MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 7,604 this week

They Knew What They Wanted (1940)

6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 236 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

Tony (Charles Laughton), a successful but illiterate middle-aged grape farmer, sends the photograph of his handsome young foreman, Joe (William Gargan), instead of his own, hoping to woo ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (from the Pulitzer Prize Play by)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 7581 titles
created 13 Aug 2011
 
a list of 2998 titles
created 04 Feb 2012
 
a list of 2750 titles
created 13 Apr 2012
 
a list of 8378 titles
created 25 Mar 2013
 
list image
a list of 9998 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: They Knew What They Wanted (1940)

They Knew What They Wanted (1940) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of They Knew What They Wanted.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Comedy | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A woman pretends to be royalty in order to get aboard a cruise ship.

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Douglass Dumbrille
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Young lawyer meets and marries girl after knowing her one day. Takes bride home to meet his mother who disapproves of the marriage. Lawyer thinks everything will be fine as he moves up the ... See full summary »

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Carole Lombard, James Stewart, Charles Coburn
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Hazel Flagg of Warsaw, Vermont receives the news that her terminal case of radium poisoning from a workplace incident was a complete misdiagnosis with mixed emotions. She is happy not to be... See full summary »

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Charles Winninger
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A loafer and a manicurist, both planning to marry money, meet and form an uneasy alliance.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, Ralph Bellamy
Supernatural (1933)
Certificate: Passed Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A serial black widow murderess returns to life in the body of a young woman to exact revenge on a former lover, a phony spiritualist who betrayed her.

Director: Victor Halperin
Stars: Carole Lombard, Randolph Scott, Alan Dinehart
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Divorcee Irene Vail falls for a charming Parisian, but her insanely jealous ex-husband will do anything to get her back...

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Charles Boyer, Jean Arthur, Leo Carrillo
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Carole Lombard, Preston Foster, Cesar Romero
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young man asks a hat check girl to pose as his fiancée in order to make his dying father's last moments happy. However, the old man's health takes a turn for the better and now his son ... See full summary »

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, Robert Cummings
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In the Dutch islands, the sister of a pious missionary attempts to reform a womanizing, drunken beach bum.

Director: Erich Pommer
Stars: Charles Laughton, Elsa Lanchester, Robert Newton
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

On the sidewalks of the London theater district the buskers (street performers) earn enough coins for a cheap room. Charles, who recites dramatic monologues, sees that a young pickpocket, ... See full summary »

Director: Tim Whelan
Stars: Charles Laughton, Vivien Leigh, Rex Harrison
Thirst (1949)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A needy couple in a bad marriage travel back to Stockholm after a trip to Italy. Meanwhile, a widow resists seductions from two different persons - her psychiatrist and a lesbian friend.

Director: Ingmar Bergman
Stars: Eva Henning, Birger Malmsten, Birgit Tengroth
The Gay Bride (1934)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Gangster Shoots Magiz is the producer of the show in which Mary is appearing. She marries him even though she can't stand a thing about him, knowing that in his business he may not be ... See full summary »

Director: Jack Conway
Stars: Carole Lombard, Chester Morris, Zasu Pitts
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
William Gargan ...
Joe
...
The doctor
Frank Fay ...
Father McKee
Joseph E. Bernard ...
The R.F.D. (as Joe Bernard)
Janet Fox ...
Mildred
Lee Tung Foo ...
Ah Gee, the Cook (as Lee Tung-Foo)
...
Red
Victor Kilian ...
The photographer
Edit

Storyline

Tony (Charles Laughton), a successful but illiterate middle-aged grape farmer, sends the photograph of his handsome young foreman, Joe (William Gargan), instead of his own, hoping to woo and marry Amy (Carole Lombard), a waitress in a San Francisco restaurant. Through a series of letters, the two become close and Tony invites his "future wife" to visit. When the beautiful, young Amy arrives at Tony's Napa, California ranch she falls for the wrong man thinking that Joe is the wealthy Tony. When Tony tries to win her over in broken English, she is at first furious and then charmed. But Tony breaks his legs while showing off to impress Amy, and -- left alone to care for a cripple -- she reluctantly succumbs to Joe's charms and becomes pregnant. Although Tony discovers that he has been cuckolded and that Joe has run off, his anger turns to genuine love and he offers to take Amy back unconditionally for the sake of the child and his own true feelings for Amy. Written by E. Summer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You have seen great motion pictures! We believe you have not seen a greater motion picture than this!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sabían lo que querían  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In March 1941, RKO was distributing this film on a double bill with Queen of Destiny (1938). (Queen of Destiny (1938) was distributed with the alternate title "Queen of Destiny".) See more »

Quotes

Tony Patucci: Looka me, Tony!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Secret Hour (1928) See more »

Soundtracks

Vieni sul Mar
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Roy Webb
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Great Performance by Carole Lombard
5 November 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is the third filmed version of Sidney Howard's play. Previously this was filmed a THE SECRET HOUR (1928) with Pola Negri and Jean Hersholt and as A LADY TO LOVE (1930) with Vilma Banky and Edward G. Robinson.

Here, Charles Laughton plays the Italian Tony, a successful grape grower in Napa Valley. He goes to San Francisco and is smitten with a waitress named Amy (Carole Lombard) and decides to marry her. Back home he gets his pal (William Gargan) to write a letter. She answers back. Eventually they send a picture and invite her to Napa.

Unfortunately they send a picture of Gargan. But Lombard has nothing to go back to but her dreary and demeaning job so she stays. Despite her best efforts she falls for Gargan right under Robinson's nose.

Basically a love triangle story, there's enough humor to defuse the slightly clichéd story. Lombard give a great performance as the feisty Amy. Laughton is hammy and loud but a pleasure to watch. Gargan won an Oscar nomination for the hapless Joe, torn between his devotion to Tony and his love for Amy.

Supporting cast includes Harry Carey as the doctor, Frank Fay as the priest, Victor Kilian as the photographer, Janet Fox as Mildred, and the film debuts of Karl Malden and Tom Ewell.

Good location shooting in Napa Valley opens up the film and adds a nice touch.


16 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss They Knew What They Wanted (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?