If You Could Only Cook (1935)

If You Could Only CookIf You Could Only Cook Poster
Directed by William A. Sieter
Columia Pictures Corporation

First viewing


Joan Hawthorne: Say… can you buttle?

In this pleasant romantic comedy, Jim Buchanan (Herbert Marshall), a young automobile magnate, is soon to wed a gold-digging socialite.  His innovative designs are being rejected by the Board of his company.  He walks out in a huff and meets Joan (Jean Arthur) leafing through the want ads on a park bench.  Joan assumes Jim is out of work too and when she spots an ad for a cook-butler couple suggests they try for the job.  They are hired and later discover the boss (Leo Carrillo) is an ex-bootlegger gangster.  Naturally, they fall in love but their potential romance is prey to several misunderstandings.


I enjoyed this film, mostly thanks to the charm and appeal of its stars.  I can never help rooting for Jean Arthur.  The DVD is part of the “Icons of Screwball Comedy” set.  I think it is misadvertised, being more of a true romantic comedy with plenty of sentiment and little wise cracking.

In England, Columbia promoted the film as a Frank Capra production. Capra, the top director at the studio sued Columbia for unlawful use of his name. The parties settled. Jean Arthur went on to star in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, the next film Capra directed at the studio.

2 thoughts on “If You Could Only Cook (1935)

  1. This sounds very fun, and I’ve never heard of it before. Thanks for highlighting this! I mean, how can you go wrong with Herbert Marshall and Jean Arthur?!?!

    • You can’t go wrong. My very favorite romantic comedy with Jean Arthur is The More the Merrier where she plays opposite another of my heartthrobs, Joel McCrae. They have one of the sexiest kisses ever.

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