Cast & Crew
In London, Neil McGill, the wastrel son of wealthy American industrialist Cornelius McGill, forgets his wedding to the fortune-hunting Abbie Bragdon for the second time. Abbie's titled father Sir Horace calls the marriage off, and Neil's father, disgusted by his son's antics, calls him an "international lounge lizard" and takes him off the family payroll. Neil's mother, however, decides that a letter from the illustrious psychiatrist Dr. Grauer, attesting to Neil's bout with amnesia, will patch up the romance. Consequently, mother and son travel to Switzerland where the doctor is vacationing. At the inn, Neil meets and falls in love with the doctor's ward, Luise Anzengruber, prompting Grauer, who is disturbed by Neil's reputation, to inform Luise that Neil is already engaged to an English girl in London. Denouncing Neil's betrayal, Luise leaves him to join Grauer on a mountain hike, but when their lives are imperiled by an avalanche, Neil joins the rescue party and the lovers are reunited. After returning to the safety of the inn, Neil asks Grauer for Luise's hand in marriage, but because he has no job, the doctor refuses, and Neil sets sail for America. Abbie, who is on the same ship, has conveniently arranged for the ship's captain to marry them en route, but when Luise follows Neil onboard the ship, he jilts Abbie for her. When they dock, the newlyweds are met by a surprised Cornelius, who finally forgives his son's wastrel past when Neil expresses a desire to go to work as an assistant shipping clerk in order to support his new wife.
Mary Beth Hughes
Carlos De Valdez
John W. Pyman
Clyde De Vinna
Frank E. Hull
James Kevin Mcguinness
Edwin B. Willis
In a hare-brained effort to attribute Neil's jilting of his fiancée to amnesia, his mother decides to turn to psychiatrist Dr. Grauer (Walter Connolly) for the diagnosis that will excuse her son's behavior. The mother and son travel to Switzerland where the doctor is vacationing. In Switzerland, Neil meets up with the doctor's ward, a woman who should be his nemesis. In contrast to Neil's slacker ways, Luise Anzengruber (Annabella) is a highly productive, industrious and upbeat hotel owner who Neil, naturally, falls head over heels for. In the roller coaster rhythm of this screwball comedy, the pair are first estranged when Dr. Grauer informs Luise that Neil is already engaged. Then the lovers patch things up when Neil rescues Luise from an avalanche. Events change course yet again when Neil sets sail for America. Mid-voyage he is hijacked by Abbie, who arranges for an onboard wedding, but Neil jilts her once more for Luise, who has managed to sneak onto the ship.
Bridal Suite was directed by Vienna-born Wilhelm Thiele who began his career at the Vienna Conservatory and worked as a stage actor at Vienna's Burgtheater. Thiele emigrated to the United States in 1933 where among the 38 titles he directed were films for 20th Century Fox, Paramount and MGM.
Originally titled Maiden Voyage, the film's title was changed to Bridal Suite to take advantage of the fact that its star Annabella had just married Tyrone Power -- whom she met on the set of Suez (1938) -- soon after the picture was completed. The production wrap was delayed by nine days when Billie Burke broke her ankle during filming and completed her work on the film from a wheelchair. The actor Robert Blake (Barretta) made his debut in the film, as Michael Gubitosi.
Bridal Suite's star Annabella was born Suzanne Georgette Charpentier in Val-de-Marne, France. After making her film debut in 1927 she became one of the French cinema's most beloved actresses, a popularity Hollywood sought to obtain for its own. Her first English-language film was alongside Henry Fonda in Wings of the Morning (1937) which led to a string of Hollywood films. Her next role in Suez led to her meeting co-star Tyrone Power, who then became her husband (after she obtained a divorce from actor husband Jean Murat) in 1939. The couple were married despite 20th Century Fox head Darryl Zanuck's objections to his matinee idol settling down and potentially alienating his female fan base. Zanuck reportedly punished Annabella by refusing to give her film work after her transgression. After the marriage Annabella returned to France to retrieve her daughter Anne, whom Power adopted. When Power left to serve in World War II Annabella occupied herself with stage work, appearing on Broadway in Elia Kazan's Jacobowsky and the Colonel (1944). She also began an affair with the author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), knowing that Power wanted a divorce so that he could marry Judy Garland.
A notorious womanizer, Dahl later told his wife that his affair with Annabella taught him a great deal about sex. As Donald Sturrock recounts in Storyteller: The Authorized Biography of Roald Dahl, "One person saw through Dahl's rakish, confident exterior and won his lasting affection. She was the French actress Annabella. Rich, sophisticated and sexually experienced, superficially she might have seemed yet another trophy conquest. But Annabella was different. The daughter of the man who brought scouting to France, she valued courage and loyalty as much as glamour. It was in New York, in 1939, that she married her third husband, the American actor Tyrone Power. Subsequently, she became a US citizen and patriotically toured the country, giving propaganda speeches boosting the Allied war effort. Her marriage was unconventional. Both parties felt free to indulge in outside relationships. Power was already in love with Judy Garland and, after his death, a number of stories emerged suggesting that he was also bisexual."
Cataloguing Annabella's charms to his mother, Dahl called her, "an intelligent dame and much fun." Annabella recalled of their liaison, "It was like we were twin brothers. Romantic? Not really. Physical? Sometimes. But, most important, we had a complete understanding and he trusted me."
The Power-Annabella home was the site of a terrible tragedy when, during a party game of hide-and-seek David Niven's new wife Primmie mistook the basement door for a closet door and tumbled down the steps. She died the next day. Power and Annabella divorced in 1948, though Power was said to have greatly regretted the separation. Following their breakup Annabella's Hollywood film career ebbed and flowed, though she was notable alongside James Cagney in 13 Rue Madeleine (1947). But another meeting with Zanuck about her Hollywood prospects did not go well, and Annabella returned to France where she made a few more films but never achieved the heights of her previous success.
Director: Wilhelm Thiele
Producer: Edgar Selwyn
Screenplay: Gottfried Reinhardt, Virginia Faulkner, Samuel Hoffenstein, James Kevin McGuinness
Cinematography: Clyde De Vinna
Production Design: Cedric Gibbons
Music: Bill Buddie and Arthur Guttmann
Cast: Luise Anzengruber (Annabella), Neil McGill (Robert Young), Dr. Grauer (Walter Connolly), Sir Horace Bragdon (Reginald Owen), Cornelius McGill (Gene Lockhart), Lord Helfer (Arthur Treacher), Mrs. Lillian McGill (Billie Burke), Abbie Bragdon (Virginia Field). BW-70m.
by Felicia Feaster
This film was originally titled Maiden Voyage. According to the Variety review, the picture was retitled in order to exploit the Annabella-Tyrone Power nuptials, which took place soon after the picture was completed. M-G-M borrowed Annabella from Fox for the film. A Hollywood Reporter pre-production news item stated that Robert Montgomery was set for the lead part. According to Hollywood Reporter pre-release news items, production on the film was completed nine days behind schedule due to the fact that Billie Burke broke her ankle during filming. Burke reportedly completed her work on the picture from a wheelchair. Bridal Suite marked the American film debut of German actor Siegfried Arno.