The Bride Wore Red


1h 43m 1937
The Bride Wore Red

Brief Synopsis

A chorus girl crashes an exclusive Swiss resort to snare a rich husband.

Film Details

Also Known As
Once There Was a Lady
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Oct 8, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Mammoth Lakes, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the unpublished play The Girl From Trieste by Ferenc Molnár.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11 reels

Synopsis

In a Trieste gambling casino, the cynical Count Armalia tells his friend Rudi Pal that the only thing separating aristocrats from peasants is luck. Later, in a waterfront cafe, he decides to prove his point by offering the club's singer, Anni Pavlovitch, money and a wardrobe to stay at an upper class resort hotel in the Alps for two weeks and pose as his friend Anne Vivaldi, an aristocrat's daughter. When Anni first arrives, she meets Giulio, a philosophical postal clerk who has no desire for wealth. She also meets her old friend Maria, who is happy being a maid in the hotel and warns Anni not to become the victim of Armalia's joke on his friends. That evening, Anni attracts the attention of Rudi, who is dining with his fiancée, Maddalena Monti, her father, Admiral Monti, and Contessa di Meina. Rudi begins to falls in love with Anni, but she is more attracted to Giulio, even though she accuses him of impertinence when he tells her his feelings. Hoping to lure Rudi into proposing to her, Anni extends her stay beyond the two weeks while the Contessa, who has been suspicious of her from the beginning, wires Armalia for information on her. When the reply comes through the post office, Giulio reads it and learns the truth, but on the way to deliver it, he meets Anni, who goes to his cottage and realizes that she loves him, even though she still thinks that marriage to Rudi will bring her greater security. Later, she falls and Giulio loses the telegram going to help her. On the evening of an annual costume party at which the hotel guests dress as peasants, Anni snubs Giulio when he offers her flowers, but later confesses her love. She still plans to marry Rudi, though, whom she has finally gotten to propose, after refusing to be his mistress. The next day, Rudi tells Maddalena that he is in love with Anni and she steps aside, then suggests that they dine together that evening. While Maria helps Anni pack, she tells her that she no longer has a heart and that the gaudy red beaded dress she plans to wear is what she is really like. During dinner, Giulio delivers a copy of the telegram to the Contessa, who shows it to Rudi and the others. Maddalena is genuinely sympathetic, and Anni tells Rudi that he should marry his childhood sweetheart because she really is a lady. Finally, after being comforted by Maria, Anni realizes that Rudi did the right thing and she leaves the hotel after the manager demands payment of her bill. When she leaves, taking only her peasant costume from the ball, Giulio is happily waiting for her.

Film Details

Also Known As
Once There Was a Lady
Genre
Comedy
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Oct 8, 1937
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Distribution Company
Loew's Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Mammoth Lakes, California, United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the unpublished play The Girl From Trieste by Ferenc Molnár.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
11 reels

Articles

The Bride Wore Red


The Bride Wore Red (1937) was Joan Crawford's seventh and final film with Franchot Tone, to whom she was married from 1935 to 1939. Their marriage was already coming apart during filming, due in large part to Tone's drinking and philandering and also because of Crawford's agitation about a series of miscarriages she had suffered and the downward spiral of her career at MGM. Shortly after the release of The Bride Wore Red she was among the stars named as "box-office poison" by the National Theater Distributors of America. Today, however, the movie is championed by Crawford's partisans as one of her best and most representative of its period.

It had been Tone's idea that Crawford star in the film, adapted from The Girl from Trieste, an unperformed play by Ferenc Molnar (author of Liliom, the source material for Carousel, 1956). With the death of production executive Irving Thalberg the year before, studio head Louis B. Mayer had begun to exercise his personal preference for completely wholesome screen fare and had the Molnar story rewritten so that it was no longer about a prostitute trying to go straight but became a Cinderella tale complete with a happy ending.

Crawford plays a cabaret singer who masquerades as a wealthy socialite at a fancy Swiss resort and steals a rich playboy (Robert Young) from his fiancee -- only to realize that she has fallen in love with the town's humble postman (Tone). Crawford warbles a Franz Waxman/Gus Kahn song, "Who Wants Love?" Billie Burke, usually cast as whimsical comic relief, is quite effective as a sharp-tongued Contessa.

Luise Rainer had originally been set to star in the film, under the direction of Dorothy Arzner, one of the few female directors of Hollywood's studio era. Arzner said in a 1976 interview that Rainer was suspended by MGM "for marrying a Communist" (playwright Clifford Odets), allowing Crawford to step into the role. Crawford initially was excited about working with Arzner, but their relationship grew so chilly as the film progressed that they stopped speaking and resorted to communicating through a series of notes delivered by studio publicist Maxine Thomas.

Crawford's dazzling wardrobe, as important as any element in the movie, was created by MGM's top designer, Adrian. The title outfit, a form-fitting sheath in varying shades of red to further emphasize the Crawford figure, cost a reported $10,000 and included 30 pounds of, or two million, bugle beads. The dress reappeared briefly in the Marx Brothers movie, The Big Store (1941), worn by a model in a fashion show. Cracked Groucho: "This is a bright red dress, but Technicolor is sooo expensive!"

Producer: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Director: Dorothy Arzner
Screenplay: Tess Slesinger, Bradbury Foote, Waldo Salt (uncredited), Catherine Turney (uncredited) from play The Girl from Trieste by Ferenc Molnar
Cinematography: George J. Folsey
Editing: Adrienne Fazan
Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons
Costume Design: Adrian
Original Music: Franz Waxman
Principal Cast: Joan Crawford (Anni Pavlovitch, aka Anne Vivaldi), Franchot Tone (Giulio, the Postmaster), Robert Young (Rudolph "Rudi" Pal), Billie Burke (Contessa di Meina), Reginald Owen (Admiral Monti), Lynne Carver (Maddelena Monti).
BW-104m. Closed captioning.

by Roger Fristoe
The Bride Wore Red

The Bride Wore Red

The Bride Wore Red (1937) was Joan Crawford's seventh and final film with Franchot Tone, to whom she was married from 1935 to 1939. Their marriage was already coming apart during filming, due in large part to Tone's drinking and philandering and also because of Crawford's agitation about a series of miscarriages she had suffered and the downward spiral of her career at MGM. Shortly after the release of The Bride Wore Red she was among the stars named as "box-office poison" by the National Theater Distributors of America. Today, however, the movie is championed by Crawford's partisans as one of her best and most representative of its period. It had been Tone's idea that Crawford star in the film, adapted from The Girl from Trieste, an unperformed play by Ferenc Molnar (author of Liliom, the source material for Carousel, 1956). With the death of production executive Irving Thalberg the year before, studio head Louis B. Mayer had begun to exercise his personal preference for completely wholesome screen fare and had the Molnar story rewritten so that it was no longer about a prostitute trying to go straight but became a Cinderella tale complete with a happy ending. Crawford plays a cabaret singer who masquerades as a wealthy socialite at a fancy Swiss resort and steals a rich playboy (Robert Young) from his fiancee -- only to realize that she has fallen in love with the town's humble postman (Tone). Crawford warbles a Franz Waxman/Gus Kahn song, "Who Wants Love?" Billie Burke, usually cast as whimsical comic relief, is quite effective as a sharp-tongued Contessa. Luise Rainer had originally been set to star in the film, under the direction of Dorothy Arzner, one of the few female directors of Hollywood's studio era. Arzner said in a 1976 interview that Rainer was suspended by MGM "for marrying a Communist" (playwright Clifford Odets), allowing Crawford to step into the role. Crawford initially was excited about working with Arzner, but their relationship grew so chilly as the film progressed that they stopped speaking and resorted to communicating through a series of notes delivered by studio publicist Maxine Thomas. Crawford's dazzling wardrobe, as important as any element in the movie, was created by MGM's top designer, Adrian. The title outfit, a form-fitting sheath in varying shades of red to further emphasize the Crawford figure, cost a reported $10,000 and included 30 pounds of, or two million, bugle beads. The dress reappeared briefly in the Marx Brothers movie, The Big Store (1941), worn by a model in a fashion show. Cracked Groucho: "This is a bright red dress, but Technicolor is sooo expensive!" Producer: Joseph L. Mankiewicz Director: Dorothy Arzner Screenplay: Tess Slesinger, Bradbury Foote, Waldo Salt (uncredited), Catherine Turney (uncredited) from play The Girl from Trieste by Ferenc Molnar Cinematography: George J. Folsey Editing: Adrienne Fazan Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons Costume Design: Adrian Original Music: Franz Waxman Principal Cast: Joan Crawford (Anni Pavlovitch, aka Anne Vivaldi), Franchot Tone (Giulio, the Postmaster), Robert Young (Rudolph "Rudi" Pal), Billie Burke (Contessa di Meina), Reginald Owen (Admiral Monti), Lynne Carver (Maddelena Monti). BW-104m. Closed captioning. by Roger Fristoe

Quotes

I want you to marry her, and I want my love to haunt you...to make you lie awake at night, to burn your heart, to make you sick with pain! I want you to think of me and to ache for me. I want never to see you again!
- Anni Pavlovitch

Trivia

This was the film that got Joan Crawford labeled "box office poison" back in the late thirties.

The role of "Anni" was originally intended for Luise Rainer.

Probably the real "star" of the film, and the source of its title, was Adrian's red beaded gown, worn by Crawford in the climactic ball scene. The dress was reused in fashion show sequences in Big Store, The (1941) and, finally in color, in _DuBarry Was a Lady (1943)_ .

Notes

A pre-production title for the film was Once There Was a Lady. A production chart in Hollywood Reporter and a news item in Motion Picture Herald list Billy Burrud, a child actor, in the cast, but he was not seen in the viewing print and his appearance in the film has not been confirmed. He May have been replaced by Dickie Moore, who played Pietro in the film, or, his name May have been printed mistakenly in both sources instead of actress Billie Burke, who was in the film, but was not listed in either the Hollywood Reporter chart or the Motion Picture Herald news item. According to other news items in Hollywood Reporter, this was Dorothy Arzner's first directorial effort for M-G-M, but Arzner was earlier assigned to help complete the studio's 1937 film The Last of Mrs. Cheyney after the sudden death of director Richard Boleslavky. Arzner completed no additional films for M-G-M. The picture was filmed partially on location in the Mammoth Lakes area of the Sierra Mountains, CA, and background footage obtained by Fred Wilcox on an Austrian trip were included in this film and in Paradise for Three (see below). This was the last film in which Franchot Tone and Joan Crawford, who were married from 1935 to 1939, appeared together.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1937

Released in United States on Video June 24, 1992

Released in United States 1937

Released in United States on Video June 24, 1992