If You Could Only Cook (1935)

70 or 72 mins | Comedy | 30 December 1935

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HISTORY

According to Frank Capra's autobiography, this film was erroneously advertised during its London run as "a Frank Capra Production." In his autobiography, Capra stated that he had nothing to do with the film and that Columbia president Harry Cohn perpetrated the deception hoping to cash in on Capra's popularity in England following It Happened One Night . According to modern sources, Capra sued Columbia for libel, and it was not until Cohn promised to buy the rights to the play You Can't Take It With You (see below) that the incident was ... More Less

According to Frank Capra's autobiography, this film was erroneously advertised during its London run as "a Frank Capra Production." In his autobiography, Capra stated that he had nothing to do with the film and that Columbia president Harry Cohn perpetrated the deception hoping to cash in on Capra's popularity in England following It Happened One Night . According to modern sources, Capra sued Columbia for libel, and it was not until Cohn promised to buy the rights to the play You Can't Take It With You (see below) that the incident was resolved. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Dec 35
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Dec 35
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Dec 35
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
11 Dec 35
p. 7.
New York Times
26 Dec 35
p. 21.
Variety
1 Jan 36
p. 44.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Frieda Inescourt
Lois Lindsey
William R. Arnold
Estelle Eterre
William Anderson
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
Harry Cohn, President
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
Assoc prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
SOUND
Sd eng
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 December 1935
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 26 December 1935
Production Date:
26 September--22 October 1935
Copyright Claimant:
Columbia Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
26 November 1935
Copyright Number:
LP5951
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Noiseless Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
70 or 72
Length(in reels):
7
Country:
United States
PCA No:
1748
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Jim Buchanan, the head of a large automobile firm, decides to take a vacation when the firm's board of directors refuses to go along with his plans for a stylish new car design. Jim leaves and wanders into a park, where he meets unemployed Joan Hawthorne, the carefree daughter of a college professor, who is desperate for a job and assumes that he too is unemployed. They talk, and Jim agrees to go with Joan to apply for a job as a husband/wife team of butler and cook at the Rossini manor. Joan is a wonderful cook and Mike Rossini, a former bootlegger, hires them. However, Joan and Jim are given a room with only one bed, so Jim is forced to sleep on the back porch. Later, Jim sneaks out to receive serving lessons from his own butler, Jennings, even though Mike's uncouth gangster friends fail to notice his lack of experience. Mike's bodyguard, Flash, tells him that Jim sleeps on the porch, and Mike begins to pay a lot of attention to Joan, which causes Jim to become jealous and threaten to quit. Then, to impress Joan, Jim sneaks into his office to get his drawings, so that she may see his worth. Joan is impressed and tries to sell the plans to Balderson of the Atlas company. Balderson recognizes the drawings as belonging to Jim and has Joan arrested. Meanwhile, Jim becomes convinced that canceling his wedding to society gold digger Evelyn Fletcher would shake the stockholder's confidence in him. Jim leaves Joan a farewell note, but Mike and Flash find it first, and after bailing her out of ... +


Jim Buchanan, the head of a large automobile firm, decides to take a vacation when the firm's board of directors refuses to go along with his plans for a stylish new car design. Jim leaves and wanders into a park, where he meets unemployed Joan Hawthorne, the carefree daughter of a college professor, who is desperate for a job and assumes that he too is unemployed. They talk, and Jim agrees to go with Joan to apply for a job as a husband/wife team of butler and cook at the Rossini manor. Joan is a wonderful cook and Mike Rossini, a former bootlegger, hires them. However, Joan and Jim are given a room with only one bed, so Jim is forced to sleep on the back porch. Later, Jim sneaks out to receive serving lessons from his own butler, Jennings, even though Mike's uncouth gangster friends fail to notice his lack of experience. Mike's bodyguard, Flash, tells him that Jim sleeps on the porch, and Mike begins to pay a lot of attention to Joan, which causes Jim to become jealous and threaten to quit. Then, to impress Joan, Jim sneaks into his office to get his drawings, so that she may see his worth. Joan is impressed and tries to sell the plans to Balderson of the Atlas company. Balderson recognizes the drawings as belonging to Jim and has Joan arrested. Meanwhile, Jim becomes convinced that canceling his wedding to society gold digger Evelyn Fletcher would shake the stockholder's confidence in him. Jim leaves Joan a farewell note, but Mike and Flash find it first, and after bailing her out of jail, agree to kidnap Jim. Jim is abducted from his wedding to Evelyn, and although Mike has a minister waiting, Joan refuses to go to the altar with him. Finally, Flash pretends to shoot Jim, and Joan realizes her love for him. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.