MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 18,465 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 237 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...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - The One I Love

Interview with Charlie McDowell and Mark Duplass


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 906 titles
created 03 Jan 2013
 
a list of 3141 titles
created 16 Jan 2013
 
a list of 430 titles
created 27 Feb 2013
 
a list of 1086 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 416 titles
created 6 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... 

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
War | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The pilots of a Royal Air Force squadron in World War I face not only physical but mental dangers in their struggle to survive while fighting the enemy.

Director: Stuart Walker
Stars: Fredric March, Cary Grant, Jack Oakie
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

At the urging of her curmudgeon old grandfather Jerome Cedric (C. Aubrey Smith), spoiled rich kid Annie Holt (Carole Lombard) is forced to marry into royalty in order to save her banker ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang
Stars: Carole Lombard, Lyle Talbot, Walter Connolly
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
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Not a typical Hitchcock movie, this is a comedy about a couple who learn that their marriage was not valid.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Carole Lombard, Robert Montgomery, Gene Raymond
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Three working girls in Budapest pool their resources to get a better apartment and impress their dates. One dates a nobleman and, learning of her rejection by him, considers poison. Another... See full summary »

Director: Edward H. Griffith
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Loretta Young, Constance Bennett
Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler...but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The various residents and occupants of a resort hotel await the outcome of a horse race at a nearby track, as it will affect each of their lives in different ways. .

Director: Erle C. Kenton
Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Oakie, Adrienne Ames
Rumba (1935)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A bored society girl sets her sights on a dancer in a Broadway show.

Director: Marion Gering
Stars: George Raft, Carole Lombard, Lynne Overman
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A New York fashion model finds herself being pursued by a poor but honest garage mechanic and a rich philanderer.

Director: Alexander Hall
Stars: Carole Lombard, Chester Morris, Adrienne Ames
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A wealthy New York socialite falls for and marries a cowboy while out West. Her father disinherits her, and after trying to make a go of it as a cowboy's wife, they agree to divorce and she... See full summary »

Director: Marion Gering
Stars: Gary Cooper, Carole Lombard, Helen Ware
No One Man (1932)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When the boyfriend of a rich, bored socialite dies from a weak heart, she finds herself attracted to the doctor who treated him, a hard-working idealist decidedly different from the usual spoiled society rich kids she is used to.

Director: Lloyd Corrigan
Stars: Carole Lombard, Ricardo Cortez, Paul Lukas
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:
?