Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1936. The Samuel Goldwyn Company. Screenplay by Jane Murfin, Jules Furthman, based on the novel by Edna Ferber. Cinematography by Rudolph Mate, Gregg Toland. Produced by Samuel Goldwyn. Music by Alfred Newman. Production Design by Richard Day. Costume Design by Omar Kiam. Film Editing by Edward Curtiss. Academy Awards 1936.
Edna Ferber’s themes of anti-materialism are once again brought to the screen with enjoyable results. Though not as grand an epic as Giant would be twenty years later, Come And Get It also offers a tale of clashing personalities against a scenic backdrop. Edward Arnold is magnificent as an ambitious logger in 19th-century Wyoming who dumps his beautiful saloon singer girlfriend (Frances Farmer) to marry the dowdy daughter of a wealthy industrialist. Years later, he’s the richest man in the west, running a successful lumber industry and tending to the needs of his now grown son (Joel McCrea) and daughter (a marvelous Andrea Leeds). When he runs into an old logging friend (perennial movie coot Walter Brennan), he discovers that Brennan married his old flame after Arnold left and they had a daughter. She is now a grown woman and the spitting image of her mother (she is also played by Farmer). Arnold is so taken with the resemblance that he begins to court the young woman, much to the embarrassment of his family and the ire of his son who has fallen in love with her as well. The comeuppance that our protagonist is given in the end is a socialist dream come true, but even up until that point it’s a fine, well-acted and beautifully photographed drama. Farmer is astoundingly good, an obviously dedicated actress (look how vulgar she’s willing to make the mother character look without caring about appealing to Hollywood versions of womanhood, and look how incredibly different the daughter character is) who was sadly out of sync with the studio system and it led to her demise.