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They Knew What They Wanted (1940)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 241 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 »

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(screenplay), (from the Pulitzer Prize Play by)
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Title: They Knew What They Wanted (1940)

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

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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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
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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
See  »
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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 A Lady to Love (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
pretty durn dated, morals wise & o/w
8 October 2010 | by (NYC) – See all my reviews

even taking into account the context of its time, this is incredibly dated, morals-wise. also, it strains credibility that the female protagonist (amy) would stay initially, stay later, stay longer, proclaim her love for (the wrong guy), and then leave w/o getting together w/who she wanted all along. just seems really dopily contrived. "she DIDN'T know what she wanted" would be a more apt title. also, the whole plot revolving about her pregnancy just comes from out of nowhere and dominates the proceedings as if it was 1750 in puritan new england. i really wanted to like this film; i'd heard it was good -

  • but it's really pretty hard to take. as for tony; he's similarly


unbelievable, a 1-dimensional character, until he explodes, and then he becomes 2-dimensional (still 1 short). OK i'm done


2 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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