12 user 6 critic

The Secret Bride (1934)

Approved | | Drama | 22 December 1934 (USA)
Before Ruth Vincent, daughter of a state governor, and state attorney general Robert Sheldon can announce their marriage, the governor is accused of bribe-taking. To avoid the appearance of... See full summary »


William Dieterle


Leonard Ide (play), Tom Buckingham (screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Barbara Stanwyck ... Ruth Vincent
Warren William ... Robert Sheldon
Glenda Farrell ... Hazel Normandie
Grant Mitchell ... Willis Martin
Arthur Byron ... Governor W.H. Vincent
Henry O'Neill ... Jim Lansdale
Douglass Dumbrille ... Dave Breeden (as Douglas Dumbrille)
Arthur Aylesworth ... Police Lt. Tom Nigard
Willard Robertson ... Representative Grosvenor
William B. Davidson ... Representative McPherson (as William Davidson)
Russell Hicks ... John F. Holdstock
Vince Barnett ... Drunk in Diner


Before Ruth Vincent, daughter of a state governor, and state attorney general Robert Sheldon can announce their marriage, the governor is accused of bribe-taking. To avoid the appearance of conflict of interest, they decide to keep their marriage secret. The political intrigue becomes more involved, and no one is quite what they seem. Soon Sheldon and Ruth must decide between saving the governor's career and an innocent person's life. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


SHE BARED HER HEART for ANOTHER WOMAN (Print Ad- Evening Star, ((Washington DC)) 25 January 1935)




Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The $10,000 in supposed bribe money would equate to about $186,000 in 2018. See more »


When the crime lab tech goes to fire the gun into the test chamber, he inserts the magazine into the semi-automatic pistol, but does not rack the slide to put a round into the chamber. Then when the shot is heard, the slide does not move and no casing is ejected. See more »


Referenced in Things You Never See on the Screen (1935) See more »


Poor Little Doll
Written by Lew Pollack, Herman Pincus and Billy Barry
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User Reviews

Secret nonsense
13 April 2020 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

Barbara Stanwyck was my main reason for seeing 'The Secret Bride' (the working title being 'Concealment'). Warren William is very good in the right role and he did have enough of those. Grant Mitchell and Glenda Farrell were always worth watching. William Dieterle is not one of my favourite directors, to me he varied somewhat depending on the material given to work with, but there are films he did that are great. One of the prime examples being one of the best versions of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'.

'The Secret Bride' is a mildly interesting curio, but to me it wasn't a great film. Or particularly good even. A case of being promising to begin with but became routine and completely nonsense too early. Stanwyck and William both come off well, though Stanwyck certainly had better films and performances (in terms of William performances-wise his here is towards being one of his better ones). In Dieterle's case 'The Secret Bride' is to be seen namely for completest sake, but it leans towards being one of his near-misfires from a directing standpoint.

Will start with the good. 'The Secret Bride' looks great, especially the photography which is beautiful and atmospheric. Stanwyck has some lovely clothes here too. It's nicely scored without being inappropriately jaunty or over-powering, a danger for the type of film it is. The film actually starts off very well and the early stages of Farrell's subplot really does intrigue.

Dieterle has brilliant moments visually that just about stop his direction from being completely weak. All the cast do a great job, with steely Stanwyck and cool William being strong leads and Mitchell and Farrell are both also delights.

Sadly, there are two big things that particularly spoil 'The Secret Bride' to a significant degree. The script is even drier than out of date bread and is quite flabby, some of the dialogue even induces unintentional laughter which was unlikely to have been the intent. The story started off promisingly but too early loses momentum (badly) and interest. It becomes dull and very routine, with too much being too obvious prematurely which really took away from any unpredictability or suspense. The last quarter especially also gets truly nonsensical to a near-insulting degree.

Culminating in a cop-out, last minute-feeling ending. Despite brilliant moments visually, the direction is very undistinguished and struggles to keep the material staying afloat (overall failing by the film's end). By the final quarter, it felt like Dieterle no longer had trust in the material and had given up.

All in all, watchable for the cast and visuals but the script and story failures prevent it from being above curiosity value level. 5/10

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Release Date:

22 December 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

His Secret Bride See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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