If You Could Only Cook (1935)

Film Review


Release Date: 30 December, 1935

Studio: Columbia

Director: William A. Seiter

Starring: Jean Arthur, Herbert Marshall

Related Discussion Topic: Jean Arthur

Read an overview of Jean Arthur's career in the Discussion Topics section.


Marshall, founder and chairman of a major car company, is discontented and unhappy. His board of directors has rejected his latest car designs, and his haughty fiancée is bossy and irritable. Taking a break in the park, he sits next to Arthur, an unemployed young woman. She thinks he is unemployed also and suggests they answer a newspaper ad for a married couple to fill the positions of butler and cook. To help Arthur and to get away from his troubles, Marshall agrees. The mansion belongs to a gourmet ex-gangster who greatly appreciates Arthur's cooking. Happy living and working together, Arthur and Marshall are soon falling in love. Marshall wants to break from his fiancée and marry Arthur, but the circumstances will make him appear the fool. He returns to his regular life. Arthur thinks he is a liar and thief who has deserted her. Intervention by the gangster and his associates brings Marshall and Arthur back together.


This film is a well-written and enjoyable romantic comedy. Arthur's character is bright and affectionate. She and Marshall play well together. Leo Carrillo and Lionel Stander are entertaining as the food-loving gangster and his skeptical associate. This film was made during the period of Arthur's transition from significant co-star to major star.