James Cagney: the Signature Collection
Neither James Cagney nor Bette Davis were particularly pleased with the outdated screwball comedy The Bride Came C.O.D., but both performers behaved with thorough professionalism, doing a lot more for the film than the film did for them. Davis stars as flighty heiress Joan Winfield, whose impending marriage to bandleader Allen Brice (Jack Carson) does not rest well with her oil-rich father Lucius K. Winfield (Eugene Pallette). When Joan announces that she intends to defy her father's wishes and elope with Brice, Winfield hires charter pilot Steve Collins (Cagney) to kidnap the girl and deliver her back home, C.O.D. Nearly bankrupt, Steve goes along with the scheme, but on the return flight his plane crashes in the desert. Realizing that he's only a few miles from civilization, Steve schemes to keep Joan from signalling any potential rescuers by chasing her into an old tunnel and convincing her that they're hopelessly lost. When Joan tumbles to the scheme, she forces Steve to let her marry Brice. The surprisingly cooperative Steve agrees, knowing full well that he still has a few aces up his sleeve. So guess who Joan ends up with at fadeout time? Genuine laughs are few and far between in this hectic farce, but at least Bette Davis has one hilarious moment, predicated on her outraged delivery of the word "Mustard!"