There Goes the Groom
Cast & Crew
As impressionable Derek "Dick" Mathews sails his yacht from Alaska, where he has staked a valuable gold mine after two years of prospecting, to San Francisco, he dreams of his reunion with his girl friend, Janet Russell. Unaware of her family's desperate fortune-hunting ways, Dick is devastated when he learns that Janet has become engaged to psychiatrist Dr. Joel Becker and, in his romantic despair, becomes drunk at his college reunion dance. Janet's younger sister Betty, who has worshipped Dick since she was fifteen, takes him back to his yacht where, after hours of intoxicated dancing, he jumps overboard. Later Betty, still wet from rescuing Dick, is found on the yacht by her mother and brother Potter, and in a moment of heartsick rashness, Dick announces his desire to marry the girl. Although the news thrills the greedy Russells, Dick soon begins to regret his impulsive deed, especially after learning of Janet's broken engagement, but is unable to tell Betty how he feels. While sneaking away from his wedding rehearsal with his Klondike comrade, Hank McMann, Dick crashes his car and is sent to the hospital with a head injury. Faking amnesia, Dick is shipped to Dr. Becker's sanitarium, where Becker attempts to jog his memory by staging a football game with his former schoolmate, Potter. Later, when Betty overhears Dick making escape plans with Hank, she informs Becker of the ruse. After first exposing her family as shameless fortune hunters, Betty forces Dick to admit his scheme. Struck literally and figuratively by the infuriated Betty, Dick finally realizes his genuine love for her and proposes in earnest.
Denzil A. Cutler
S. K. Lauren
Van Nest Polglase
Vernon L. Walker
There Goes the Groom
This time, Meredith plays a young man who strikes it rich in Alaska, returns home in a yacht, and tries to reclaim his high-school sweetheart (Louise Henry), who's in love with a psychiatrist (Onslow Stevens). Henry's wacky mother (Mary Boland), however, pushes her to reconnect with Meredith because their family badly needs the money. Meanwhile, Henry's younger sister (Ann Sothern) actually is in love with Meredith. When Meredith learns the family just wants him for his dough, he pretends to have amnesia so as to avoid marrying Sothern. (The film's working title was Don't Forget to Remember.)
As usual, Mary Boland steals the show whenever she is on screen. The supremely talented and audience-pleasing comedienne specialized in scatterbrained women, and had recently made a great impression in Ruggles of Red Gap (1935). Still to come was a memorable turn in The Women (1939). This was also the third of three films in which Boland played Ann Sothern's on-screen mother, following Melody in Spring (1934) and Danger: Love at Work (1937).
Critics gave There Goes the Groom generally positive marks, with Variety declaring, "the yarn is well-worn around the edges, but ... buoyantly and skillfully acted by each least or large member of the cast... The direction, camera and production are all first-rate. Theatres catering to smart clientele should especially look into There Goes the Groom." Of Meredith's comedic turn, the trade paper said, "The role is completely reversed in tone and type from his Hollywood break-in role in Winterset. Meredith has the same youthful personality in the light part that he has on the hickory boards. And he does his role up brown."
To The New York Times, the film was "an amiable comedy about a scatterbrained ne'er-do-well family presided over by the queen mother of zanies, Mary Boland... May best be described as a cinematic exercise for Burgess Meredith, who dominates the whole affair. His performance, like the film, is occasionally brilliant, but on the whole does not merit more than a polite, indulgent commendation... [He] appears to be more at ease before the camera than he was in the memorable Winterset. His approach is less strained and he seems to have dropped most of his stage mannerisms."
By Jeremy Arnold
There Goes the Groom
The working title of this film was Don't Forget to Remember. According to Hollywood Reporter, John Boles was first slated to star opposite Ann Sothern. There Goes the Groom was Burgess Meredith's second film and his first screen comedy. Hollywood Reporter production charts add Frances Gifford to the cast, but her participation in the final film has not been confirmed.