Henry Fonda made his screen debut in this filmization of his Broadway success The Farmer Takes a Wife. The story is set along the Erie Canal in the 1850s. Fonda plays a farmer who takes a river job to make ends meet. He falls in love with Janet Gaynor, daughter of a canal-boat cook, who thinks very little of farmers. Nonetheless, Fonda and Gaynor marry, much to the displeasure of canal skipper Charles Bickford, who'd assumed that Janet was his girl. When Fonda avoids a fight with Bickford, Janet believes that he's yellow, but he eventually proves otherwise. It is said that during his first day on the set, movie novice Henry Fonda, noting the camera direction "dolly with Dan and Molly" in the script, asked director Victor Fleming who Dolly was. Adapted from the play by Frank B. Elser and Marc Connelly, The Farmer Takes a Wife was remade with Betty Grable and Dale Robertson in 1955.
by Hal Erickson synopsis