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William K. Howard
Johnny Mack Brown
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>
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 »
Let's eliminate any discussion about the use of non-Asian actors playing Asian roles. The movie is 67 years old. In 1937 studio chiefs believed that any actor could/should be able to play any role. Actors were under contracts, and did not always have a choice about what role they played. End of story.
This is a truly great epic story of love, individual rights, class strata, and men/women issues. The centerpiece of the film is two brilliant performances by Luise Rainer and Paul Muni.
Muni plays Wang, a Chinese farmer, who is about to take a wife (Rainer). From the start, he treats her with respect, during a time when women were looked on as little more than hired help. Without giving too much of the movie away, they go through the highs and lows of all relationships, and even though the story may take place in late 19th/early 20th century,the story and much of their feelings, seems credible.
Other than the fact that the movie is about 5-10 minutes longer than it needs to be, and the performances of Charley Grapewin and Walter Connolly are typical 1930's cartoon characters, this is a really wonderful movie that, unfortunately, has become a victim of political correctness.
9 out of 10
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