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Charming love story set on the Erie Canal in the mid-19th Century. A farmer works on the canal to earn money to buy a farm. He meets a cook on a canal boat, but she can't even consider leaving the exciting life on the canal for a banal one on a farm... Written by
Ed Lorusso <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The map shown at the beginning of the movie contains several errors for the 1850s, including showing West Virginia as a separate state. The second map shows an arrangement of European states that would not be valid until 1871. See more »
Enjoyable 20th Century Fox Film with two great Hollywood actors
In 1934, a new actor named Henry Fonda was receiving glowing reviews on Broadway for his performance in the play The Farmer Takes a Wife. Based on the 1929 novel Rome Haul by Walter D. Edmunds, Farmer was the tale of love and conflict along the Eerie Canal during the mid 19th century. Fonda, under contract to Walter Wanger, was called to Hollywood to reprise his role when Fox Film Corp. decided not to use Gary Cooper or Joel McCrea in the role of farmer Dan Harrow for their upcoming film version. Fonda's engaging naturalism and classically humble style in the film version would pave the way for his quick meteoric rise as the great "All-American" star. Declared the top box-office attraction in 1934, Janet Gaynor was wisely as the female lead. The Character Molly Larkins would allow Gaynor to stray a bit from her diminutively wholesome reputation into a meatier role with forthright spunkiness. Character actress Margaret Hamilton reprised her Broadway role as the character Lucy Gurget.
The film's Producer, Winfield Sheehan, had a very successful career producing and supervising such Fox hits as CALVALCADE, STATE FAIR, and CHANGE OF HEART. In 1935 alone, Sheehan would produce a total of five films for Fox. Before the shooting date arrived, the crew completed the one set that was to be used on the film with fastidious period detail. Sheehan would repeat this technique the same year with WAY DOWN EAST, also with Fonda.
Although he never received the great successes or recognition of other directors, Victor Fleming consistently and successfully delivered solid, well-crafted films. His work on FARMER and throughout the 1930's reflected his professionalism and ability to get sensible and honest performances from his actors. He would finish the decade overseeing two of the most memorable motion pictures in Hollywood history, GONE WITH THE WIND and THE WIZARD OF OZ.
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