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Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life (1925)

Passed  -  Documentary  -  20 March 1925 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 637 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 14 critic

The struggles of a hardscrabble Iranian nomadic tribe as they journey through bleak country to reach the grasslands that will save their livestock.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Merian C. Cooper ...
Himself (as Merian Cooper)
Ernest B. Schoedsack ...
Himself
Marguerite Harrison ...
Herself - a Journalist
Haidar Khan ...
Himself - Chief of the Bakhtyari Tribe
Lufta ...
Himself - Haidar Khan's Son
Edit

Storyline

The real-life struggles of the Bakhtiari tribe of Southern Persia (Iran) to migrate with 50,000 people and ten times as much livestock over seemingly impassable natural barriers of mountain and river during harsh weather conditions to reach grazing lands for their cattle and other livestock. Their hardscrabble life is portrayed with poetically beautiful cinematography in possibly the greatest documentary of the silent era. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tribe | mountain | journey | iran | river | See All (106) »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

20 March 1925 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Grass  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Featured in Cinema Iran (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
My Feet Are Still Cold
21 March 2011 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Thanks TCM for bringing this piece of history to a broader audience. And what a slice of the past it is. This is living next to the land, in spades. That thousand-mile trek through Arabia and the Caucuses is not just long, but harrowing, as well. It's men, women, kids, donkeys, cattle, goats, sheep, all winding their way through impossible terrain, with a few skinny dogs tagging along. Sure, it seems they do it every year to get to the mountain grassland, but I can't see it ever gets any easier. When I backpack in the snow, I've got good warm boots and heavy socks—these folks, however, do it in, uh, bare feet!!!-- for better traction, I guess. Anyway, I'm still shivering from that footage. Then there's the river crossing. That alone is worth the price of admission. You've got to admire their herding prowess in the rapids with nothing more than inflated goatskins. In fact, I have a whole new appreciation for the lowly sheep and the gutsy herders who tend them.

As good as the footage is, questions do arise. What, for example, do they do with sick people. It seems they can't stop the trek, so I guess they just pack them along and hope for the best. Also, we don't see them eating along the way or building fires (if they do) or setting up tents. Instead, Cooper & Co. track the snaking caravans only, but then that's more than enough. However, someone should have given second thoughts to some of those ridiculous title cards. But all that is merely incidental to a filmed record of a people who reach far back in time, and ones I would be proud to have as forebears. Then again, I guess I won't be complaining about having to walk to the store, any time soon.


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