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The best romance movie ever made!
A neglected classic
Successful in its time, this film has become unjustly neglected. It's unusual in being one of the few films that has Northeast Wisconsin associations. Directed by Howard Hawks (who grew up in Neenah) in his usual vigorous style, with a screenplay based on a novel by Appleton native Edna Ferber, it tells the story of a ruthless Wisconsin lumber baron (Edward Arnold) who lives in a mansion near Butte des Morts, and his best friend, a blond Swede played by Walter Brennan (!) in a role for which he won the 1937 Academy Award for best supporting actor. The story anticipates Citizen Kane in its portrayal of a man who gains immense wealth and power only to find that they can't buy happiness. There are also some amazing scenes early on of trees being felled and transported by river in far Northern Wisconsin. One of Hawks' better films, which is saying something, and highly recommended. No advisory to speak of except for a bar room brawl or two. The MGM Home Entertainment DVD is of good quality.
Very middle of the road melodrama. The scenes of the logging in the first 20 minutes were spectacular but after that it was rather flat.
another lost review-grrrrr
A boisterous, charming, smart, melodramatic film about turn-of-the-century Midwestern American industrial capitalism and love. All the characters/performances are excellent, even as the heinous capitalist is treated much too sympathetically. Compare with There Will Be Blood.
This film's major recommendation is it's the best gandering of actress Frances Farmer, who had her traumatic personal life and involuntary psychiatric hospitalizations made famous by the 1982 biopic "Frances."
Jessica Lange portrayed Farmer in "Frances" -- and seeing Farmer in "Come and Get It" makes plain that the resemblance between the two stars goes far beyond uncanny. For most of the film I felt as though I were actually watching Lange. Well, an even more talented version of Lange, truth be told. Lange took both an Oscar and Golden Globe nod for her work in "Frances." Lange's work and nods put to bed the dumb blonde stereotype she had been saddled with by her film debut as King Kong's bimbo in 1976.
Farmer, at just 23 years old, is clearly displaying a load of talent and future promise in "Come and Get It," making it reasonably believable that she is the savvy stone-cold saloon gal mother in Act I ... and then the mother's somewhat sheltered adult daughter in Acts II and III. No easy task indeed. Yet Farmer doesn't miss a step skipping across the river from one role to the next ... from savvy bargal-for-hire to smitten-like-a-schoolgirl to naïve teenage-mistress-to-be. It's difficult to watch Farmer so successfully controlling this film and all these roles ... and then imagine that somehow she so thoroughly lost control of her own psyche and her own self-control just six years later.
The actual film & plotline, a success for Sam Goldwyn in 1936, is far less enticing today, playing out the tragic story of Barney Glasgow (Edward Arnold), lumber robber baron. In Act I, Glasgow is the young lumber camp whip who, with his wingman (delivered by consummate wingman Walter Brennan), tear up all logging production quotas, the local Barbary Coast tinged saloon, as well as the heart of hard-hearted saloon gal Farmer. Glasgow dumps Farmer cold to marry the boss's daughter and become CEO, though it's clear enough he loved Farmer. Brennan knows a good catch when he sees one and promptly weds Farmer. Decades later in Act II, Glasgow, now the 50-ish lumber tycoon with his own adult children, pays a long overdue visit to Brennan - - that only after Farmer has passed away - - only to discover that Brennan & Farmer's daughter is nothing less than the spitting image of her mother. Almost any viewer on Earth would be far less clueless - than Brennan seems to be - as to what effect this doppelganger daughter is having on Glasgow, who opens his checkbook wide and starts slipping down into the Act III slope of foolishness and tragedy.
Arnold's delivery of Glasgow the egoist-brought-down is talented enough to maintain viewer interest. And it's even more entertaining to watch Brennan do his wingman bit when he was so young ... and doing it with a thick Swedish dialect, no less. Ja, dazt guud Smörgåsbord!
RECOMMENDATION: Farmer gandering + Glasgow's satisfying self-undoing + Brennan's skilled sidekick bit = a somewhat reasonable investment of viewing time.
Come and Get It has an interesting backstory. Howard Hawks started the production. He changed the script, deviated from Ferber's showing of the US intent of destroying the nation to a love triangle. The three in the love triangle are a beautiful saloon girl Lotte (the very talented Frances Farmer), a logger-baron Barney Glasgow (Edward Arnold) and friend Swan (an Academy Award winning turn by Walter Brennan). When Sam Goldwyn found out that things had changed, Hawks was replaced with a disgruntled William Wyler. There remained subtle elements of man's destruction of the environment throughout the film. Environmentalists beware: the opening logging scenes are tough to watch. This is definitely an interesting film to watch - it is clear that it is the work of two great filmmakers. And the point about environmental degradation is even more valid now.
This movie does have it's funny moments, but most of the time it's talky and boring.
Utterly boring, melodramatic nonesense!
Overlooked melodrama about a lumber tycoon who marries to further his career and abandons the woman he truly loves. Credible production is perhaps more fascinating for its behind-the-scenes shenanigans. Howard Hawks was fired by producer Samuel Goldwyn after directing the first half, and subsequently hired William Wyler to complete the film. This is reflected in the shifting storyline. Starts out as virile logging adventure then fades into an over plotted soap opera, all the while distinguished by solid performances. Character actor Edward Arnold stars as Barney Glasgow, the businessman determined to succeed. As both mother and daughter, troubled actress Frances Farmer is also worth watching in one of her rare film performances. Interestingly it was Walter Brennan who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his likable but unremarkable work as Glasgow's lifelong friend. Sweeping drama is also notable for the extraordinary logging sequences in the first half.