Eden Philpotts' "provincial" comic novel and play The Farmer's Wife was first filmed in the silent era by Alfred Hitchcock. The 1940 talkie version was directed by Leslie Arliss, son of stage star George Arliss. The story remained the same: A middle-aged widower attempts to select a wife from his rural district's eligible females (Basil Sydney). Three unsuccessful dalliances later, the farmer settles for his housekeeper, whom the audience has been rooting for all along. The Farmer's Wife is a prime example of the sort of fare that struck a proper chord with British filmgoers, but whose appeal would be lost to any other nationality.