This was Olivia de Havilland's first film after a two-year legal battle she waged against Warner Bros. regarding her rights under her contract (she won). She replaced Paulette Goddard, who dropped out shortly before filming was to begin. See more »
Both Ray Milland and Olivia DeHavilland had to be asking how did they get into this rather slight comedy. The Well Groomed Bride is funny enough, but considering the history of these two stars they both should have figured for something better.
In the case of Milland he had just come off his Oscar winning picture The Lost Weekend proving to Paramount he could handle heavy dramatics. This film is a return to what he'd been doing for a decade at Paramount.
As for Olivia she had just gotten from Warner Brothers after a lengthy and historic battle to break her contact there. Jack Warner for the most part had cast her in these light comedies or has the heroine waiting for her man who was for the most part Errol Flynn. She had done Hold Back The Dawn with Paramount and gotten an Oscar nomination back in 1941. Maybe she figured she'd get good parts at that studio and instead was doing the same stuff she did with the Brothers Warner.
Lt. Commander Milland is on a mission to obtain a magnum of champagne so a ship could be launched. But Olivia beats him to the last bottle of the bubbly that can be found in San Francisco and she wants to launch her marriage to former football hero Sonny Tufts with it. That starts a whole lot of maneuvering and of course ends the romance with Olivia and Tufts.
Sonny Tufts was playing the part usually given Jack Carson over at Warner Brothers, the amiable blowhard. No wonder Olivia must have thought she never left.
The Well Groomed Bride has its amusing moments, but it's chiffon light fare. Milland would continue to get light comic parts with a few dramatic ones to show his versatility. But Olivia's next few roles would earn her three Oscar nominations in a row and two Oscars with To Each His Own, The Snake Pit, and The Heiress.
Turns out she made the right career move.
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