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Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Bride Wore Boots (1946)

Set in the horsey social set in Virginia, a nerdy writer (Robert Cummings) of Civil War history and a horse mad heiress (Barbara Stanwyck) are married but find their interests and lifestyles don't coincide. When a devious and catty Southern belle (Diana Lynn, channeling Gloria Grahame) sets her sights on Cummings, the marriage falls apart. This is a tepid attempt at screwball comedy. Stanwyck has proven her comedic chops in THE LADY EVE and BALL OF FIRE, but here she's defeated by the lame script though she goes into overdrive in an attempt to put some life into it. It doesn't help that she has no chemistry with that cipher known as Robert Cummings but to be fair, even Cary Grant would be defeated by the material. There's a dubious scene in which two children are deliberately made ill in order to attempt a reconciliation between the couple, which shows how desperate the comedy is. Directed by Irving Pichel and with Patric Knowles, Peggy Wood (THE SOUND OF MUSIC), Robert Benchley, Willie Best in one of his rare good roles and an 8 year old Natalie Wood.

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