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The Good Earth (1937)

Passed  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  6 August 1937 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 3,229 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 20 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 »
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Title: The Good Earth (1937)

The Good Earth (1937) on IMDb 7.9/10

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

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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  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Unexplained sequence of events or possible error in continuity. Toward the beginning of the film, Farmer Wang walks to the Great House to meet his bride, O-Lan. He is carrying a basket. It appears to be empty. As he enters a market, the farmer declines to buy peaches. We don't see him purchase goods or trade for anything. We don't see him filling the basket. However, the next scene shows him at the door of the house with a full basket. Later, he does buy peaches. At this point, however, we're still not made aware how he has money or silver. 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

Referenced in My Three Sons: The Good Earth (1967) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A great old Hollywood classic
6 April 2001 | by (st. pete, fl usa) – See all my reviews

This is where the term "classic film" comes from. This is a wonderful story of a woman's bravery, courage and extreme loyalty. Poor Olan got sold to her uncaring husband, who through the years learned to appreciate her. (Yeah right, A PEARL!!)

Luise Rainer was the beautiful star who had won the Best Actress Oscar the year before for her small role (and what a waste of an oscar) in "The Great Zigfield". It really didn't show what, if any, talent she had other than her exotic beauty. But in "Good Earth" she shows that she can really act! Her beauty was erased and she had no great costumes either. People say that she didn't show any real emotions in this film. Like hell. Her character Olan is a shy and timid woman, with inner strength. She is quiet during parts of the film with only her eyes and body to convey her emotions. Example: those scenes during the fall of the city and when looters were being shot. If you people are saying that she doesn't act well in this film, you are NOT looking!

Paul Muni shows that he can act as well. His character is not a likeable one to me. He never sees her for what she is, until the very end of the story. A sweet loving and dedicated wife and mother, with her own special beauty. The greatest one of all, the beauty from within, like a pearl.

If you get a chance to see this film, watch it. You will see one of the best films that the golden age of Hollywood created.


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