Wiki-parently this was Joan Crawford’s 31st film (out of a career total of 86) and her 4th sound film – a third of her films were silent - made when she was just 26 and still in the process of becoming “Joan Crawford”.
Her diction is deliberately modulated to enable the microphones to pick up something approximating a received pronunciation north eastern American accent – this gal doesn’t sound like she’s from the Bronx let alone San Antonio, Texas… that she manages to act through these constraints is a wonder and a measure of her talent.
|Crawford, Page and Sebastien again!|
It proves to be a very uneven experience and for stretches leaves you marooned in one of its pockets of coherence as you wait for the narrative to move along whilst, other-times, it just ups and jumps to its (sometimes-inevitable) conclusions without taking the characters and the audience through the steps to get there…
She gets good support from Dorothy Sebastian – ideal best friend material for Miss Crawford; capable of keeping up without overshadowing the front-runner. Also good is Anita Page who performs the seemingly impossible feet of having larger and prettier eyes than Joan. Joan has to work her lids to show her peepers to full effect but Anita just has to blink. A more natural comedian than Crawford her role is all the more tragic for that.
As with all store-slaves they dream of escape and it seems Connie may well have found hers in the form of the owner’s second son David Jardine (Raymond Hackett). Gerry is less certain and has a natural distrust of male motivations no doubt having been once or twice-bitten. She attracts the attention of David’s elder brother Tony (Robert Montgomery) who ogles her during a fashion show and tries his luck but it turns out that Gerry doesn’t just play at hard-to-get: she is.
Relationships move to the next level very quickly: Francine and Marty have a quick-fire drunken wedding much to Gerry’s concern whilst Connie soon moves into an apartment courtesy of David and it’s surely only a matter of time before he makes their relationship public.
|Jeepers, creepers... check out Anita's peepers!|
|What a swell party this is|
|Tony's on third strike|
At the time Our Blushing Brides did good business and it’s not hard to see why: it was built to succeed by ticking so many boxes it could almost be a multiple choice examination on how to make a Hollywood winner. It’s a thoroughly-professional endeavour from all concerned and whilst it doesn’t engage in the way that Our Dancing Daughters did, it prefigures the mass ensemble back-stage musical dramas that were to follow.
|Such a show off|
Our Blushing Brides is available on Warner Archive DVD-R either direct or from Amazons.
|Don't worry dear, he liked it really...|