Friday, June 21, 2024

June Bride (1948)

Hours before embarking on an assignment, magazine editor Linda Gilman (Bette Davis) has been thrust with a new reporter who happens to be her old lover, foreign correspondent Carey Jackson (Robert Montgomery). The two bickering sweethearts are heading to Indiana with a staff of workers to cover the wedding of two young lovebirds for the June issue of "Home Life".

From the onset, Linda finds herself beset with problems: the McKinley-era house needs updating to bring it into Truman-era style, the February snow outside the windows needs to be disguised to look like June sunshine but, worst of all, the bride needs to be found after she runs off with an old beau named Jim! 

This last problem Linda blames on Carey whom she believes lured Jim back with the intent to break up the wedding. Why? Because she thinks Carey sneers at old-fashioned happily-ever-after wedding stories and would rather have a fresh "angle" to an article then pen a simple straightforward love piece. 

Over the course of one busy week, Linda finds she may have misjudged Carey. 

If June Bride plays out like a filmed adaptation of a popular Broadway comedy, it is because it was a play, but one that went unproduced - "Feature for June" by Graeme Lorimer, Sarah Lorimer and Elaine Tighe. Screenwriter Ranald MacDougall adapted it but something was lost in the translation. The script is witty enough (it earned the Writers Guild of America award for Best Written American Comedy) and the players all handle their parts capably but, overall, the picture lacks In short, it falls flat. Whether this is director Bretaigne Windust's fault is difficult to determine but June Bride certainly could have been enhanced in the hands of a better director. Preston Sturges would have done wonders with this material and cast! 

Nevertheless, on its release it was a critical and box-office success and Bette Davis' contract with Warner Brothers was renewed for four more pictures (Bette only made one more film with the studio before walking out on her contract).

Bette Davis looked chic and youthful in the film and was bedecked in outfits designed by Edith Head. In spite of playing a successful single working woman, her character would be pooh-poohed by modern feminists because ultimately she chooses to "carry the bags" and walk two steps behind her man. 

Supporting roles went to Tom Tully (a fine actor in every film he made), Fay Bainter, Jerome Cowan and Mary Wickes. The younger roles were well-played by Betty Lynn (The Andy Griffith Show), Barbara Bates and Raymond Roe (The Major and the Minor).

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