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They Knew What They Wanted

They Knew What They Wanted

Garson Kanin (1940)



Our Score
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.


A vineyard owner exchanges letters with a waitress, but sends her a photograph of his handsome foreman. When they finally meet, she agrees to marry him despite his dishonesty. However, following a disastrous accident, she becomes tempted by the prospect of an affair with the man whose picture she received. Drama, starring Carole Lombard, Charles Laughton and William Gargan.

Cast & Crew

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
Director Garson Kanin
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Other Information

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


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