MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 12,702 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 245 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

Leonard Nimoy: 1931-2015

Best known for his work on "Star Trek," actor and director Leonard Nimoy died on Friday in Los Angeles. Read our full story on his varied career, and view our memorial photo gallery.

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 3510 titles
created 04 Feb 2012
 
a list of 229 titles
created 9 months ago
 
list image
a list of 63 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 557 titles
created 2 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 3 weeks 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 6.6/10 X  

Fan dancer Alabam Lee is convicted of breaching the morals code with her racy shows. Her agent has her adopt a "mother" from an old ladies home as a publicity ploy to improve her image. ... See full summary »

Director: David Burton
Stars: Carole Lombard, May Robson, Roger Pryor
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
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Pinky Scariano, Allan Ross, and Frankie Davis all join the Army Air Forces with hopes of becoming pilots. In training, they meet and become pals with Bobby Grills and Irving Miller, and the... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Lon McCallister, Jeanne Crain, Edmond O'Brien
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
White Woman (1933)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A nightclub singer marries the rich owner of a rubber plantation. When she returns with him to his estate in Malaysia, she finds out that he is cruel, vicious and insanely jealous. She and ... See full summary »

Director: Stuart Walker
Stars: Carole Lombard, Charles Laughton, Charles Bickford
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
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
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
The Gay Bride (1934)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 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
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
Rumba (1935)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
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
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 A Lady to Love (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Ricca Ricca
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Roy Webb
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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?

Message Boards

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

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?