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If You Could Only Cook (1935)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance | 30 December 1935 (USA)
An executive lets an attractive cook talk him into taking a job as butler.

Director:

William A. Seiter

Writers:

Howard J. Green (screen play), Gertrude Purcell (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Herbert Marshall ... Jim Buchanan
Jean Arthur ... Joan Hawthorne
Leo Carrillo ... Mike Rossini
Lionel Stander ... Flash
Alan Edwards ... Bob Reynolds
Frieda Inescort ... Evelyn Fletcher (as Frieda Inescourt)
Gene Morgan ... Al
Ralf Harolde ... Swig
Matt McHugh Matt McHugh ... Pete
Richard Powell Richard Powell ... Chesty
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Storyline

Auto magnate James Buchanan has a fiancée who doesn't love him and a board of directors who won't listen to him. Brooding on a park bench, he meets unemployed Joan Hawthorne, a fine cook who needs a partner to apply for a 'couple' butler/cook job with gourmet ex-bootlegger Mike Rossini. Bemused, Buchanan goes along with the gag, taking lessons from his own butler. But there's sure to be a day of reckoning... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

SHE GAVE UP HER PARK BENCH FOR HIM! HE GAVE UP MILLIONS FOR HER! (original print ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 December 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Búsquenme una novia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30-minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 26, 1941 with Herbert Marshall reprising his film role. See more »

Quotes

Mike Rossini: You know, I had a hunch you wasn't married. That's why I made a play for you. And I still think you're pretty swell.
Joan Hawthorne: You make it very difficult for me to stay, sir, unless you treat me like a cook.
Mike Rossini: Well, I don't want to treat you like a no cook. I want to treat you like you was a, well, like you was a Mrs. Rossini. Yes, I"m a proposing to you. When I make up my mind, I make it up fast.
Joan Hawthorne: Oh, you really don't mean that Mr. Rossini. I'm afraid your stomach's gotten the better of your heart.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Lady with the Torch (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played on piano at the wedding rehearsal
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Utterly charming--they certainly don't make them like this any more!
20 January 2007 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This is a rather simple plot for a film, but due to exceptional writing, deft direction and the winning acting of Herbert Marshall and Jean Arthur, it's a wonderful movie. This is a great old romantic film that would be great to see with someone you love.

Marshall plays the CEO of a huge car manufacturing company. When his ideas are rejected by the board, he gets annoyed with the business. At about the same time, he meets Arthur, who has no idea he's a rich big-shot. She actually thinks he's an out of work schnook and convinces him to apply to a job with her--she as a cook and he as a butler in the same household. Since Ms. Arthur is so charming and sweet, he agrees and neither she nor the employer know his true calling. Later, this misunderstanding REALLY gets out of hand, but I don't want to spoil the film by explaining further.

The bottom line is that the freshness and delightful nature of the film make up for the fact that the plot line is pretty hard to believe. Unless you are an old grouch or hate old films (people like this need to be shot), you will like this film.

Interestingly, the film was so good that Columbia Pictures' president, Harry Cohn, tried a "fast one". Since Frank Capra worked at the studio and was now famous for IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (having practically swept the Oscars) and since IF YOU ONLY COULD COOK was such a sweet film, it was marketed as a Capra Film--even though Capra had NOTHING to do with it!! As a result, Capra sued and Cohn nearly lost his job until it was all smoothed over and tempers subsided.


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