6.4/10
323
8 user 6 critic

They Knew What They Wanted (1940)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 19 October 1940 (USA)
While courting a young woman by mail, a rich farmer sends a photograph of his foreman instead of his own, which leads to complications when she accepts his marriage proposal.

Director:

Garson Kanin

Writers:

Robert Ardrey (screenplay), Sidney Howard (from the Pulitzer Prize Play by)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carole Lombard ... Amy Peters
Charles Laughton ... Tony Patucci
William Gargan ... Joe
Harry Carey ... The Doctor
Frank Fay ... Father McKee
Joseph E. Bernard Joseph E. Bernard ... The R.F.D. (as Joe Bernard)
Janet Fox Janet Fox ... Mildred
Lee Tung Foo Lee Tung Foo ... Ah Gee, the Cook (as Lee Tung-Foo)
Karl Malden ... Red
Victor Kilian 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:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

19 October 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sabían lo que querían See more »

Filming Locations:

Napa Valley, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screen debut of Karl Malden. See more »

Quotes

Tony Patucci: Looka me, Tony!
See more »

Connections

Remake of A Lady to Love (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Ricca Ricca
(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 slaphappy5000See 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


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