A luminous Frances Farmer stars in this "superb" (The Hollywood Reporter) romantic drama based on the novel by Edna Ferber. Co-starring Edward Arnold, Joel McCrea and Water Brennan, in an OscarĀ(r)-winning* performance, th... more »is tale of ruthless ambition and reckless passion is an unforgettable classic with the "power to charm, spellbind and stir" (Variety).Lumberman Barney Glasgow (Arnold) abandons saloon girl Lotta (Farmer) to marry a timber heiress only to fall for Lotta's beautiful daughter (also played by Farmer) twenty years later. But this time, Barney has a rival for the young woman's love: his own son (McCrea)!*1936: Supporting Actor« less
"Hollywood in the thirties was more interested in fluff and pretty faces than dramatics, but eternal outsider Frances Farmer broke the mold by being both beautiful and an exceptionally talented actress, as evidenced by her performance here in two different roles. For the first half of the movie she plays a depressed hellraising "loose woman" down on her luck, with dark hair, a low raspy voice and a sultry manner. In the second half of the movie she plays her own daughter, raised by respectable Swedish immigrants, obedient, innocent, prim and proper, with lighter hair and a softer voice and manner. She also plays against costar Arnold differently, showing a hopeless unrequited love for him as the mother and being disgusted with his brazen advances as the daughter. This is a difficult thing to do, but Farmer manages to pull it off, creating distinct performances so effectively that it appears she is actually two actresses. The rest of the cast appears wooden in comparison. The destruction of Frances Farmer by the psychiatric establishment several years after this movie was made is one of the great real-life Hollywood tradgedies, not only because of the damage done to her, but also because it robbed the public of a star with subline talent and exquisite beauty. The title of this movie has nothing to do with "Badfinger". Remember kids, Frances Farmer got arrested, beaten, raped, drugged, tortured, chewed on by rats, frozen, zapped, and lobotomized for your sins."
Fabulous film of Unrequited Love
P. M Simon | New Mexico | 09/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Seeing "Come and Get It" in the 21st century is every bit as sad and heart-wrenching as it was in 1936. That is the test of a classic. The fine directing by Billy Wilder and Hank Hawks still comes through and a cast of fabulous actors includes not only Frances Farmer but also the venerable Edward Arnold, the latterly-famous Walter Brennan and pretty boy Joel McCrea. They all deliver fine performances.
Burly lumberman Barney Glasgow (Arnold) is forced to make a heartbreaking choice. Should he marry Frances Farmer, the woman he madly loves, or marry the lumber company owner's daughter to get the partnership he has dreamed of and earned. He chooses the latter, gets all he has dreamed of, and spends the rest of his life miserable.
Meanwhile Barney's best chum, Svon Bostrom (Brennan) is a gentle and slightly simple fellow who marries Farmer instead. Barney stays away for decades and doesn't realize that his old friend and old flame have begat a daughter (also played by Farmer) who is mom's virtual clone, except more wholesome and angelic. Can and should Barney chuck it all and become a fool for love once he meets her or is he doomed to just be "an old man" and a sugar daddy?
A touching story, indeed, and full of great small performances (like the Pullman Porter and the Band Conductor). Great acting is complemented by a good sense of place and time, and a haunting sound track largely based on civil war romance tune Aura Lee. Yes, the one Elvis stole for 'Love Me Tender.'
In short, a truly great film and a must-see. You don't need to be a Frances Farmer obsessive to find this film delightful! "
An Overlooked Classic
S. Klein | Los Angeles, CA USA | 08/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first saw this movie at a Frances Farmer film festival at UCLA back in the 1980's. Although I considered myself a classic film buff, I had never heard of her. I was awed by Ms. Farmer's breath-taking dual-role performance. They don't make 'em like that anymore. The supporting cast, Edward Arnold, Walter Brennan, and Joel McCrea, were also instrumental in making this movie the true classic it is. As noted by other reviewers, unfortunately for Ms. Farmer, apparent mental illness cut short a brilliant film career. A bio-pic of her life, starring Jessica Lange, showed Ms. Farmer's rocky life -- short as it was. For those who have no idea what this movie is about, Ms. Farmer plays a bar girl in a logging town in the late 1800's. She meets Edward Arnold ("Barney"), a brash and savvy logger, with plans to become the boss's partner and marry his daughter (why not -- it would help the plan along). This plan is upset when he meets this tough, yet, angelic bar girl, Lotta. The "throwing the trays" scene is unforgettable after Lotta tells Barney, who has just won a large amount of money on a game of chance at the bar, that the owner plans to have him mugged in order to get the money back. They have a whirlwind romance and plan to marry. He receives a telegram from his boss, who reminds him of his plans. Now Barney must make a difficult decision. Should he marry this girl he's madly in love with and perhaps throw away the opportunity to make partner or marry the boss's daughter for a chance at becoming the richest man in Wisconsin? He decides, leaving his best friend to break the news to her as she is getting dressed for their wedding. Fast forward 20 years. His best friend has married her, they have a daughter, and, after a few years, Lotta dies. The friend persuades Barney to come visit him. When Barney sees the daughter, who is the image of her mother, he falls for her, too. He persuades her to come with him to the big city (with her aunt as chaperon), and tries to seduce her. She understands what he intends all along, yet, she tries to get as much out of him as she can without giving anything in return. After all, this could be her ticket out of the small lumber town she's stuck in. Eventually, she falls in love with his son, Joel McCrea. After a few months, the son realizes what a fool his father has been making of himself, not to mention a nuisance (today we'd call it sexual harrassment), and they almost come to blows at Barney's company's annual picnic. Barney's dream is shattered when Lotta's daughter shouts to his son, "You can't hit him -- he's your father! He's an old man!" The ending of the movie still gives me goosebumps -- I have them now just remembering it -- as we see a sobbing Barney banging the triangle outside to call everyone over for dinner, who now realizes what an old fool he's been and what he's lost: his old love, his wife, the love and respect of his son, and his best friend."
The best of Frances Farmer
Stephen O. Murray | San Francisco, CA USA | 09/20/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Come and get it," directed by Howard Hawks until Samuel Goldwyn fired him and replaced him with William Wyler, is hokey and I find the overinsistent music grating. Offsetting it are the cinematography of Greg Toland (making it look like a Wyler film), the anti-clearcutting message (any message being famously anethema to Goldwyn!) and two fine performances by Frances Farmer. She appears to have been put forward (by Hawks who replaced the star he had been given with her) as an American boondock Marlene Dietrich. Sometimes she looks like Jessica Lange (yeah, I know the chronology!). She is somewhat too innocent for her first part and too old and knowing for her second, but the camera likes her, and the two parts (one the mother of the other) are very different.Howard Hawks obviously liked Walter Brennan. Here, in his first (of three) Oscared part and first (I think) Hawks part, Brennan early on is a stereotype Swede, but probably earned his Oscar for the scene in which he has to tell Frances Farmer that Edward Arnold has left by marrying her. He's fine in the latter half of the film, too. Knowing how he would age, it's somewhat disconcerting seeing him skinny and old. I don't find Edward Arnold at all convincing as one of the boys (even as the dominant one, ruthlessly using them). He _is_ convincing as a magnate and in wooing the daughter of the love of his life, who looks strikingly like her mother, being played by the same actress (Ms. Farmer). His deflation when she tells Joel McCrea he shouldn't strangle his father both because of paternity and because he's an old man is also effective. It seems a Wylerian moment, but Hawks's "Red River" when Montgomery Clift knocks down John Wayne also springs to mind. Hawks alleged that Wyler argued against Hawks being credited, Goldwyn wanted to credit only Wyler, but decided to list both directors (who went on to become more famous than they were in 1936).The main reason to see this is to see Frances Farmer before her real-life tortures began."
A SHOWCASE FOR FRANCES FARMER
scotsladdie | 08/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Howard Hawks, who directed this film stated that Frances Farmer was, without a doubt, the finest actress he ever worked with. In a dual role in which she excellently plays both a mother and daughter with honest conviction, Farmer is perhaps even more natural than say Barbara Stanwyck in her playing: she emerges, almost without emphasis, from out of the crowd at Arnold's elbow. He's at one of the gaming tables a lumberman who's just struck it rich and he naturally draws a crowd. When Arnold eyes Farmer, she says in her low voice "Hullo" her mouth crooked while chewing gum - she's an assured dame who doesn't take any baloney. Not a typical Hollywood beauty, the large - boned Farmer was an intellectual individualist who eventually ruined her career because of her egotistical independence which was deemed as mental illness. She was actually committed to institutions for the insane in the forties and her real life became a horror story. Alcoholic and lonely (after being released) she got a job in Eureka, California working as a secretary by day as Frances Anderson. She got away with her anonymity for about a year when a man approached her coming out of a liquor store. He said to her "You're Frances Farmer aren't you?" for reasons unknown to her she blurted out "Yes, I am - how did you know?" he replied "I remember you" and thusly encouraged her to revive her career somewhat. Farmer died of cancer of the throat in 1970. The excellent performance of look - alike Jessica Lange is worth seeing in the 1982 movie biography FRANCES."