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If You Could Only Cook (1935)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 674 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 10 critic

An executive lets an attractive cook talk him into taking a job as butler.

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(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Herbert Marshall ...
Jim Buchanan
...
Joan Hawthorne
Leo Carrillo ...
Mike Rossini
...
Flash
Alan Edwards ...
Bob Reynolds
Frieda Inescort ...
Evelyn Fletcher
Gene Morgan ...
Al
Ralf Harolde ...
Swig
Matt McHugh ...
Pete
Richard Powell ...
Chesty
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Storyline

Auto magnate James Buchanan has a fiancée who doesn't love him and a board of directors who won't listen to him. Brooding on a park bench, he meets unemployed Joan Hawthorne, a fine cook who needs a partner to apply for a 'couple' butler/cook job with gourmet ex-bootlegger Mike Rossini. Bemused, Buchanan goes along with the gag, taking lessons from his own butler. But there's sure to be a day of reckoning... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SHE GAVE UP HER PARK BENCH FOR HIM! HE GAVE UP MILLIONS FOR HER! (original print ad - all caps)

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 December 1935 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Búsquenme una novia  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In order to cash in on Frank Capra's popularity in England, Columbia Pictures released this film in London as "A Frank Capra Production, produced by Frank Capra." Capra who had never even seen the film was furious. This led to a bitter year-long dispute between the head of Columbia Harry Cohn, and Capra (who sued Columbia for libel). It almost cost Cohn his job and almost resulted in Capra leaving the studio. It was resolved when Cohn relented and promised to buy for Capra, the rights to the play "You Can't Take It with You" for $200,000, and pay him some back salary if he would drop the suit. And Capra did. See more »

Quotes

Joan Hawthorne: Say... can you buttle?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
(1850) (uncredited)
from "Lohengrin"
Written by Richard Wagner
Played on piano by Walter Byron at the wedding rehearsal
Reprised by the band at the wedding
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The rub out is off!.
18 December 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

James Buchanan and Joan Hawthorne meet on a park bench one day. Buchanan is sulking away about his impending marriage which is sure to be a loveless one, while Hawthorne is perusing the job vacancy adverts in the paper completely baffled by her lack of suitability for all the positions. Once the pair strike up a conversation it becomes apparent that both of them could help each other if they are prepared to take a risk, the risk would mean posing as a husband and wife team and entering the service of Mike Rossini, but little do they know that Rossini is something of a local wise guy, love and gangsters.......interesting.

If You Could Only Cook slips firmly into the category of films that deserve to be called charming, simple in structure and honest in its intent, it's a most enjoyable piece that leaves a long and warm impression after the initial viewing. There are many different reasons why so many old black and white pictures get termed classics, with one of the main instances being the ability to have longevity of entertainment values. It only really becomes apparent with a film such as this when you compare it with the more modern day romantic comedies, where today's directors and writers are prepared to force the issue with star appeal and cloying scripts, here the makers are fresh with zippy dialogue and charm personified.

Jean Arthur is Joan, a wonderful bone structured face and a lovely fulsome figure, she's a smashing actress that carries off the required romantic humour with consummate ease. Playing off her with equally excellent results is Herbert Marshall as James, many other actors could do no worse than to watch Marshall when they want guidance in the art of line delivery, peachy and carrying a great presence, Marshall remains a sadly undervalued old time performer. Villain duties fall to Leo Carrillo {Rossini} and the wonderful Lionel Stander as henchman Flash, while all the supporting members come up to the requisite charming standards. But ultimately it's a team achievement across the board, from the writing to the wink at the end of the piece, If You Could Only Cook is a smashing film that makes one feel all the more richer for having sat thru it. 8/10


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