The Farmer Takes a Wife | Chicago Reader

The Farmer Takes a Wife

A boyish Henry Fonda made his screen debut in this leisurely, likable, but predictable 1935 comedy, directed by Victor Fleming and based on a Broadway hit cowritten by Marc Connelly. A sentimental portrait of life on the Erie Canal in the 1850s, just before the railroads made the waterways obsolete, it stars Fonda as a shy farmer and the incandescent Janet Gaynor as a spunky canal-boat cook who catches his eye. Rich comic support is provided by Charles Bickford, Andy Devine, Margaret Hamilton, Jane Withers, and former Keystone Kop Slim Summerville as an amateur dentist who contrives to bring the mismatched lovers together. 91 min.

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