His Brother's Wife

  • 1936
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

This was Stanwyck's first movie for MGM. She got the part (over Jean Harlow) because studio bosses thought the casting might make for commercial success, since Stanwyck and costar Taylor were dating at the time (they married soon afterwards). Taylor, who made many films in 1936--SMALL TOWN GIRL; PRIVATE NUMBER; THE GORGEOUS HUSSY--went on to enormous stardom...read more

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This was Stanwyck's first movie for MGM. She got the part (over Jean Harlow) because studio bosses thought the casting might make for commercial success, since Stanwyck and costar Taylor were dating at the time (they married soon afterwards). Taylor, who made many films in 1936--SMALL TOWN

GIRL; PRIVATE NUMBER; THE GORGEOUS HUSSY--went on to enormous stardom the following year in CAMILLE. In HIS BROTHER'S WIFE, Taylor is a bright young scientist attempting to find a cure for spotted fever. Stanwyck is a model-cum-gambling-shill he meets at a casino 10 days before Taylor is to leave

for South America, and the two have a whirlwind romance that culminates when she asks him to stay. Taylor has another problem: he owes Calleia (his character aptly named Fish Eye) several thousand dollars in gambling debts. He asks his brother, Eldredge, to lend him the money, but is refused at

first. Finally, Eldredge, a waspish stiff, agrees to hand Taylor the cash if Taylor will leave for South America right away and give up Stanwyck. She is livid at being left in the lurch, gets hold of the IOU from Eldredge, and then marries the man, all as part of a revenge plot she is cooking up.

Later, Taylor returns to New York and sees that Stanwyck and Eldredge's marriage is in name only, Stanwyck having married Eldredge, who is rapidly becoming a shambles, solely out of pique. He also learns that Stanwyck holds the note. Now Taylor talks Stanwyck into returning to South America with

him, an act that causes her to think he still loves her. But when the divorce papers are signed and she feels she can join Taylor in marriage, he brushes her off. Meanwhile, Taylor's spotted fever research is going full tilt and he is coming close to creating a vaccine for the dread disease.

Taylor tells Stanwyck that he will have nothing more to do with her; her response is to inject herself with spotted fever germs. Taylor has to save her life and, in the process, falls in love with her once more (did anyone doubt that would happen?) and they are united. Stanwyck overacts

considerably, but Taylor emits a cool, calm, and controlling style that was to stand him in good stead for the rest of his career. Hersholt again plays a doctor, something he did so well the AMA should have made him its president.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This was Stanwyck's first movie for MGM. She got the part (over Jean Harlow) because studio bosses thought the casting might make for commercial success, since Stanwyck and costar Taylor were dating at the time (they married soon afterwards). Taylor, who m… (more)

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