Come and Get It

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.

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2 Responses to “Come and Get It”

  1. If you ask me, Goldwyn should’ve left well enough alone. This film needs MORE Howard Hawks action sequences, not less. The offbeat casting does make up for a lot though: egg-shaped Edward Arnold decking a bunch of loggers, each of them a head taller than he is; Walter Brennan doing his best to impersonate a viking brawler, Frances Farmer copying Dietrich’s baritone, and Joel McCrea playing the son so wimpily that Dad dismisses the kid with a look: “Run along and play now. Paste together some of those paper cones you and Schwerke seem so taken with.” But give the writers credit: they do manage to spare us all but the briefest exposure to Edna Ferber’s simple-minded portrayals of wrong-thinkers: “PLANT trees? How can you even suggest such a thing to somebody that makes a living cutting them DOWN?”

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  2. I agree the logging scenes in the opening of the film were extraordinary. I wish more had been sprinkled throughout the film to add color. I was surprised Walter Brennan won Best Supporting Actor for his role. He said his lines well but I felt he was poorly cast and and too slightly built to be convincing as a rough and tumble logger.
    It is a must to see Jessica Lange as Frances Farmer in the movie France before or after seeing this film.

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