Kiss the Bride Goodbye
|Kiss the Bride Goodbye|
Jimmy Hanley and Patricia Medina
|Directed by||Paul L. Stein|
|Produced by||Paul L. Stein|
|Written by||Jack Whittingham|
|Music by||Percival Mackey|
|Edited by||Ted Richards|
|Distributed by||Butcher's Film Service|
Kiss the Bride Goodbye is a 1945 British romantic comedy drama film directed by Paul L. Stein and starring Patricia Medina and Jimmy Hanley. Jean Simmons has an early role, almost two years before she achieved stardom in Great Expectations.
Factory girl Joan Dodd (Medina) and Jack Fowler (Hanley) are in love and expect to marry in due course. When Jack is called up for war service however, Joan's socially-ambitious mother (Ellen Pollock) seizes the chance to meddle in her daughter's life by encouraging the attentions of Joan's older boss Adolphus Pickering (Claud Allister), who is infatuated with her. Pickering proposes marriage, and under pressure from her mother, Joan accepts.
The preparations for the marriage are under way when Jack returns unexpectedly on leave from the army. He is appalled to find Joan in her wedding finery, and persuades her to run away with him. The pair decide to visit Joan's aunt and uncle in another area, and make their way there by train, while Joan's parents are horrified by her disappearance with Jack and fears the worst. When Joan arrives in her bridal gown, her aunt and uncle assume that she and Jack are just married, and prepare a bridal chamber for the couple, much to their embarrassment. Comic misunderstandings ensue all round until Joan finally demands the right to marry the man of her choice.
Reception and later history
Although the plot of Kiss the Bride Goodbye was variously described as "naïve" and "ridiculous", contemporary critics in the main regarded the film as an enjoyable frivolity with one labelling it "jovial entertainment for the masses". The Film Report said "there are many laughs and few dull moments", but also found some of the humour on the risqué side: "The situations at times come very near the edge and there are many suggestive lines".
The subsequent history of the film is unclear. There was a record of a TV showing in the U.S. in 1953. The British Film Institute had been unable to locate a print for inclusion in the BFI National Archive and classed the film as "missing, believed lost". Due to its interest as a populist production of its time and as a lost Simmons appearance, as well as increasing appreciation from film historians of Stein's directorial output in Britain, the film is included on the BFI's "75 Most Wanted" list of missing British feature films.