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 »
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Robert B. Sinclair
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>
Chinese-born Anna May Wong desperately wanted the role of O-Lan. Being a close friend of author Pearl S. Buck helped. She tested for the role, but producer Irving Thalberg was unsatisfied. Also, since Paul Muni, a Caucasian actor, had already been cast in the lead, Thalberg knew he couldn't cast Wong as Muni's wife. The Hays Code prohibited actors of different races from playing husband/wife couples on film. (This was to avoid offending white audiences in the segregated American South, where there were laws against mixed-race marriages.) Thalberg offered her the "vamp" role of Lotus, but a distraught Anna May turned it down. See more »
When Wang Lung looks up and notices the second wind during the locus scene you can see a man walking in the background from left to right wearing normal clothes and a white hat and smoking what looks like a cigar. See more »
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.
Well... Now, I... I haven't heard you speak so many words since you came to this house.
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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 »
This film was released the year I was born and will be, like me, 70 in 2007. I watched it again last night having not seen it since high school. While it was full of 30's sentiment and the acting was a bit stereotyped, nevertheless, it was superb. Pearl S. Buck's story did come alive through the magic of the chemistry of Luise Rainer and Paul Muni. The novel which earned Ms. Buck the Nobel Prize for literature comes alive under the baton of Sydney Franklin which along with an excellent script recounts the story of peasant farmer, Wang Lung, whose father obtains a bride for him, a slave girl from the kitchen of a local landlord. In Buck's story, Wang's success is underwritten by his willingness to listen to his wife, most of the time, and the love of the land. In the end he comes to realize that his wife, like the land, is the source of his wealth, happiness and immortality. Buck's stories always had strong women cast in a critical spot to influence the outcome of events in the pre-feminist world. The German-born Luise Rainer brings a tentative but determined Peasant Chinese woman to life in her portrayal of Olan. Muni likewise captures the naive but honorable Wang, eventually caught between the two worlds of the wealthy and the peasant. Other classic characters include Charlie Grapewin, Dorothy Gale's Kansan Uncle Henry from the Wizard of Oz, Walter Connelly as the mewing, conniving uncle and Keye Luke as Number One Son-- but this time, not Charlie Chan's.
A classic might be defined as a movie you can watch time and again and never tire of. If that's indeed the case, this film is a classic, no doubt whatsoever.
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