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The Wedding Night

Story [by Edwin Knopf] is irritating in many ways. Gary Cooper is a young author who sells a piece of his land to a Polish tobacco grower, who wants it as a dowry for his daughter. He goes to the farmhouse to make the sale. He is received with hospitality and made welcome at the meal which turns out to be a betrothal feast.

With:
Gary Cooper Anna Sten Helen Vinson Ralph Bellamy Sig Ruman Esther Dale

Story [by Edwin Knopf] is irritating in many ways. Gary Cooper is a young author who sells a piece of his land to a Polish tobacco grower, who wants it as a dowry for his daughter. He goes to the farmhouse to make the sale. He is received with hospitality and made welcome at the meal which turns out to be a betrothal feast.

Author returns home, announcing that he has found the theme for his new book in the family he has just left. The Polish girl becomes first interested in the man and then flattered by the novel in which she, the heroine, works the spiritual regeneration of the author, who frankly divorces his wife – on paper – to take on the new love.

King Vidor, in his direction, handles the incidents with fine touch, keeping each character whole and consistent and developing a fluid action which moves easily from the American to the Polish home and back again.

Anna Sten is more fortunately cast than in Nana (1934). She is exotic, but her still-marked accent fits the character and she gives a finely sensitive performance.

She is handicapped in a way by the more showy personality of Helen Vinson, as the author’s wife; hard as nails, but realizing eventually she loves her man and is willing to fight for him. Cooper contibutes an easy character drawing which by its charm almost blinds to the havoc he works. Ralph Bellamy is capital as the destined husband.

The Wedding Night

Production: Goldwyn/United Artists. Director King Vidor; Producer Samuel Goldwyn; Screenplay Edith Fitzgerald; Camera Gregg Toland; Editor Stuart Heisler; Music Alfred Newman; Art Director Richard Day

Crew: (B&W) Extract of a review from 1935. Running time: 81 MIN.

With: Gary Cooper Anna Sten Helen Vinson Ralph Bellamy Sig Ruman Esther Dale

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