I am going to just throw this out there. First of all, I have stated many times that I really enjoy the Legends Of Horror box set, and this is true. Well, I have one slight problem with this box set. See, I understand that while actors or directors might be icons in the horror genre, that doesn’t mean they didn’t do other things. However, I don’t think a romantic comedy, even if it is directed by Hitchcock, belongs in this set. That being said, let’s see what I am in for with today’s movie, The Farmer’s Wife.
The plot: After the death of his wife and the marriage of his daughter, Farmer Samuel Sweetland finds himself living alone with only his two servants (Ash and Minta) to help out. Before she died, his wife made him promise to remarry so, with the help of Minta, he comes up with a list of possible women, three of whom were at his daughter’s wedding. Samuel first goes to see Widow Louisa Windeatt but when he proposes to her, she rejects him, saying she is too independent for his liking. He gets angry at her rejection and storms off, saying he will never make the trek up her hill again. Samuel is invited to an event at Thirza Tapper’s home, a somewhat nervous mannered woman, and he arrives early with Ash, who is helping out by announcing guests at the party. Before the other guests arrive, Samuel attempts to court Tirza but she also spurns his proposal, saying she has no need for a man, and Samuel gets upset and wanders around outside the house as the other guests all come in. As he is pouting, he notices the postmistress, Mary Hearn, arrive at the house and attempts to speak with her before she enters the main room but failing that, goes inside and proceeds to talk with her. As the party commences and the guests start listening to a glee club singing in the garden, Samuel has a chance to speak to Mary alone and proposes to her. She rejects him and starts laughing, which makes him angry and he yells that she is “full blown and a bit over” and storms off. Returning home, Samuel is feeling a bit dejected over the constant rejections and tells Minta that he is not going to continue with the list. As he leaves the room, Ash returns to the house and tells Minta he feels embarrassed at how Samuel is just throwing himself at these women. Samuel over hears this and tells Ash to saddle his horse, preparing to head out and ask the last woman on his list, the local barmaid Mercy Bassett. As Minta helps him get ready and sees him off, she feels a little upset as she happens to be in love with Samuel. When he gets there, he sees that a fox hunt is about to take place, and all of the women that spurned him happened to be there. Doing his best to avoid them, Samuel makes his way into the bar and manages to speak with Mercy, but she also rejects his proposal. Meanwhile, Mary and Tirza are talking at the post office and after realizing that Samuel had proposed to both of them, Mary has a change of heart and decides to accept Samuel’s proposal and has Tirza come with her as she tells him. Meanwhile, Samuel returns home and feels depressed over the constant rejections. As he is pondering all of his failures with women, he starts to really notice Minta as a women. As Minta starts to suggest another woman he might try, he tells her he already has a woman in mind. Samuel then tells proposes to her, telling her he has gotten used to rejection and will not be upset if she rejects him. Minta accepts his proposal and the two embrace, then Samuel says they should celebrate and asks Minta to put on the party dress that Tibby, his late wife, gave her. As she starts to go, she tells Ash the news and he congratulates her, saying Samuel finally came out on top. As Samuel waits for her to come back down, Mary and Tirza arrive, and Mary tells Samuel she changed her mind and accepts his proposal. Samuel escorts the two women, as well as another friend who had shown up, to a table and pours them a drinks as he says he is planning on announcing his engagement. Mary believes it is her but when Minta comes down the stairs and Samuel goes to greet her, he announces her as his future bride. Tirza and the friend congratulate Samuel and Minta while Mary begins going into hysterics and Ash attempts to calm her down.
This was a bit longer than necessary, but a pretty entertaining movie all around. The acting was good, with Jameson Thomas (Samuel) did a good job in showcasing the various emotions he went through, while Gordon Harker (Ash) made for some great comedy relief. The story was pretty good but like I said, the movie felt like it was a lot longer than it needed to be. There were plenty of times where some non essential scenes could have been cut out and nothing important would have been affected. One big problem was mostly with the quality of the copy, as there were a lot of popping sounds in the soundtrack and at one point, the screen went black for no reason, but considering the movie is almost 90 years old, it has held up pretty well. A good Hitchcock movie but definitely doesn’t belong in this box set.
Rating: 3 out of 5