The Farmer Takes a Wife

Overview

Henry Fonda made his screen debut in this filmization of his Broadway success The Farmer Takes a Wife. The story is set along the Erie Canal in the 1850s. Fonda plays a farmer who takes a river job to make ends meet. He falls in love with Janet Gaynor, daughter of a canal-boat cook, who thinks very little of farmers. Nonetheless, Fonda and Gaynor marry, much to the displeasure of canal skipper Charles Bickford, who'd assumed that Janet was his girl. When Fonda avoids a fight with Bickford, Janet believes that ...
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Overview

Henry Fonda made his screen debut in this filmization of his Broadway success The Farmer Takes a Wife. The story is set along the Erie Canal in the 1850s. Fonda plays a farmer who takes a river job to make ends meet. He falls in love with Janet Gaynor, daughter of a canal-boat cook, who thinks very little of farmers. Nonetheless, Fonda and Gaynor marry, much to the displeasure of canal skipper Charles Bickford, who'd assumed that Janet was his girl. When Fonda avoids a fight with Bickford, Janet believes that he's yellow, but he eventually proves otherwise. It is said that during his first day on the set, movie novice Henry Fonda, noting the camera direction "dolly with Dan and Molly" in the script, asked director Victor Fleming who Dolly was. Adapted from the play by Frank B. Elser and Marc Connelly, The Farmer Takes a Wife was remade with Betty Grable and Dale Robertson in 1955.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Robert Firsching
Although he had played young farmer Dan Harrow in the hit Broadway version, Henry Fonda was actually the third choice for the role in this entertaining film version. Fonda does a great job in his first screen appearance, carrying a rather simplistic story about romance and roughneck Erie-Canal boatmen in 1850. Janet Gaynor is appealing as his beloved Molly, and Charles Bickford almost steals the film as the hard-bitten Jotham Klore. It's no classic, but it does charmingly recall an almost forgotten part of American history, as director Victor Fleming (Gone With the Wind) skillfully portrays the closing days of canal dominance and the growing power of the railroads. A star from the beginning, Fonda would become one of the most beloved screen figures of the next half-century for his sincere, wholesome qualities, which are well in evidence here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/12/2013
  • UPC: 024543878742
  • Original Release: 1935
  • Rating:

  • Source: Fox Mod
  • Presentation: B&W / Pan & Scan
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:31:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 29,831

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Janet Gaynor Molly Larkins
Henry Fonda Daniel Harrow
Charles Bickford Jotham Klore
George "Slim" Summerville Fortune Friendly
Andy Devine Elmer Otway
Margaret Hamilton Lucy Gurget
Roger Imhof Sam Weaver
Jane Withers Della
Robert A'Dair
Irving Bacon Man on Bridge
William Benedict Boy
Stanley Blystone Worker
Wade Boteler Show Fan
James P. Burtis Sailor
Frederick Burton Butterfield
Iron Eyes Cody Indian
Phillip Cooper
Max Davidson Seller
Dick Foran Lansing
Robert Gleckler Freight Agent
Bert Hanlon
Esther Howard Cook
Lilyan Irene
DeWitt Jennings Agent
Kitty Kelly Ivy
J.M. Kerrigan Angus
Lee Kohlmar
Mitchell Lewis Man in Office
John Farrell MacDonald
Louis Mason Barfly
Frank Melton
John Qualen Sol Tinker
Sig Rumann Blacksmith
Jim Thorpe Indian
Chief Thundercloud Chief
Zeffie Tilbury Old Lady
Robert Warwick
Technical Credits
Victor Fleming Director
Winfield R. Sheehan Producer
Oscar Bradley Musical Direction/Supervision
Edwin H. Burke Screenwriter
Harold D. Schuster Editor
John F. Seitz Cinematographer
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