The Farmer Takes a Wife

Watch The Farmer Takes a Wife

  • NR
  • 1935
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 6.4  (469)

The Farmer Takes a Wife, a romantic comedy/drama film from 1935, follows the story of Molly Larkins (Janet Gaynor) as she travels down the Erie Canal to live with her aunt and uncle in Mayfield, New York. Along the way, she meets and falls in love with farmer Dan Harrow (Henry Fonda), who is en route to sell his harvest in the city. The film takes the audience on a journey through the ups and downs of Molly and Dan's courtship and the challenges they face in their respective lives.

The movie opens with a lively scene depicting the hustle and bustle of the Erie Canal, as boats and barges move up and down the waterway, carrying goods and passengers to and from various cities. The young and vivacious Molly is among the passengers on one such boat, and she is looking forward to starting a new life with her aunt and uncle. As the boat makes its way towards Mayfield, she catches sight of the ruggedly handsome Dan on his barge, and the two share a momentary connection.

When the boat reaches Mayfield, Molly is greeted by her aunt and uncle, who run a local tavern. She quickly learns that her aunt and uncle are determined to see her wed to a local man, though she is not quite so enthusiastic about this prospect. Meanwhile, Dan is selling his harvest in the city with the hopes of gaining enough money to buy his own farm. When he returns to Mayfield, he is immediately taken with Molly and sets out to court her.

Despite the initial attraction between them, Molly and Dan's romance is anything but easy. They come from different worlds, with Molly having grown up in the city and Dan being a seasoned farmer; they also have different values and priorities. As they navigate the complexities of their relationship, they encounter a host of obstacles, from disapproving family members to cultural misunderstandings.

The film is buoyed by fantastic performances from its cast, particularly Janet Gaynor and Henry Fonda. Gaynor brings a vibrant energy to the role of Molly, infusing the character with a mix of naivete and strength. Fonda, meanwhile, portrays Dan with a rugged, understated charm. Together, they have a palpable chemistry that makes their romance all the more believable.

The Farmer Takes a Wife also benefits from its gorgeous visuals, especially in its depiction of life on the Erie Canal. Director Victor Fleming (who would later go on to direct well-known films like The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind) captures the beauty and majesty of the canal with stunning cinematography, which makes the film a treat to watch.

That said, the film is not without its flaws. There are times when the pacing feels a bit slow, and some of the secondary characters feel underdeveloped. Additionally, some viewers may find the film's depictions of rural life to be overly romanticized or even stereotypical.

Despite these issues, The Farmer Takes a Wife remains an enjoyable film that offers a glimpse into a bygone era of American life. The love story at the heart of the film is sweet and sincere, and the film's message about finding common ground despite differences feels particularly relevant in today's divisive political climate.

All in all, The Farmer Takes a Wife is a charming and engaging film that is well worth watching, especially for fans of classic Hollywood romances. It may not be a perfect film, but its charms are hard to resist.

The Farmer Takes a Wife is a 1935 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 31 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

The Farmer Takes a Wife
Where to Watch The Farmer Takes a Wife
The Farmer Takes a Wife is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Farmer Takes a Wife for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (469)