Double Wedding (1937)

Irene and Waldo think that Charlie's directing talents could lead them to  Hollywood success some day. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Irene and Waldo think that Charlie’s directing talents could lead them to Hollywood success some day. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Waldo (John Beal) and Irene (Florence Rice) are a young, engaged couple, full of life and hopeful for a great future.

Unfortunately, they’re living with their opposite: Irene’s sister Margit (Myrna Loy), a stuffy and very composed woman who wants to plan every detail of their lives, from their wedding to their daily meals. She designs dresses for a living and is a definite control freak.

Also a problem? Irene may not actually want to marry Waldo… or so she’d like Margit to think.

Irene says that she’s in love with a bohemian artist named Charlie (William Powell) who is the complete antithesis of her sister. Charlie lives in a trailer and cares about art more than most other things.

Margit confronts Charlie, telling him to stay away from Irene… and Charlie begins to take a liking to Margit.

Richard Thorpe directs 1937’s Double Wedding, a black and white comedy from MGM. The screenplay was written by Jo Swerling, adapted from a play by Ferenc Molnar. This film appears in the TCM Spotlight series Myrna Loy and William Powell Collection DVD set.

Charlie paints a portrait of Margit. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
Charlie paints a portrait of Margit. (Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Double Wedding is funny from the very first scene. The film never becomes a complete riot, but it’s a very pleasant watch with many, many amusing moments.

A lot of this comedy comes from the “bohemian Bill vs. stuffy Myrna” conflict. These are two actors that I love, and for me they’re always a delight to watch, no matter the film. To see them pitted against each other here is a lot of fun. The witty and energetic personality of Bill’s character seems to come naturally to him, and Myrna does such a fantastic job of emphasizing her character’s stiff and stuck-up attitude.

The characters in this film are very enjoyable to watch, but the plot could use a bit more development. There isn’t a whole lot going on here aside from the expected romantic complications, and it shows. This doesn’t ruin the film – it’s still highly enjoyable due to the characters, performers and comedic moments – but it would have had much more of a punch if the story itself was well-developed.

Double Wedding is a fun film, certainly worth a watch or three. It’s certainly not one of the flawless greats of the reign of screwball comedy, but fans of Bill and Myrna will get a lot of enjoyment out of it. The score: 3.2/5

(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

12 thoughts on “Double Wedding (1937)

  1. When I first saw the title ‘Double Wedding’, I thought it was the Fred Astaire-Jane Powell musical comedy from the 1950s…then I saw the photo of William Powell on the stool, and realized my mistake: ‘ROYAL Wedding’ was the Astaire-Powell film. But this one’s pretty cool too…not the best from these two (personally, for that I’d go to ‘I Love You Again’ and ‘Love Crazy’, and of course ‘The Thin Man’) but still a lot of fun.


    1. I’ve reviewed Royal Wedding, too! I still need to watch ‘I Love You Again’ and ‘Love Crazy’ (I believe they’re both in the box set I bought), so I’m sure you’ll be seeing reviews of those soon as well. I love Myrna and Bill in pretty much anything, so while this isn’t their best I had a lot of fun watching it.


      1. It’s been years since I’ve seen any of the these three Powell-Loy pairings…I’ll have to track down that set, or as I keep saying, checking them out on Netflix streaming when I get it. I promised myself last year that I’d stop buying DVDs…but have I? Nooooooo…


        1. It’s available from the TCM shop — I got it during one of their sales. And trust me, Netflix does nothing to quell a DVD buying addiction! I’m still buying at least a few DVDs a month (five so far in January… oops).


          1. I’ve got you beat…EIGHT so far this month, including a handful I just received from Amazon, which included three of those four-film TCM collections, a steal at around ten bucks each, especially with the cool bonus features they’ve included. I don’t know when I’m ever going to have the time to watch them all. Maybe if I somehow got chicken pox…


            1. Oddly enough, I don’t own any of those TCM collections (though I do own some of their larger sets). So many of them overlap with my existing collection, but the Astaire/Rogers one is on my wish list. All of my purchases were from a random trip to Best Buy. They have pretty great bargain bins — not nearly enough classics, but lots of cheese for $5. I did manage to pick up Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid there, so I can finally check that off of my list of films I should have already seen by now!


              1. I’ve been thinking about that Astaire-Rogers one, too…I really like ‘Top Hat’. I just checked Amazon, and there exists TWO TCM Astaire-Rogers collections, an case you’re interested in spending even more of your hard-earned cash!

                There’s a place out here called Zia Records, which sells tons of new and used DVDs…a fun place to spend a few hours (and a few bucks, too). We also have Big Lots, which sells DVDs from $3 to $5; I just picked up a two-disc special edition ‘Rocky’ there for just five dollars…a steal!


                1. Oh, I know I’ll end up with both versions of the Astaire/Rogers set, even if I try to resist! There’s a really great local record store (which is now within walking distance of my house, since they recently moved) that sells used DVDs, too. I could definitely spend hours (and millions of dollars) there, but I try to only go once in a while because I never walk out empty-handed!


                  1. Same here…I can’t leave Zia’s without emptying my wallet. I recently sold my Jeep, so now I get everywhere by bike (the pedal kind, not the motor kind), which puts Zia Records out of reach for the time being. Of course, a bike ride there wouldn’t be out of the question if I had a full day free…


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