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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.


Henry Levin


Walter Bullock (screenplay), Sally Benson (screenplay) | 4 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Betty Grable ... Molly Larkins
Dale Robertson ... Dan Harrow
Thelma Ritter ... Lucy Cashdollar
John Carroll ... Jotham Klore
Eddie Foy Jr. ... Fortune Friendly
Charlotte Austin ... Pearl Dowd
Kathleen Crowley ... Susanna
Merry Anders ... Hannah
May Wynn ... 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


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Did You Know?


News items and studio publicity reported that the opening title cards of the Erie Canal during different seasons was painted by noted artist Albert J. Kramer, and that the double wedding ceremony at the end was styled by art director Addison Hehr to resemble Grant Woods' painting of "Farm House." 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.
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I Could Cook
(1953) (uncredited)
Written by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by Charles Henderson
Sung briefly by Betty Grable, Dale Robertson, Thelma Ritter and Eddie Foy Jr.
See more »

User Reviews

Takes Her Nowhere
10 September 2004 | by bobliptonSee all my reviews

A career-killing movie for Betty Grable, who is wasted, along with everyone except Eddie Foy Jr. in this prettified musical version of the movie that made Henry Fonda a star. Dale Robertson plays the farmer, who is a moron, Thelma Ritter is wasted and some fake-looking scenery still leaves one mystified at how people can live in riverfront saloons and on farms and know nothing at all of the facts of life or the baser side of human nature -- it must be those perfectly maintained canal boats with red-striped awnings they travel in. The songs are also pretty poor, including an ode to Schenectady that did not make Rodgers and Hammerstein jealous.

While none of Gable's starring musicals are likely to make any top-100 lists, most of them have fairly good musical numbers and enough plot and comedy relief to get you from one standard to the next. This one doesn't.

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Release Date:

July 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vida É uma Canção See more »


Box Office


$1,860,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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