55 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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Little Bride


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?


Sam Wood directed the "robbing of the big house" sequence, some retakes and other additional footage. See more »


During the drought some black vultures are seen on a roof. These are American birds which do not live in China. See more »


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

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Blockbuster That Retains Its Magic
5 April 2003 | by (New York, USA) – See all my reviews

Sure, 65 years have passed since Thalberg's last production was filmed. But fellow IMDB members, come on, this movie is surely one of the masterpieces of the 30's! It is a 10.

This was the first movie I saw at New York's Museum of Modern Art, around 1970 (I was a teenager). Expensive looking yet with scenes of such poverty, masterfully photographed, often thrilling, and always engaging, to me it was MGM movie-making at its best. What did audiences feel when they glimpsed a locust attack, the person by person destruction of a mansion, the horrific poverty and then the splendor of wealth.

Last week, those watching the Academy Awards had a glimpse of the "senior" Oscar winner in attendance, Luise Rainer. How grand to see an actress who arguably delivered one of the most masterful, haunting performances in history electing to return for a celebration.

Ok, so she should not have won the year before (Great Ziegfeld), but don't blame Luise. Talkies were only a decade old when this was released, and her dialogue limited. But as Olan, her use of visual and vocal is memorable.

Large scale and touching, what more could a movie lover want!

32 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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