|THE SECRET BRIDE (1934)|
|Time: 64 mins.|
Rating: Not Rated
Stanwyck stars as the lady of the title, a woman forced to keep her recent nuptials to the local district attorney (William) quiet to avoid scandal in the possible dismissal of her father (Byron), who happens to be the governor. The happiness of the young couple is put on hold after a story breaks that $10,000 was deposited in the Governorís bank account on behalf of a man he recently pardoned. Her father swears he knows nothing about the transaction, but thereís no way he can prove his claims of innocence since the man behind ďthe giftĒ supposedly committed suicide moments after the news hit the street. Itís up to her new husband to supply the senate committee with proof of the governorís guilt or innocence. If the press discovers heís now part of the family, William's job and reputation will also be in jeopardy. Initially the case against her father seems airtight, but through a little digging and after several murders it becomes clear to the newlyweds that someone is framing her father.
For such a short film, there are enough twists and turns to make the case interesting, if not exactly a thrill a minute. THE SECRET BRIDE delivers a compelling mystery despite the obviousness of the identity of the mastermind pulling the political strings. Stanwyck and William make a charming and intelligent couple, as they race against time to save both menís jobs and secure their own future. This film would surely have fallen by the wayside long ago if not for the enduring star power of Stanwyck. Her part here is nothing special, but she gives the usual girlfriend/wife role more punch and verve than one comes to expect. This is one of the few parts Iíve ever seen her in where sheís a decent, loving gal and not some brazen hussy looking for her next patsy. Itís a nice change. Not a film to seek out, but one thatís entertaining enough if you happen to come across it.