The Farmer's Wife ½

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

This is one of several early Hitchcock films in a two-disc set I bought for $2.00 a few years ago. It works out to 20 cents that I paid for this specific film and I feel that I overpaid. It's overlong and predictable, but those aren't even its bad qualities.

Rather, it's that this is 129 minutes of pure patriarchy. Samuel is a widower and after marrying off his daughter, decides the time has come for him to wed again. To that end, with the help of his lovely domestic worker 'Minta, he makes a list of candidates. 'Minta openly bashes two of Sam's choices, criticizing them for their appearance rather than their character (though Sam parries those insults saying he's fine with it - not that he sees more to either woman). 'Minta suggests one candidate herself who is almost certainly a lesbian.

Sam's idea of wooing consists of visiting each woman in turn, explaining that he's decided to take another wife and surprise! It's you! He's rebuffed by all his choices in turn, for various reasons, and reacts by throwing an insulting temper tantrum at each woman. None of them insulted him; they simply declined his proposal. Still, he goes off the rails, becoming a hostile bully.

What penance does he pay for being such a privileged jerk? 'Minta, of course, who is only too happy to become the next Mrs. Sweetland. As near as I can tell, the moral of this story is "Don't waste your time on fatties" or something. Abominable.

How The Farmer's Wife Entered My Flickchart

The Farmer's Wife < Consent --> #1493
Ha! What a perfect contrast in films: The Farmer's Wife is an unabashed celebration of patriarchal privilege, where Consent finds some humor in contemporary sex negotiations fair to both parties. Jason Reitman's short bests Hitchcock's silent film here, easily.

The Farmer's Wife < The Underground World --> #1493
The Underground World isn't one of my favorite of the early Superman shorts, but I like the setting and premise well enough...which is more than I can say for The Farmer's Wife.

The Farmer's Wife < "Crocodile" Dundee --> #1493
I was pretty underwhelmed by the "Crocodile" Dundee trilogy in general, but it has its moments. The Farmer's Wife just made me want to slap people.

The Farmer's Wife < Necessary Roughness --> #1493
One film depicts women as uppity snobs for not gratefully accepting an unexpected marriage proposal from someone who doesn't even love them; the other is a bland comedy at least suggesting that a woman could play football. Kathy Ireland wins this one.

The Farmer's Wife > Small Soldiers --> #1456
I didn't enjoy either of these at all, but at least the 2005 print ofThe Farmer's Wife has an enjoyable score by Xavier Berthelot .

The Farmer's Wife < The ChubbChubbs! --> #1456
I just can't get into The ChubbChubbs! but at the very least it isn't a treatise on how grateful women should be to receive a marriage proposal from someone who doesn't even love them.

The Farmer's Wife < The Friendly Ghost --> #1456
That first Casper short is pretty straightforward and forgettable, which is still more tolerable than The Farmer's Wife.

The Farmer's Wife < Antz --> #1456
Antz is like A Bug's Life with no heart, and even heartless it's more interesting to me than The Farmer's Wife and its parade of patriarchal privilege.

The Farmer's Wife > Signs --> #1453
I wish I'd not seen either of these, frankly, but I suppose I wish I hadn't seen Signs just a tiny bit more.

The Farmer's Wife > The Waterboy --> #1452
I'm picking The Farmer's Wife here despite its misogyny, because I've spent so many more years disliking The Waterboy.

The Farmer's Wife < Bad Girls from Mars --> #1452
Bad Girls from Mars is barely a movie, but it really wanted to be one and at the very least, its women are free to be or not be with whom they wish.

The Farmer's Wife Entered My Flickchart at #1452/1502