7.9/10
771
17 user 17 critic

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

Passed | | Documentary | 20 March 1925 (USA)
The struggles of a hardscrabble Iranian nomadic tribe as they journey through bleak country to reach the grasslands that will save their livestock.

Directors:

(uncredited), (uncredited)

Writers:

(titled by) (as Richard P. Carver), (titled by)
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Certificate: Passed Adventure | Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Elephants disrupt the lives of a family deep in the jungles of Northern Siam, and an entire village.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Stars: Kru, Chantui, Nah
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When British officer Harry resigns from his regiment, he is labeled a coward by his family and friends. Harry receives four white feathers as a mark of a coward. In order to redeem himself ... See full summary »

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Lothar Mendes, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Richard Arlen, Fay Wray, Clive Brook
Documentary | Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

This documentary is about what happened to the Great Plains of the United States when a combination of farming practices and environmental factors led to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Director: Pare Lorentz
Stars: Thomas Chalmers, Bam White
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty
Stars: Allakariallak, Nyla, Allee
Manhatta (1921)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

This groundbreaking silent documentary captures the beauty and majesty of the New York City in its streets, skyscrapers, bridges, rail yards and harbors.

Directors: Charles Sheeler, Paul Strand
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Ross McElwee sets out to make a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War, but is continually sidetracked by ... See full summary »

Director: Ross McElwee
Stars: Ross McElwee, Dede McElwee, Ross McElwee Jr.
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A standard screen B&W prologue during which Lowell Thomas shows how, from the dawn of history, mankind has attempted to create the illusion of depth & movement by artistic, mechanical and ... See full summary »

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Gunther von Fritsch, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Lowell Thomas, Kathy Darlyn, Toni Valk
Primary (1960)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Cinema verite feature that follows presidential hopefuls John F. Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey during the 1960 Wisconsin primary

Director: Robert Drew
Stars: Robert Drew, Hubert H. Humphrey, Joseph Julian
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In the doomed Roman city, a gentle blacksmith becomes a corrupt gladiator, while his son leans toward Christianity.

Directors: Ernest B. Schoedsack, Merian C. Cooper
Stars: Preston Foster, Basil Rathbone, Alan Hale
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Taking place during the Chilean Coup d'état in 1973, this film opens with the attempted military coup of June 1973, which is put down by troops loyal to the government. The left is divided ... See full summary »

Director: Patricio Guzmán
Stars: Salvador Allende, Carlos Altamirano, Fernando Castillo
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Real-life individuals discuss topics on society, happiness in the working class among others and with those testimonies the filmmakers create fictional moments based on their interviews. ... See full summary »

Directors: Edgar Morin, Jean Rouch
Stars: Angelo, Nadine Ballot, Régis Debray
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The chronicle of the political tension in Chile in 1973 and of the violent counter revolution against the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.

Director: Patricio Guzmán
Stars: Salvador Allende, Abilio Fernández
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Merian C. Cooper ...
Himself (as Merian Cooper)
...
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 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Title Card: There's courage in the pipes.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cinerama Adventure (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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.


4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page