Bridal Suite (1939)

Neil McGill (Robert Young) is set to marry Abbie Bragdon (Virginia Field), but things don’t go quite as planned. The marriage is called off by the bride-to-be’s father, who is fed up with Neil’s nonchalant attitude toward the marriage. You see, Neil completely forgot about the wedding. He never showed! Neil’s own father is fed up, too, and has decided to cut his son off financially.

(Image via History for Sale)

(Image via History for Sale)

Neil’s mother (Billie Burke) may have the perfect solution in mind. If a doctor in Switzerland will sign off on a letter stating that Neil was suffering from amnesia, the relationship with Abbie can be patched up. Things are further complicated, though, when Neil falls for another woman (Annabella) in Switzerland.

Bridal Suite was directed by William Thiele.

Another day, another Robert Young film for me to discover. He seems to pop up in a lot of films… I feel like he’s in half of the films I watch! Quick search of the archive shows that I have previously reviewed ten Young pictures on TMP. He left a legacy of over 100 acting credits to his name, both in film and in television, where he became known as the title patriarch in Father Knows Best.

I’ve become a fan of Young. The films I’ve seen from his filmography have generally been light and delightful, his characters usually goofy-but-likeable. Sadly, the same can’t be said of Bridal Suite, the first real dud of a film I’ve seen from him.

The plot of Bridal Suite is somewhat outlandish, but at the same time very predictable despite this. The viewer is given no reason to side with or sympathize with Abbie, who is only after Neil’s money. When he meets Louise (Annabella’s character) and they immediately take to each other, it’s clear that they’re going to end up together, and for good reason. There’s no conflict in this little love triangle with no love lost between Abbie and Neil.

Robert Young on set with co-star Annabella and her off-screen husband, Tyrone Power. (Image via Jack Samuels on Flickr)

Robert Young on set with co-star Annabella and her off-screen husband, Tyrone Power. (Image via Jack Samuels on Flickr)

Abbie may be a gold digger, but she’s not the only bad egg in the bunch. Virtually all of the characters of Bridal Suite are unlikable, with the exception of Louise. (She’s an unremarkable character, not very dimensional, but Annabella is charming in the role.) Neil is lazy and in one scene tries to force himself on Louise. As much as I adore Billie Burke, her Mrs. McGill is high-strung and far too forgiving of her son’s behavior.

There are one or two bits of wit (“He’s about as nice as hydrophobia!”) but Bridal Suite is mostly unfunny and off-putting, despite the potential for absurd comedy in the premise. Skip this one and go for the Young-starring The Second Woman, It’s Love Again, or Dangerous Number instead. The score: 0.5/5

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