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If You Could Only Cook (1935)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance | 30 December 1935 (USA)

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

Director:

Writers:

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

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Joan Hawthorne
Leo Carrillo ...
Mike Rossini
...
Alan Edwards ...
Bob Reynolds
Frieda Inescort ...
Evelyn Fletcher
Gene Morgan ...
Al
Ralf Harolde ...
Swig
Matt McHugh ...
Pete
Richard Powell ...
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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 »
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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
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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

Mike Rossini: I hate to disturb your digestion, but I got to tell you this. Yer cook is in the jug - J-A-I-L - jug!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played on piano at the wedding rehearsal
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Utterly charming--they certainly don't make them like this any more!
20 January 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This is a rather simple plot for a film, but due to exceptional writing, deft direction and the winning acting of Herbert Marshall and Jean Arthur, it's a wonderful movie. This is a great old romantic film that would be great to see with someone you love.

Marshall plays the CEO of a huge car manufacturing company. When his ideas are rejected by the board, he gets annoyed with the business. At about the same time, he meets Arthur, who has no idea he's a rich big-shot. She actually thinks he's an out of work schnook and convinces him to apply to a job with her--she as a cook and he as a butler in the same household. Since Ms. Arthur is so charming and sweet, he agrees and neither she nor the employer know his true calling. Later, this misunderstanding REALLY gets out of hand, but I don't want to spoil the film by explaining further.

The bottom line is that the freshness and delightful nature of the film make up for the fact that the plot line is pretty hard to believe. Unless you are an old grouch or hate old films (people like this need to be shot), you will like this film.

Interestingly, the film was so good that Columbia Pictures' president, Harry Cohn, tried a "fast one". Since Frank Capra worked at the studio and was now famous for IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (having practically swept the Oscars) and since IF YOU ONLY COULD COOK was such a sweet film, it was marketed as a Capra Film--even though Capra had NOTHING to do with it!! As a result, Capra sued and Cohn nearly lost his job until it was all smoothed over and tempers subsided.


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