Monday, July 16, 2012

Atypical weddings

Every now and then I look through the blog's site statistics. A few days back, I did so and noticed that one of the things that somebody had apparently searched for which brought them to the blog was "atypical wedding". It couldn't have been an exact phrase but just the two words each, because the blog search says there's only one post in which I used both words. That's a post on A Midsummer Night's Dream, which has a wedding in it and in which James Cagney plays an atypical role.

But I've been thinking for the past few days about atypical weddings in classic cinema. There's a "Word of Mouth" piece that TCM runs every time they're going to show Tarzan, the Ape Man in which Maureen O'Sullivan talks about playing Jane. O'Sullivan says something about how, thanks to the Production Code, the studio had to have Tarzan and Jane get married, with the married officiated by Cheetah or something wacky like that. That would certainly qualify as an atypical wedding.

It's been a while since I've seen Bride of Frankenstein, but I can't imagine a wedding between two monsters being particularly typical, either. It's too bad King Kong didn't survive the fall from the Empire State Building; the wedding with Fay Wray would certainly have been interesting. I believe the wedding in I Married a Monster From Outer Space is typical, and it's only after the wedding that the bride learns the truth about her husband.

There are some fully human weddings that don't go to plan. The climax of It Happened One Night is certainly one. Even if Claudette Colbert hadn't jilted her fiancé at the altar, his arriving on an autogyro is very much out of the ordinary. In a similar manner, Katharine Ross runs off with Dustin Hoffman at the end of The Graduate. And Preston Sturges directed some atypical wedding ceremonies in THe Miracle of Morgan's Creek and The Palm Beach Story.

And they all lived happily ever after... or did they?