Jeff (Robert Cummings) and Sally Warren (Barbara Stanwyck) have been married for years, but they haven’t quite been able to work out their differences in interest and lifestyle. Jeff is a Civil War historian and author who hates horses; Sally runs a horse farm and doesn’t take Jeff’s work too seriously.
Still, they try. At Christmas, Jeff buys Sally what he thinks is a race horse, but turns out to be a “grandfather” horse. Sally buys Jeff a desk that supposedly belonged to Jefferson Davis, but it turns out to be a fake.
As their differences continue to make themselves clear, Sally and Jeff begin to think that they may be on the road to divorce.
Add in a couple of romantic rivals in the form of Sally’s old friend Lance (Patric Knowles) and Southern debutante Mary Lou (Diana Lynn), and the marriage may genuinely fall apart!
Irving Pichel directs 1946’s The Bride Wore Boots. The film was written for the screen by Dwight Mitchell Wiley.
The Bride Wore Boots is a comedy of marital misunderstandings and jealousies. The plot is quite common, thin, and at times silly… but Stanwyck and her leading man do a decent job of amusing the viewer.
There are touches of drama and sentimentality but for the most part, the scenario is played for laughs. (Not always played for laughs successfully, but hey, they can’t all be winners.)
The exaggeration of differences between husband and wife does get a bit tiresome by the end, despite the best efforts of the cast. And when compared to other screwball films, this one isn’t particularly memorable.
It’s still an okay time-passer, however. Fans of Natalie Wood will enjoy watching her second credited film appearance (her fourth overall), in a small role as Stanwyck’s daughter. Stanwyck herself does very well in her role, despite the failings of the material.
The Bride Wore Boots won’t be ranked very highly on my Stanwyck favorites when the filmography project is complete, but it’s worth a watch for devotees.