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The Farmer Takes a Wife (1953)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical, Romance | July 1953 (USA)
A romantic triangle develops on Erie Canal boats in 1850.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Dan Harrow
Lucy Cashdollar
Jotham Klore
Fortune Friendly
Pearl Dowd
Eva Gooch (as Donna Lee Hickey)


Erie Canal, N.Y., 1850: Molly Larkins, cook on Jotham Klore's canal boat, has a love-hate relationship with her boss. She hires handsome new haul-horse driver Dan Harrow and the inevitable triangle develops (complicated by Dan's desire to farm and Molly's to boat) against a background of the canalmen's fight against the encroaching railroad. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boat | erie canal | 1850s | railroad | cook | See All (30) »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

July 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Vida É uma Canção  »

Box Office


$1,860,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Of Betty Grable's 29 feature-film appearances from 1940 through 1955, only this movie did not play at the Roxy Theatre in New York City. Instead, this picture opened at the Globe Theatre on June 12, 1953. Note: Miss Grable's How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) had its Manhattan premiere simultaneously at the Roxy and the Globe on November 12, 1953. See more »


Lucy Cashdollar: Don't forget, I'm a five time widow, and when they died they all left me everything they owned. Rest their souls.
Fortune Friendly: What do you want with me? I'm broke.
Lucy Cashdollar: Well, I figure after five rich husbands, the next one would be on the house.
See more »


Version of The Farmer Takes a Wife (1935) See more »


We're Doing It for the Natives of Jamaica
(1953) (uncredited)
Written by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Dorothy Fields
Sung by Thelma Ritter and chorus; John Carroll and drinking buddies
See more »

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User Reviews

A relatively bland remake of a rather bland film.
18 November 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The one thing you'll no doubt notice when this film begins is that Betty is clearly older. She's 37 and playing a part designed for a teenager or perhaps a woman of 20...plus she simply looks older than 37. She also apparently had far less clout by 1953, as she was cast along with Dale Robertson--not exactly a household name. RObertson wasn't bad in the film, mind you...but he was a big comedown from folks like Don Ameche or Victor Mature in the 30s or 40s. Studio veterans John Carroll and Thelma Ritter are on hand to lend support. This loss in popularity also might help to explain why the once big star was forced to do a remake of a completely unremarkable film. The 1935 version was only fair and here almost two decades later it's essentially the same film but with music and Technicolor. This remake is certainly no better due to the miscasting of Grable, a few very unremarkable songs and a plot that just seemed to drag. Not a bad film but one that clearly showed that Grable's days as a star were nearly passed. Watch it if you'd like but it's only a time- passer and nothing more.

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