Count Armalia believes that the luck of birth is all that separates the rich from the poor. To test his theory, he sends Anni, who is a singer in a dive, to a ritzy resort for two weeks. ...
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Count Armalia believes that the luck of birth is all that separates the rich from the poor. To test his theory, he sends Anni, who is a singer in a dive, to a ritzy resort for two weeks. With fancy new clothes and ersatz status, Anni decides that she likes the rich life. But with time running out, she needs a rich husband and Rudi is the one she chooses. Only it takes longer than two weeks for Rudi to dump his fiancée and propose to her. In the weeks that she has been there, she finds that she loves Giulio, the postman with the small house and the donkey cart. But will she give up love for wealth....Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Originally, in 1937, Dorothy Arzner had been assigned by MGM producer Joseph L. Mankiewicz in 1937 to direct Luise Rainer in "The Girl from Trieste," an unperformed Ferenc Molnár play about a prostitute trying to reform herself who discovers the hypocrisies of the respectable class which she aspires to. After the death of Irving Thalberg, Louis B. Mayer was put in charge of MGM. Mayer disliked the perceived exploitation of the female lead's character, and insisted that Molnár's play be rewritten so that it was no longer about a prostitute, but instead a slightly dark Cinderella story with a happy ending. Retitled by Mankiewicz as The Bride Wore Red (1937), Rainer withdrew and was replaced by Joan Crawford. See more »
Crawford Tone pair up nicely in The Bride Wore Red
Jaded club singer Anni Pavlovitch (Joan Crawford) runs into a count who devises a plan to give Anni an opportunity to swing with the swells for two weeks in a rustic Italian vacation spot in the mountains. Anni is totally seduced by the lifestyle and with time running out moves in on Maddelena Monti' s well heeled beau Rudi Pal ( Robert Young) to try an insinuate herself into the jet set lifestyle on a more permanent basis. The local postman Giullio (Franchot Tone) has also taken a shine to Anni offering her an unencumbered down to earth existence in contrast but cynical Anni is tired of the hardscrabble existence preferring pampered materialism instead.
Under the rare oddity of a female studio film director (Dorothy Arzner) Crawford is allowed to stretch with more than satisfying results as she struggles with the conflict of hooking up for love or money. Arzner not only gets some impressive long takes out of Crawford but also softens her standard studio brusqueness with a touching sensitivity as her dream of easy street evaporates before her eyes.
Arzner also gets fine performances out of upper crusts played by Young and a beautifully smug performance from Billie Burke without being condescending to such easy targets. The real surprise though is the sophisticated Franchot Tone as Giullio the country postman. Playing it neither broad or passionate Tone subversively bides his time with a dignity and patience that gives The Bride Wore Red a nice subtle edge and a more touching denouement.
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