They Knew What They Wanted

  • Garson Kanin (1940)
  • US
  • 88 min
They Knew What They Wanted
Film Review
Reviewed By
2 out of 5

Charles Laughton probably wouldn't win any plaudits from Messrs Scorsese or Coppola for his portrayal here of an Italian-American winemaker, who cons waitress Carole Lombard into a mail-order marriage by sending her a picture not of himself, but of his beefcake employee, William Gargan. The plan backfires when Lombard falls in love with Gargan. It's like a French farce transplanted to the Napa Valley - except that it isn't played for laughs. Laughton apparently behaved like a tyrant on the set, but the story gave him a weird accent to play with, and fed his obsession with his physical appearance.

Plot Summary

Drama starring Carole Lombard and Charles Laughton. A simple Italian grape farmer in California's Napa Valley conducts a courtship by correspondence with a lonely San Francisco waitress. But the mail-order fiancée is in for a shock when she arrives at the vineyard for the wedding.

Cast and crew

Cast

Amy Peters
Carole Lombard
Tony Patucci
Charles Laughton
Joe
William Gargan
Doctor
Harry Carey
Father McKee
Frank Fay
RFD
Joseph Bernard
Mildred
Janet Fox
Ah Gee
Lee Tung-Foo
Red
Karl Malden
Photographer
Victor Kilian
Hired hand
Paul Lepere

Crew

Director
Garson Kanin

Other Information

Language: 
English
Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
R.K.O. Radio Pictures Ltd
Categories
Drama

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