Wednesday, August 3, 2016

June Bride (1948) A Delightful and Overlooked Screwball Comedy

Before I begin this film review, I have a confession.  I've never been a fan of Bette Davis (Gasp!), but the premise of June Bride intrigued me.  And I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this underrated screwball comedy.  The writing is sharp and witty.

June Bride (1948) stars Bette Davis, Robert Montgomery and a cast of Hollywood's most memorable character actors: Betty Lynn, Barbara Bates, and Mary Wickes.
Davis is best known for her dramatic roles throughout her 58 year career in Hollywood and she gained recognition for roles she plays in films such as All About Eve (1950), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Dead Ringer (1964) and Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964). Davis' character in June Bride brings out a different side of her and I have to say she was genuinely funny.
Editor Linda Gillman (Davis) is forced to work with writer and former flame Carey Jackson (Montgomery). Verbal sparks fly between the former lovers as they travel to Indiana to cover an All-American story of a local girl, Jeanne Brinker (Bates) marrying her high school sweetheart, Bud Mitchell.  While there, Carey uncovers something that could put a crimp in the story and possibly cost him his job. He discovers that older sister, Jeanne Brinker was engaged to Bud's older brother Jim who is serving in the military and stationed in Chicago and younger sister Barbara "Boo" Brinker (Lynn) is in love with Bud.
I found myself rooting for Barbara and Bud and amused at Carey's role as cupid between the two young people.

 Spoiler alert: For all the feminists out there the ending to June Bride may not sit well with you because Linda ends up being the one to make the gesture or sacrifice. Just remember this film was made in 1948. I personally found the ending to be sweet and charming.

Fun Film Trivia about a few of the character actors in June Bride: Betty Lynn is best known for playing Thelma Lou the ever patient girlfriend of Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show.  Barbara Bates is known for Cheaper by the Dozen (1950), Let's Make it Legal (1951), and Belles on their Toes (1952). Mary Wickes plays nosy house keeper Emma Allen in White Christmas (1954).
Additional Trivia:  Robert Montgomery is the father of actress Elizabeth Montgomery best known for playing Samantha Stephens on the classic sitcom Bewitched. 
June Bride is the film debut of Debbie Reynolds.
This was costume designer Edith Head's first time designing clothes for Bette Davis.

Unlike me, if you're a huge fan of Bette Davis' work and want to see her in something other than a drama, check out this forgotten screwball comedy. You'll be in for a treat!

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