Mary Smith is picked up by the police and is about to be sentenced, in night court, to jail for vagrancy. But a stranger, Jimmie Martin, stands up and tells the judge that Mary was waiting ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Evalyn Knapp ...
Mary Smith
Walter Byron ...
...
Nellie Gordon
...
Jack Haines
Robert Ellis ...
Brandon
Dorothy Christy ...
Marjorie
Clarissa Selwynne ...
Mrs. Martin
Phillips Smalley ...
Mr. Martin
Herbert Evans ...
Hodges
Lloyd Ingraham ...
Judge
Mary Foy ...
Landlady
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Storyline

Mary Smith is picked up by the police and is about to be sentenced, in night court, to jail for vagrancy. But a stranger, Jimmie Martin, stands up and tells the judge that Mary was waiting for him and they were going to be married. A minister stands up and offers to perform the ceremony. Mary is appreciative to her 'new' husband for saving her from jail, but she sees him as a rich playboy who got drunk and decided to be gallant. She gives him instructions to move on, but he persists on taking care of his wife. And about the time she has decided that she loves him, his parents show up with lots of objections. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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A snappy full-length comedy-romance! (original poster)

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed
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Release Date:

15 October 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Strange Marriage  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Not that strange of a marriage for a precode but...
15 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

... it's a great showcase of Marie Prevost's talent in the talkie era, and she really got so few chances after talking films came in.

It was also a great role for Evalyn Knapp as Mary Smith, a poor out of work girl who finds herself in night court being falsely accused of prostitution after being entrapped by a police officer. She claims she was waiting on the street for a man she was planning to marry but he never showed up. The judge is not buying her story when a drunken guy in formal attire - very overdressed for night court - says he is the man. The judge calls the bluff by saying that in order to release Mary the guy (Walter Byron as Jimmy Martin) must marry her. They do get married and Jimmy sobers up on her couch and then leaves. Jimmy married her partly out of sympathy and partly out of rebellion as his mother plans on marrying him off to the member of another wealthy family that he does not even like much less love. How can she get away with this? Jimmy does not come into his own money for a couple of years and is totally dependent upon mom's income. He could get a job, but this is the Depression and there are many applicants for every job. Plus who would want to cross his wealthy mom by hiring him? There is basically every stereotype about the rich looking down on the poor in this film, and Jimmy's fiancée is a piece of work. Why does she want so badly to marry somebody who loathes her when she has her own money and is attractive enough to find somebody in "her class" to marry her for the right reasons?

Marie Prevost reappears about two thirds of the way into the film after being absent since the opening night court scene and saves Mary from some of her more unselfish instincts - the worst being not wanting to take a dime from Jimmy's family. There is a hilarious scene in which Prevost takes some of the Martin's settlement money and tries to open a bank account on Mary's behalf that really shows her flair for comedy.

This was probably supposed to be one of those "sham marriage" pictures where a couple marries for all the wrong reasons, separates, and then realizes they were in love later. I probably would have given this film an extra star if it were not for the casual way Jimmy's drunken rape of Mary is treated. It doesn't make her hate him - instead she doesn't declare her love for him until AFTER the rape! This is just a little too much for this modern viewer to swallow.

It is pretty well acted though, and I'd recommend it just for a chance to see what there is not too much of - Evalyn Knapp and Marie Prevost in bigger parts than they usually got.


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