The Farmer's Wife - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Farmer's Wife Reviews

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December 29, 2014
There's some charm to be had from this reverse-gender Taming of the Shrew, but this is mostly lost under the dislikeable lead character and 1920s gender-politics. Hitchcock seems uncomfortable in the director's seat of an early romantic comedy producing pantomime entirely lacking in subtlety.
September 3, 2014
Not a terribly interesting silent film from a young Alfred Hitchcock. I didn't get too engrossed in it's story or characters. I think the best silent films were either comedies (like Chaplin or Keaton), epics (like D.W. Griffith), and stylistic horror films (German Expressionism rules!). Hitchcock's silent work is rather mundane (with the exception of "The Lodger"), whether compared to his own later work or just the silent films of the time period. He would really shine when sound was introduced, being one of the few directors who managed to quickly figure out how to use it properly early on...and he would go on to create some great suspenseful films. But here so early on in his career he is still learning, and while I feel his films were often competent...they didn't thrill too often. It's overly long for a plot as simple as a widower trying to find a new wife too.
July 7, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

This was a surprising silent Hitchcock film that blended both comedy and drama, featuring almost none of the trademarks that made the director famous. The film speaks about the loneliness of men after a loss, the recent passing of his wife and his only daughter married and left home. This had led him to a sudden desperation to fill that empty void inside him, or in the film's case a chair, by finding a new partner to spend the rest of his life with and take care of him. As the film went on, we see shades of the protagonist that we haven't seen before, anger and pride, but these feelings are due to his personal problems rather than the women that reject him. The premise was certainly interesting and showed potential to be a profound character study, but sadly the film features cracks in its narrative and tone that it falls short from being a good film. If Hitchcock instead decided to down play the film's comedic elements and let the drama speak for itself, then the film would have probably fared better with me.
July 7, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

This was a surprising silent Hitchcock film that blended both comedy and drama, featuring almost none of the trademarks that made the director famous. The film speaks about the loneliness of men after a loss, the recent passing of his wife and his only daughter married and left home. This had led him to a sudden desperation to fill that empty void inside him, or in the film's case a chair, by finding a new partner to spend the rest of his life with and take care of him. As the film went on, we see shades of the protagonist that we haven't seen before, anger and pride, but these feelings are due to his personal problems rather than the women that reject him. The premise was certainly interesting and showed potential to be a profound character study, but sadly the film features cracks in its narrative and tone that it falls short from being a good film. If Hitchcock instead decided to down play the film's comedic elements and let the drama speak for itself, then the film would have probably fared better with me.
May 26, 2014
A cute little silent film.
½ February 11, 2014
Slow at times, mislabeled, but it's alright for what it is. The story is decent, the characters are fun, and it stands out in the silent era. The run-time is a bit much though.
½ January 17, 2014
No surprises, but occasionally funny.
½ April 21, 2013
Meme s'il met longtemps a se mettre en route (la premiere demi-heure est superflue), The Farmer's Wife est une charmante comedie plutot moderne et sincerement tres drole, interpretee par des acteurs de talents (surtout Lilian Hall-Davis). De plus, Alfred Hitchcock nous offre une sorte d'ancetre du travelling compense dans une des meilleures scenes du film. Pour les fans d'Hitch.
½ February 2, 2013
I almost died of boredom. If you want to experience silent film for history's sake, watch something else. Its legitimately funny moments are spread far few and in-between an unnecessarily long two plus hours. It is interesting historically. It is enlighteningly fun to compare it with varying degrees of more modern film and see how far we have come, but I would never sit down to watch it again because of any intrinsic entertainment value existing within the film itself.
September 9, 2012
I loved the way this was photographed, in fact the aesthetics struck me more than any other Hitchcock film up to this point. That aside this is quite a funny film, I generally found Hitchcock's comedy work tiresome so The Farmer's Wife wins points on that score.
August 24, 2011
Recommended by hitchcockfan.
August 19, 2011
If it wasn't directed by Hitchcock long before he had creative control over his projects, this would have been forgotten long ago.
½ April 10, 2011
A really average silent film from the master.
January 9, 2011
Very expressive. A film I would not have guessed Alfred Hitchcock was capable of making. A silent comedy no less.
To my liking, the beginning was a bit choppy, was unable to tell whom was whom, or who these characters were. Somewhere after ten minutes of it, I was able to see clearly who the characters were and understand what was happening. There was a lot of symbolism in this film if you watch very closely. The music very much helps the tune of the movement of this motion picture, helping you feel the right mood at the right places. At the end of the film, you are left with a broad smile and warm heart!
Being a Chaplin fan, I had found the body expressions to well done in telling the story. Perhaps I was expecting more use of the light and shadow, knowing Hitchcock is very well known for his suspense films, but over all I think it was indeed worth seeing a new light of his work!
½ October 22, 2010
I so far have really enjoyed Alfred Hitchcock's early silent work, but I can't say I was to impressed with this one.

It was comedy which Hitchcock did from time to time, but even he admitted he wasn't to pleased with the final result.

It just wasn't funny and lagged something fierce, I believe there is a version running 129 minutes that I don't think could be watchable the 97 minutes was a struggle in it's self.

There are many fantastic hitch's shots, but the film in general was a let down, however stunnig print though, great job in the restoration process.
July 28, 2010
D'awwwwwwwwwww. This movie is seriously adorable.

"The Farmers Wife" is a story about a farmer named Samuel Sweetland. In the beginning of the film, his wife dies. One of her last requests was that Samuel remarry. After the wedding of his daughter, Samuel begins to wonder if he should remarry. He and his maid, Minta, begin thinking of people that would suit Samuel. After coming up with four single women to try, Samuel sets out to woo one of them, all the while missing the lovely lady in front of his eyes: Minta.

"The Farmer's Wife" is a laugh out loud silent film. Not only is it funny, though. it is also very heartwarming and cute. It is how romantic comedies should be handled.

Highly recommended!
May 16, 2010
This early Hitchcock is of absolutely no interest.
½ January 20, 2010
A couple of good lines written about love and marriage, and your classic silent film shenanigans.
½ October 13, 2009
The title character dies immediately, unless of course you mean the other farmer's wife. The story begins with the death of the main character's, the farmer's, wife, making him a widower. All he has left is his housekeeper and his daughter. However, his daughter is soon wed and out of the house as well. This creates an empty house for the profitable farmer. Feeling lonely, he sits down with his housekeeper, Minta, and creates a list of eligible women on the countryside. The list isn't the best option of choices, but the man is lonely and looking for a new wife, something his past wife encouraged him to do. So with list compiled. Mr. Sweetland, the farmer, sets out to ask these women to marry him. There is only one problem: he is a babbling buffoon. Needless to say, the rest of the film is a great comedy.

The beginning of the film is somewhat slow developing. There is quite a bit of set-up involved in getting the story going. But as I said, it is necessary set-up and the rest of the film is hilarious, a great comedy. What Mr. Sweetland does with these women is insult them accidentally, support himself with lines that are quite laughable, and be a physical detriment to his surroundings. Being a silent film, there is a great deal of physical humor, but there is also some that is conveyed through the text that works quite well. The lead here is great in his role as the lonely farmer. He is completely believable and completely pitiable. His sidekick servant, Mr. Ash, is great throughout as well. He is basically there for comic relief in a comedy if you can imagine that. As for the more technical aspects of the film, the camera work is pretty standard as on most comedies I find. The look is not what makes it funny, and it shouldn't distract from the funny. The direction, from Hitchcock, is course great stuff. The way it plays out is really fantastic stuff.

Overall, I loved the film. Before he started pursuing the women, I had an idea of which one he would end up with, and idea and a hope, I was really pulling for one of them. I won't tell you who he ended up with, but I will say that I loved the ending. I wish the slow set-up hadn't been as long or maybe as necessary as it was, but the comedy worked for me. I think this is the earliest comedy I have ever seen. I need to get into Chaplin and Keaton still, but it is interesting looking at something like this and comparing it to comedies today. A lot has changed, but at the same time a lot hasn't. While watching this, I was thinking to myself how hysterical a remake with great comedic actors of today would be. A lot of people may not like remakes, but I think, if done right, this one could be a great hit because it was a great hit back then.

Oh, and this was the first one so far in the silent films that had a musical composition that actually kind of went with the film. All the other ones were pretty dumb.
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