6.5/10
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They Knew What They Wanted (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 19 October 1940 (USA)
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)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Joe
...
The doctor
...
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
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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 »
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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
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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 A Lady to Love (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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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.


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