MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 4,558 this week

The Good Earth (1937)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  6 August 1937 (USA)
7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,298 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 21 critic

The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife. By diligence and frugality the two manage to enlarge their property. But ... See full summary »

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 2 more credits »

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 3 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

Interview: Magic Mike

The Magic Mike XXL guys give some relationship advice to a 74-year-old fan.

Watch Now

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 44 titles
created 14 Jul 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 26 Jul 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 16 Feb 2013
 
a list of 39 titles
created 27 Feb 2014
 
a list of 33 images
created 2 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Good Earth" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Good Earth (1937)

The Good Earth (1937) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Good Earth.

User Polls

Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This biography follows the ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld, famed producer of extravagant stage revues.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard
Stars: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Luise Rainer
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The biography of the pioneering French microbiologist who helped revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The biopic of the famous French muckraking writer and his involvement in fighting the injustice of the Dreyfuss Affair.

Director: William Dieterle
Stars: Paul Muni, Gale Sondergaard, Joseph Schildkraut
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauß II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. ... See full summary »

Directors: Julien Duvivier, Victor Fleming, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Luise Rainer, Fernand Gravey, Miliza Korjus
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A male Polish secret agent and a female Russian secret-police spy smuggle messages to St. Petersburg in candlesticks. While chasing after stolen candlesticks they discover each other's ... See full summary »

Director: George Fitzmaurice
Stars: William Powell, Luise Rainer, Robert Young
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson
Test Pilot (1938)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jim is a test pilot. His wife Ann and best friend Gunner try their best to keep him sober. But the life of a test pilot is anything but safe.

Director: Victor Fleming
Stars: Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Jack Conway
Stars: Janet Gaynor, Fredric March, Adolphe Menjou
Black Fury (1935)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An immigrant coal miner finds himself in the middle of a bitter labor dispute between the workers and the mine owners.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Paul Muni, Karen Morley, William Gargan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Mahmoud Zulfikar
Stars: Kamal Al-Shennawi
The Valiant (1929)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

After accidentally killing the key witness to a crime, a mysterious drifter turns himself to the law, under a false name intending to protect his own family. But when the news of his ... See full summary »

Director: William K. Howard
Stars: Paul Muni, Marguerite Churchill, Johnny Mack Brown
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In World War I France, a pilot falls in love with the wife of his friend and superior officer.

Director: Anatole Litvak
Stars: Paul Muni, Miriam Hopkins, Louis Hayward
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Tilly Losch ...
...
Jessie Ralph ...
Cuckoo
Soo Yong ...
...
Elder Son
Roland Lui ...
Younger Son
Suzanna Kim ...
Little Fool
Ching Wah Lee ...
Harold Huber ...
Cousin
Olaf Hytten ...
William Law ...
Gateman
Mary Wong ...
Little Bride
Edit

Storyline

The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife. By diligence and frugality the two manage to enlarge their property. But then a famine forces them to leave their land and live in the town. However it turns out to be a blessing in disguise for them... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

farmer | famine | slave | money | city | See All (253) »

Taglines:

China . . . . Land of unrest . . . tomorrow they may Starve !

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die gute Erde  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of difficulties with filming in China at the time due to the Nationalist regime, a 500 acre farm in Chatsworth, California was transformed into Chinese farmland. See more »

Goofs

During one scene, Wang Lung beats his son for being with his second wife. As the son crawls away, it is obvious he was protected by wearing a thick pad on his back. See more »

Quotes

O-Lan: When I go back in that house, it will be with my son in my arms. I'll have a red coat on him... and red flower trousers... and a hat with a gilded Buddha and tiger-faced shoes, and I'll go into the kitchen where I spent my days as a slave and into the great hall where the old mistress sits with her pipe, and I'll show myself and my son to all of them.
O-Lan: [Smiles, contented] Hmm.
Wang Lung: Well... Now, I... I haven't heard you speak so many words since you came to this house.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The type-style used appears to be lettering hammered into brass. Even the style of the letters seems to be from china or Asia. Note the style on "N" and "O". See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM: Twenty Classic Moments (2014) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good Earth, Good Show, One of the Best of its Era
17 October 2003 | by (WA State USA) – See all my reviews

In the 30s and 40s, MGM had a penchant for (then) contemporary Chinese-oriented stories ('The Son-Daughter', 'Dragon Seed', 'Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo', etc.), and whether this was a preference, or whether there were just a lot of Chinese-design sets to keep occupied at the studio, the results were strangely moving. 'The Good Earth' is of course the finest of its genre, for any number of reasons.

From the very beginning of the picture, right after the lion's roar, we see the poignant tribute to Irving Thalberg, and we know that we are embarking on an important viewing experience. The scope of the story is very wide, and the filmmakers are up for the task. I was always struck by the abruptness of the final scene, but its power and beauty form an excellent example of the art achieved within the often cynical Hollywood film factory. And Lotus - the strangeness of her, and her dance, contrasted with the goodness of O-lan!

Aside from the oft-mentioned attributes of acting, photography and special effects, a major element in 'The Good Earth' is the score. Herbert Stothart may not be in the ranks of Hollywood's 'mighty handful' (Alfred Newman, Steiner, Tiomkin, Waxman, Herrmann), but his 'MGM-sound' scores regularly deliver the goods. True, Stothart had no hesitation in applying the syrup at first opportunity (one can imagine Louis B. Mayer positively ordering it), but in this picture, syrup gives way to sympathy. One of the pleasures of Hollywood's Golden Age films is that all the elements of a given film support each other, and great scores support not only the characters, but the entire film. Stothart's score is so sympathetic and so sincere, from the Main Title all the way through, and it enhances the story and the performances so naturally and at times transparently, that it must be considered a classic score. No great 'tunes' specifically, but plenty of effective mood, atmosphere and unabashed emotion. Many of today's audiences may find little to enjoy in such a combination, or they may be embarrassed by it, but I revel in it, as cinema such as this, which is delivered with such heart and good will is, especially in these times, nothing short of a gift.

The issue of non-Chinese playing Chinese characters has already been discussed on these pages, but I can only add: please, viewers, consider the film within the era that it was produced. The same kind of incongruity still happens today, perhaps not so much racially, but certainly culturally: Brad Pitt in 'Seven Years in Tibet', Keanu Reeves in 'Little Buddha', and other Americans getting plum roles in British-originated stories that become Hollywoodized, etc. When making 'Bhowani Junction', George Cukor considered using Indian actors, but vetoed any candidates in favor of familiar Hollywood faces. Never mind that in the 50s, as today, India had a huge film industry. It's just that those actors didn't fit into the Hollywood scheme of things. That speaks of box office more than political incorrectness. There is no doubt that fine actors like Philip Ahn should have gotten lead roles in pictures like 'The Good Earth', but at least we can enjoy them in supporting roles which carry a lot of weight in their own right. As time goes on, the context of past eras fades, while the films themselves, the really good ones, live on. There's plenty of opportunity for revisionist theses about issues like racial inequality in 1930s Hollywood, but for 138 minutes, it is compelling and moving to absorb onesself in the story and the atmosphere of 'The Good Earth'.


29 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Meryl Streep look-a-like? thewinkens
I disagree about the race issue... loyaltubist
Comparison to Book? greeneyes49505
Best Line! Makes me cry. profprimbud
DVD of "The Good Earth" may be coming! gregcouture
Locust Scene spin73
Discuss The Good Earth (1937) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?