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The Green Pastures (1936)

Approved | | Drama | 1 August 1936 (USA)
God, heaven, and several Old Testament stories, including the Creation and Noah's Ark, are described supposedly using the perspective of rural, black Americans.

Writers:

(suggested by: Southern Sketches "Ol' Man Adam and His Chillun'"), (a fable by)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Oscar Polk ...
...
Noah (as Eddie Anderson)
Frank H. Wilson ...
Moses (as Frank Wilson)
George Reed ...
Mr. Deshee
Abraham Gleaves ...
Archangel
Myrtle Anderson ...
Eve
Al Stokes ...
Edna Mae Harris ...
Zeba (as Edna M. Harris)
James Fuller ...
Cain the Sixth
George Randol ...
High Priest
Ida Forsyne ...
Ray Martin ...
Charles Andrews ...
Flatfoot (as Chas. Andrews)
...
Ham
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Storyline

God, heaven, and several Old Testament stories, including the Creation and Noah's Ark, are described supposedly using the perspective of rural, black Americans.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 August 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Auf grüner Aue  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The part of "De Lawd" was originally written to be played in blackface by Al Jolson. When that fell through, it was offered to Paul Robeson, who refused it. It was eventually given to Rex Ingram. See more »

Goofs

One of Noah's son's rides a zebra that is clearly a donkey or mule made to look like a zebra. Two real zebras are loaded while he rides the fake. See more »

Quotes

Gabriel: Gangway for the lord god, Jehovah!
See more »

Connections

Version of The Green Pastures (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

My God Is So High
(uncredited)
Traditional spiritual
Performed by the Hall Johnson Choir
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Don't Make The Mistake Of Judging This Movie Too Quickly
13 December 1998 | by (Tucson, Arizona) – See all my reviews

I first saw "The Green Pastures" quite by accident as a 13 year-old while visiting grandparents in Detroit, Michigan many, many years ago...I never forgot it.

Years later, in college, while on a date, I was telling my date about it and we stopped by the school library so I could find a copy of the play to show her...she loved it, too. I've since bought the tape and watch it every now-and-then when I want to smile and feel good.

I remember asking my mom about the movie when I first saw it and always remembered her response..."how do you think the little black children in the movie pictured God and others in the Bible?" And that, of course, is exactly what Marc Connelly was trying to get us to think about.

Though the original play/movie may have met resistance in the South, it was a hit in New York. To the eternal historical revisionists of today who see nothing but stereotypes and negative images, I'd suggest you take another look.

Country folk of the early part of this century did talk with accents and few had much education (whites as well as blacks). The dialog of the film is less a contrived stereotype than it is a snapshot of what the simple life was like. It's not hard for me to imagine a dedicated Mr. Deshee teaching kids in Sunday School about the good book. Nor is it hard to understand why they might picture pharoe's guards in double-breasted suits like the gangsters in the news of their youth, or relating any number of other scenes to what was familiar to them.

Connelly was not trying to convert viewers to religion...he was trying to get those already converted to see the personal relationship with God enjoyed by all his children, regardless of their station in life.

There are no whites in the movie, just as there were no whites in the immediate community where the story takes place. This movie was not made with the burden of every social dilemma we've struggled with over the years. To blindly force modern perceptions and racial baggage on it does nothing but dampen the simple joy of this unique gem.


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