home of Mrs. Smith, one of the competitors. As it finally nears its completion, Mr. Smith is becoming increasingly desperate and agitated over the situation. When the score ends in a tie, the tournament is extended for three more months. Mr. Smith is beside himself with rage - he ejects everyone from his home, and refuses to let his wife play any further. Later on, even when she tries to turn on the radio to listen to the broadcast of the game, Mr. Smith is thrown into a frenzy, and he starts to take out his accumulated frustration on the radio. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tournament | radio | bridge | tie | shovel | See All (15) »


Short | Comedy

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

21 February 1932 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


As Al and Fern switch the radio station back and forth, the bridge game play-by-play picks up where it left off, without the gaps that would be there if the commentary had been going on while the radio was on the other station. See more »

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User Reviews

There's no 'B' in 'William Goodrich'
27 October 2004 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

The comedy short 'Bridge Wives' was made in the early 1930s, when American households (especially the women) were in the throes of a nationwide craze for contract bridge. The fad inspired several other comedy films during this same period, including Loretta Young's 'Grand Slam' and Leon Errol's hilarious 'Honeymoon Bridge'.

Previous IMDb poster Bob Lipton has synopsised 'Bridge Wives' accurately: Al's wife is a bridge addict, and poor Al has a case of the fantods while his wife bids six no trumps. However, I disagree with Mr Lipton's opinion of Al St John's comedic abilities. St John (nephew of Roscoe Arbuckle) was a nimble acrobat with a fine line in pratfalls and rubber-faced reactions, very nearly (but not quite) the equal of Buster Keaton and Lupino Lane in acrobatic proficiency, and also very nearly their equal in hilarity.

Besides being funny, 'Bridge Wives' is interesting for another reason. This film was directed by Roscoe Arbuckle during the period (following his acquittal on manslaughter charges) when Arbuckle was barred from appearing on screen. He directed 'Bridge Wives', and other films, under the name William Goodrich. A certain misconception about Arbuckle's pseudonym has been circulated many, many, MANY times ... so let me please correct it here once for all. Supposedly, Arbuckle's friend Buster Keaton suggested that Arbuckle should become a director under the name 'Will B. Good' ... and (also supposedly) Arbuckle, realising that the pun was a bit too obvious, changed it to the less blatant 'William B Goodrich'. That's a cute story (which I've seen published in at least fifteen different sources) but it's not true, except for one detail: Arbuckle and Keaton were both incorrigible punsters (who didn't need to be incorriged). Here's the truth: Roscoe Arbuckle's father was named William Goodrich Arbuckle. *After* Arbuckle chose 'William Goodrich' as his new alias, Keaton suggested he change it to 'William B Goodrich' ... but in fact Arbuckle never used that initial.

This being a 1932 film, there's some unintentional sexism. Al's character is upset because the dirty dishes have piled up (and he can't get a decent meal) while his wife plays a marathon bridge competition. Hey, mister husband: ever thought of washing your own dishes, and learning to cook?

'Bridge Wives' is very funny: a showcase for Al St John's talents (at a time when he was getting a bit too old for his former acrobatics) and a bittersweet reminder that Roscoe Arbuckle was still able to make people laugh during the dark days after the scandal that broke his career. Booming-voiced Billy Bletcher is good here in a supporting role. I'll rate 'Bridge Wives' 7 out of 10.

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