56 user 22 critic

The Good Earth (1937)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 6 August 1937 (USA)
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 »


, (uncredited) | 2 more credits »


(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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



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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) »


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


Drama | Romance


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La buena tierra  »

Box Office


$2,800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Because the Sino-Japanese war was in progress, the Chinese government threatened not to approve the movie if any Japanese actors were cast in any role. See more »


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 »


Aunt: When a farmer buys silk robes and washes his whole body every day, there's a woman. That's sure !
Uncle: But a rich man may have two wives but the wife must cling to her husband. That is as it should be.
Aunt: That's right. A woman is allowed but one mistake.
Uncle: Of course. Now then, it is said: you may see a teapot with four teacups, but did you ever see a teacup with four teapots ?
Aunt: It is also said: do you ever see two spoons in the same bowl that do not knock against each other ?
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 »


Referenced in Hold That Kiss (1938) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good Stuff, Perhaps A Re-Make Some Day?
2 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a bit long (2 hours, 20 minutes) but it had a a lot of the famous Pearl Buck novel in it. In other words, a lot of ground to cover.

It was soap-operish at times but had some visually dramatic moments, too, capped off by a locust attack at the end of the film. That was astounding to view. Considering this film is about 70 years old, the special-effects crew on this film did a spectacular job.

Paul Muni and Luise Rainer were award-winning actors in their day and they don't disappoint here, both giving powerful performances. The only problem is credibility as all the Asians are played by Caucasions and some of them, like Walter Connolly, just don't look real. I'd like to see a re-make of this movie with all-Asian actors, not for PC reasons but to simply make the story look and sound more credible.

24 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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