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Public Wedding (1937)

Approved | | Comedy | 10 July 1937 (USA)
The operators of a bankrupt carnival sideshow hope to restore their fallen fortunes by staging a fake 'public wedding' in the mouth of their unprofitable giant whale. But the intended '... See full summary »



(original screen play), (original screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony (Tony) Burke
Joe Taylor
Tessie Schultz aka Lilith Love
H. Theodore Lane aka Pop
Archie Robbins ...
Nick (as James Robbins)
The Deacon
Zeni Vatori ...
Gus Papadopoulos
Jimmie Fox ...
Judge Jeremiah Boggs (as Jimmy Foxe)
Curtis Karpe ...
Pete - the Waiter
Reporter (as Horace MacMahon)


The operators of a bankrupt carnival sideshow hope to restore their fallen fortunes by staging a fake 'public wedding' in the mouth of their unprofitable giant whale. But the intended 'bridegroom' absconds with the proceeds, arranging a substitute...and Flip Lane, much to her surprise, finds herself really married to a handsome stranger, whose career as an artist she decides to manage, much to his dismay. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

10 July 1937 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The $7.90 restaurant bill would be the equivalent of $130 in 2016. See more »


Tony Burke: Good, sound, honest work will be appreciated in the end!
Flip Lane: Well, who the heck wants to wait 'til the end?
See more »


Honeymoon Hotel
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played on the calliope in the opening scene
See more »

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User Reviews

Offbeat casting for a conman
23 September 2016 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

This B picture from Warner Brothers is primarily made to exhibit the talents of some players that the Brothers had high hopes for, Jane Wyman and William Hopper. Both made successes of themselves but not at Warner Brothers.

Public Wedding is the story of conman Berton Churchill in a role that normally would be reserved for Raymond Walburn as a man with an ever flowing spiel of con and Jane Wyman as his stepdaughter whom he has schooled in the arts. They've got a sideshow exhibit of a whale's mouth that's circling the drain financially. Churchill hits on an idea to hold a public wedding. The idea being who doesn't like to go to a wedding and enjoy the reception afterward. Wyman will be the bride and at the last minute they rope in struggling young artist William Hopper for the groom.

I'll say no more because it really gets hard to follow as Wyman and Churchill go through an amazing string of cons at which Hopper just looks bewildered by. Some of them are even designed to benefit him. Along the way Marie Wilson and her ingenuous manner get swept up in all this.

Wyman at this beginning of her career was getting roles at Warner Brothers that Joan Blondell and Glenda Farrell were turning down. Like Olivia DeHavilland, Wyman kept trying to tell the Brothers she could do better. She didn't really until 1945 with strong leads in The Lost Weekend and The Yearling. But she moves that dialog along at a clip the other two would envy.

William Hopper as we know was the son of Hedda Hopper and that fact alone would have guaranteed employment. Eventually his success came on TV's Perry Mason as Paul Drake. Here he's just one of several young leading actors coming up, among others was Ronald Reagan.

Churchill is the real star here. Usually he's stuffy upper class gentleman, here he goes to town with this bit of offbeat casting. You will love his scenes with Marie Wilson.

Public Wedding, a little gold nugget among the B picture dross.

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