|Double Wedding (1937)
Run time: 87 min
Genres: Comedy | Romance
Director: Richard Thorpe
Writers: Jo Swerling, Ferenc Molnár
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Florence Rice
Waldo and Irene have been living with Margit for the four years that they have been engaged. Margit has planned the wedding and the honeymoon – in fact, Margit plans everything down to what they will have for breakfast every day. The only problem is that Waldo is a milquetoast and Irene does not want to be married to a milquetoast. So she says she is in love with Charlie, a bohemian artist/producer who lives in a trailer behind Spike’s Place. When Margit confronts Charlie about giving up Irene, Charlie sees that she is the one for him. To make everyone happy, Charlie will have to help Waldo get a backbone. Written by Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Release Date: 15 October 1937 (USA)
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A very funny, romantic movie. I enjoyed all the little creative pieces of "business" and lines such as "…you rang my gong." I enjoyed the treat of Sidney Toler as Keough.
I enjoyed the beautiful, wonderful cars of the 1930s, and the background scenes of beautiful, wonderful downtown Los Angeles of the ’30s and into the 1950s. I was born there in 1934 and remember it well when it was a beautiful place to live. Ah, nostalgia!! This is what it really did look like then.
"Double Wedding" is an enjoyable, albeit dizzying comedy starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. It’s really a tribute to the cast that they were able to carry on in such a wacky movie despite being shut down for a time due to Jean Harlow’s untimely death. Both Powell, who was involved with Harlow, and Loy, who was a friend of hers, took her death very hard.
Powell and Loy play polar opposites in this film. She is a complete control freak who has her life, her sister’s life, and the life of her sister’s fiancé, planned down to the millisecond. Along comes Powell, who lives in a trailer and hocks items when he needs money. Once he’s in their lives, all bets are off, and chaos reigns supreme.
The cast is great but the whole thing kind of veers off focus from time to time. The writing isn’t as strong as in some of the other screwball comedies of the era. But Powell is a treasure and teamed with Loy, even more so.
Watching this movie was like looking through a beautiful, whimsical kaleidoscope. So many facets are perfect: Loy at her peak of gorgeous, wry sophistication; the Deco sets; Powell's gentle irony; the relationships of various characters and the consistency of dialog; even the physical pranks were great–and I don't like slapstick all that much! This film reminded me of Shop Around the Corner. It wasn't as good, that's a tall order, but there was something bigger going on in this movie than just the usual romantic farce. I have to admire the writer's and director's ability to pull off a romantic comedy between two such diametrically opposed people. The heroine is the quintessential control freak; the hero, as laid back and tolerant as a hippie of the sixties. No one apologizes for their quirks, which is refreshing, and neither of them had to change all that much to make the ending work. And as far as acting goes, Loy and Powell don't hold back any punches (literally!) whenever the two characters collide. It is amazing to watch them knowing how they were reacting to Harlow's death during shooting. I love finding old movies, and this one is buried treasure.
I have always found this movie more than a little strained and Powell and Loy not up to their usual shine. In fact, Myrna Loy’s character seems downright unpleasant!! Much of this may have to do with the death of Powell’s fiancee Jean Harlow during production. Myrna Loy, in her autobiography, states that she cannot bear to watch this movie because of the pain they all felt while making it. While the two do their professional best (and the uninformed would never guess that real tragedy was plaguing them) you are much better off watching Powell and Loy in one of their better works…ie The Thin Man Series, Libeled Lady,I Love You Again, etc. FYI: Powell developed colon cancer in the year following Harlow’s tragic death and nearly died himself. He recovered and returned to active film work with 1939’s Another Thin Man and proceeded to beat the odds and live another 40 years!!!