Hitchcock’s The Farmer’s Wife: the 1928 pressbook

Look inside the beautiful, original pressbook for Alfred Hitchcock’s romantic comedy The Farmer’s Wife.

Samuel Wigley

“Throughout the whole production can be seen the masterly direction of Alfred Hitchcock who has infused into the film such an essence of reality that it absolutely breathes the air of Devonshire farm life.”

This delightful programme was created in 1928 to assist the press in their coverage of one of Hitchcock’s earliest films, The Farmer’s Wife. Unusually for the director, it’s a rural romantic comedy, the story of a widowed farmer, Samuel Sweetland (Jameson Thomas), casting around the unpromising local women for a new wife. “There is no attempt at lavish spectacle or sensational excitement,” reads the blurb, “but a production that exactly reflects and even emphasises in pictorial form the now classical rustic humour of Mr Eden Phillpotts’ story.”

For once the publicity puff seemed earned, however, with critics chiming with the same sentiment. The reviewer for Sunday Graphic wrote: “If its only use were to show Devonshire scenery to the world, the screening of The Farmer’s Wife would be worthwhile; but Alfred Hitchcock has made a delightful picture of Phillpotts’ comedy. This is surely the kind of film that is typically English and yet can hold some appeal for the world. You must see it.”

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