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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 3,277 users  
Reviews: 54 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 »
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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  »

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

1500 extras were hired for the mob scene. See more »

Goofs

When Wang Lung and his family are waiting for the train, the locomotive that passes behind them has a number clearly visible on the front of the boiler. When the same train is seen approaching the crowds, the locomotive does not have a number and is not the same design. See more »

Quotes

Liu - Grain Merchant: Mr. Wang, two clever sons like these are the better half of your wealth.
Wang Lung: They're stupid, worthless creatures. If anything was driven into their thick, brass skulls it was by beating them. I told their teacher to beat them. He beat them so well that this one's going to the university.
Liu - Grain Merchant: Indeed.
Elder Son: If I'm not too unworthy, I hope to win a degree in agriculture.
Liu - Grain Merchant: Degree ? Agriculture ?
Wang Lung: That's some kind of paper that will make it rain just enough, but not too much.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introduction played with opening credits: The soul of great nation is expressed in the life of its humblest people. In this simple story of a Chinese farmer may be found something of a the soul of china - its humility, its courage, its deep heritage from the past and its vast promise for the future. See more »

Connections

Featured in Another Romance of Celluloid (1938) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Classic story given distinguished screen treatment and cast to perfection
27 June 2001 | by (Clifton, Virginia) – See all my reviews

Pearl Buck's story of the ups and downs of a Chinese peasant family is adapted for the screen in a stately and dignified manner. Extreme respect is paid to the characters, who are given ample screen time to mature and develop. The roles are filled by actors who are able to get inside their characters without ever giving the impression that they are `performing,' and their performances are all the richer for it.

The story begins on the wedding day of Wang Lung (Paul Muni), a kind and gentle farmer. His wife, O-Lan (Luise Rainer), bears his sons and quietly encourages him to pursue his dreams, no matter what sacrifices they entail from her. The family lives through a famine and finally achieves prosperity and success. However, with success comes greed and corruption, and soon Wang is buying large plots of land and the Great Hall at which O-Lan was a servant. Eventually, he takes a second wife and breaks ties with all who were once close to him. It takes a tragedy for him to see the error of his ways.

All the while O-Lan stands behind him, supporting every decision he makes in her own tranquil way. Rainer's Oscar winning portrayal, like O-Lan herself, is the glue that holds the story together. Muni, often prone to hamminess in his work, shows restraint here and contributes a beautiful, multifaceted performance. The cinematography, which also received an Oscar, is excellent, as are the special effects. A sequence which involves locusts, invading the crops by the million, is nothing short of unforgettable. It is storytelling in the grandest sense of the word, with strong characterizations, high production values, and an engrossing story which more than justifies `The Good Earth's status as a classic.


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