As you all know from my last post, my brother is getting married tomorrow. I actually have time to myself this morning (amazingly) so I wanted to take some time to talk about weddings in movies.

Carefree
One of Fred and Ginger’s most unique films revolves all around getting married. Fred is a psychologist who’s best friend, Ralph Bellamy, wants to marry Ginger, but she’s too indecisive to decide if she wants to marry him or not. Ralph brings her to see Fred to try to get her aversion to marriage worked out, and she ends up falling in love with him instead.

There are a lot of differences in this film from usual Fred and Ginger romances. For one, Fred doesn’t play a dancer. The romance follows a more traditional and conventional romantic comedy formula (which, for a Fred and Ginger movie, was not traditional or conventional). There are also so very funny moments involving psycholanalysis and hypnosis. The wedding comes at the very end, but you’ll never forget Ginger walking down the aisle with a shiner.

The Palm Beach Story
The Palm Beach Story is really about weddings (though it is an excellent film about marriage), but it has one of the greatest wedding scenes of all time. It takes place in the opening credits, and doesn’t even make much sense until later in the film, but it’s a great example of screwball filmmaking. It was also one the most unique opening title sequences ever. And, of course, you get to look at Joel McCrea. And that never hurt anyone.

I Married a Witch
I Married a Witch has both a great wedding scene and a great wedding night scene. But not with the same bride. The wedding scene, in which Fredric March is supposed to marry Susan Hayward, is hysterical. Veronica Lake is waiting upstairs, and the wedding keeps starting and stopping, with March running upstairs. Add to the fact the the wonderful Cecil Kellaway is there as Lake’s father trying to sabotage their relationship, and Robert Benchley being all awkward and bumbling.

Then there’s the wedding night, after he’s ditched Hayward at the alter and married Lake. It’s just a simple, sweet, romantic scene between the pair. They had a lot of chemistry, and this scene just shows it

Man’s Castle
You didn’t think I’d write about weddings without mentioning this movie, did you? It’s definitely different in tone than the other movies I’ve talked about. Bill marries Trina out of obligation (though he really does love her) when he discovers she’s pregnant. And she knows it. It’s such an oddly done scene, almost sad, as both of them look miserable. Not because they’re getting married, but because of the reasons. Like so many Borzage weddings, it bucks the traditional notions of a Church wedding, and they’re bound together more spiritually than legally. This is also done in other Borzage films, like Seventh Heaven and The Mortal Storm.

You might even say that, though the words were said, they aren’t truly married until after the wedding, after Bill tries to rob the toy store. He returns to Trina, and she patches up his wound. They make untraditional vows and promises to each other, and it’s much more a scene of unity than the wedding.

By Katie Richardson

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