Come and Get It

Yeah, that’s not the right aspect ratio…

That’s better.

I was watching a couple famous Howard Hawks movies and I thought “well, I should watch them all, eh?” But many of them are pretty hard to find — this bluray was released in Italy, but fortunately the original soundtrack is on an alternate track.

The footage of the timber rafting is fascinating. I mean, it’s so unromantic — we don’t get pics of men heroically wrestling with the timber, but instead we get them dynamiting the timber whenever there’s a snag somewhere. So much dynamite.

The novel this is based on was all about how robber barons destroy nature, but Hawks changed the script:

Upon returning to the studio, Goldwyn viewed a rough cut of the film and was shocked to discover Hawks had shifted the focus from the unbridled destruction of the land to a love triangle in which brawling Barney Glasgow and Swan Bostrom vied for the affections of lusty Lotta Morgan. The character of Richard Glasgow, intended to be the second lead, barely was in the film, which was cluttered with Hawks-like improvised bits of business. When the director refused to comply with Goldwyn’s demands for major changes, the producer fired Hawks from the project.


Wyler never considered Come and Get It a part of his filmography and disowned it whenever he could, although it greatly pleased Ferber, who praised Goldwyn “for the courage, sagacity, and power of decision” he demonstrated by “throwing out the finished Hawks picture and undertaking the gigantic task of making what amounted to a new picture.

Wow, the history of the production of this movie is more interesting than the movie is…

Frances Farmer is fun, though.

Heh heh. That’s a shot all right.

Personal saunas.

Spencer Tracy was originally intended to play this guy, and I can totally see that. It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with Edward Arnold, but he’s, er, a bit lacking in the Leading Man dept.

Well, the wife looks nice!

Well, this is creepy! So he didn’t marry the first Frances Farmer character (because he married his boss’ daughter instead) but now (25 years later?) he has the hots for the daughter of his best friend and the first Farmer character (who’s also played by Frances Farmer).

It’s weird! It’s creepy! It’s weird!

He’s so horny.

But now the Farmer daughter has the hots for the Tracy son! Complications!

It’s not a very… compelling movie? Perhaps it’s the weird production history, but…

Such love triangle!

It’s just not very good, innit?

Come and Get It. Howard Hawks, William Wyler. 1936.

Nothing Sacred


It’s a very advanced sitting position.

This movie is so close to being really enjoyable — it’s a zany thing about a woman running a sort of scam on everybody, but then doesn’t feel very good about it all. You know, the usual thing. And they try so hard! Especially Carole Lombard. But it never actually takes off? It remains a series of somewhat escalating but not compelling scenes?

It may just be me, though.

The director, William A. Wellman isn’t somebody I remember, but he seems to be a proper jobbie kind of director:

Etc etc. Starting in the 20s, he does like seven movies a year. And looking at this list, I have seen a few of his movies (The Ox-Box Incident, Beau Geste), and they’re pretty good?


Tough guy, see?

It’s fun, but it’s really odd. I wonder whether they didn’t quite know what to do about it all — it’s 1h13m long, which takes it into B movie territory — which is pretty unusual for such a big star as Lombard, I think? Or is it? Hm.

Anyway, it’s one of those “there’s some fun scenes” bits, so let’s go with:

Nothing Sacred. William A. Wellman. 1937.

Master Gardener

The titles to this were so colourful that I thought “*phew* dodged the desaturated colour grading on this one”, but nope.

Paul Schrader… that name seems really, really familiar, but I can’t quite place it.

Oh, right, he directed (and/or wrote) a whole bunch of movies back in the late 70s/early 80s that seemed to be very much part of the zeitgeist back then: He wrote Taxi Driver and directed Hardcore (with George C Scott), and American Gigolo (which I guess made Richard Gere a thing), and er Cat People and Mishima…

So I think I’ve seen all his movies until the mid 80s, and after that, I’ve seen zilch. Eyeballing them, it seems like most of them weren’t well received. Like:


This first five minutes of this movie are risible — Joel Edgerton (a very philosophical gardener) spouts deep-sounding but deeply moronic lines while the camera portentously follows him.

Oh, yeah, this is why I bought this movie.

Oh, yeah, Schrader is a total moron:

In 2022, Schrader criticized that year’s Sight and Sound Greatest Films poll, describing it as a “politically correct rejiggering”, with its selection of Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles as the greatest film of all time being the product of “distorted woke reappraisal”.

It seems really weird to go this grey in a film about plants and stuff. Perhaps they’re gonna go all Wizard of Oz when summer comes? I doubt it, though — this is just what all movies look like now.

Very ambiguous tattoos, Travis.

That’s some wallpaper.

Very cosy dinner party.

Oh, the gardener is boinking both his boss and her grand niece? Very Schrader I’m sure.

OK, so he takes off his shirt, revealing the tats, because he’s… writing… Writing is sweaty work.

See, by having sex with a Black woman, he’s absolved from his Nazi tattoos (and she’s making him remove them). He’s a fixer upper.

After having sex with the grand niece, the road somehow becomes CGI.

Nooo! They hurt the annuals! Vandals! *shakes fist*

This is barely a movie at all. Everything about it is risible. Well, except Sigourney Weaver’s brief performance (I’m guessing she was on set one single day).

Master Gardener. Paul Schrader. 2022.