Farmer's Wife, The (1928)

The Farmer's Wife (1928), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

Widower farmer (he has a big rustic house with servants) decides to court the local ladies, assisted by his young and able housekeeper. A sample of his romantic style:


Farmer Sweetland: You know her back view's not a day over thirty!

Housekeeper Minta: But you have to live with her front view. How about Thirza Tapper?

Farmer Sweetland: I don't mind they pillowy women ... so long as they be pillowy in the right places.

Housekeeper Minta: A woman that's a pillow at thirty be often a feather bed at forty!

It's a disaster. He's turned down four times, including once by the local barmaid. But his true love may be waiting for him at home, as hinted by the first lines, spoken by the dying wife to the housekeeper:


...and don't forget to air your Master's pants, Minta.


I don't see many silent films and at 129 minutes this is longer than usual. But as long as there is something to look at the time passes easily. The houses and landscapes are interesting and he has many vivid scenes:

Gordon Harker is hilarious as Churdles Ash, a sour handyman with nothing like the proper feudal spirit:


Beer drinking don't do 'alf the 'arm of love-making. If I were the Government, I'd give the drunkards a rest and look after the lovers.

To see an old man in love be worse than seeing him with the whooping cough!

Holy Matrimony be a proper stream roller for flattening the hope out of a man and the joy out of a woman.

I don't suppose the music for silent movies is uniform across all releases. It can make quite a difference.

My copy is from the Mill Creek Alfred Hitchcock: The Legend Begins collection, $5 at WalMart a while back. Eighteen early films and two TV shows. The quality is not very good, but I was expecting worse. It is a good way to sample the titles.