MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 13,985 this week

They Knew What They Wanted (1940)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  19 October 1940 (USA)
6.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 247 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 546 titles
created 21 Jun 2011
 
a list of 4250 titles
created 31 Jul 2012
 
a list of 416 titles
created 06 Feb 2014
 
a list of 228 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 1 month 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... 

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
Biography | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

True story of the life of Jimmy Piersall, who battled mental illness to achieve stardom in major league baseball.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Karl Malden, Norma Moore
Primrose Path (1940)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Girl from the "wrong" side of the tracks falls in love with an ambitious young man from the "right" side of the tracks.

Director: Gregory La Cava
Stars: Ginger Rogers, Joel McCrea, Marjorie Rambeau
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

While under attack by German forces, a French army unit discovers there is a traitor in their midst, feeding the Germans information.

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: Cornel Wilde, Steve Cochran, Phyllis Thaxter
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Yacht owner is stranded on island with her socialite friends, a wacky husband and wife research team, and a singing sailor.

Director: Norman Taurog
Stars: Bing Crosby, Carole Lombard, George Burns
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
Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Barely historical presentation of the life of Jim Bowie. Here he goes to New Orleans to sell lumber but falls in love with Judalon. To match his rivals he must become sophisticated and does... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Alan Ladd, Virginia Mayo, Joseph Calleia
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After a long absense from the island, Chester Tuttle returns to Tahiti to find that little has changed. His large family, particularly his scheming Uncle Jonas, would rather dance and ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Vidor
Stars: Charles Laughton, Jon Hall, Peggy Drake
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young American girl visits Paris accompanied by her fiancee and her wealthy uncle. There she meets and is romanced by a worldly novelist; what she doesn't know is that he is a blackmailer who is using her to get to her uncle.

Directors: Richard Wallace, Edward Goodman
Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Wynne Gibson
I, Claudius (1937)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Josef von Sternberg
Stars: Charles Laughton, Merle Oberon, Emlyn Williams
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

The Broadway production of "They Knew What They Wanted" by Sidney Howard opened on November 24, 1924 at the Garrick Theater, ran for 192 performances and won the Pulitzer Prize in Drama in 1925. See more »

Quotes

Tony Patucci: Looka me, Tony!
See more »

Connections

Version of Great Performances: The Most Happy Fella (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Adeste Fideles
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Roy Webb
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
dated, boring, too long..
14 January 2006 | by (Austria) – See all my reviews

Charles Laughton, even more annoying than usual, full equipped with glued on beard and Italian accent, is a simple-minded farmer somewhere in napa.(wearing a pair of dungarees most of the time, which look like they might burst any second) having seen the waitress Carole Lombard only once, he's already very much in love with her and after writing some letters, proposes to her. being the coward that he is, he sends a photograph of his pal joe(equally unattractive William Gargan)to lure her to his farm in the desert. after a terrible accident(in which he falls off a roof while being completely wasted)Carol, his wife to be, finally gives in to her urges and has some fun with farmhand William Gargan.

will their relationship survive this tragedy?? believe me after 96 min, (wich felt like 2 hours) you wont give a rats ass about those little lost souls in the middle of nowhere.

and of course the upright local priest Frank Fay, who has such important lessons on life and love that you really wonder how one man alone can acquire such deep and meaningful knowledge is truly unforgettable.(pun intended)

on the other hand, if you're into 400 pound guys imitating Italian farmers(badly) and pretending to be 3 years old(with baby talk and all)than this is the movie for you.

i really wonder how Carole Lombard ever got into this nonsense. i got some (unintented) laughs out of this one, but overall its a real waste of time. if you wanna see gorgeous Carole Lombard in a good serious part watch Made for each Other.


3 of 22 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:
?