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The Good Earth
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The Good Earth (1937) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Down 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Talbot Jennings (screen play) &
Tess Slesinger (screen play) ...
View company contact information for The Good Earth on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 August 1937 (USA) See more »
China . . . . Land of unrest . . . tomorrow they may Starve !
The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(85 articles)
11 Actresses Who Earned Oscar Nods for Musicals
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 (From FilmExperience. 28 January 2017, 8:00 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
A Blockbuster That Retains Its Magic See more (59 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Paul Muni ... Wang

Luise Rainer ... O-Lan

Walter Connolly ... Uncle

Tilly Losch ... Lotus

Charley Grapewin ... Old Father

Jessie Ralph ... Cuckoo
Soo Yong ... Aunt

Keye Luke ... Elder Son
Roland Lui ... Younger Son
Suzanna Kim ... Little Fool
Ching Wah Lee ... Ching

Harold Huber ... Cousin
Olaf Hytten ... Liu - Grain Merchant
William Law ... Gateman
Mary Wong ... Little Bride
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Philip Ahn ... Revolutionary Army Captain (uncredited)
Philson Ahn ... Man (uncredited)
Caroline Chew ... Teahouse Dancer (uncredited)
Mitzi Cummings ... Chinese Girl (uncredited)
Jack Don ... Chinese Peasant (uncredited)

Chester Gan ... Teahouse Singer (uncredited)
Roland Got ... Younger Son (uncredited)
Betty Soo Hoo ... Baby (uncredited)
James B. Leong ... Chinese Peasant (uncredited)
Lotus Liu ... Chinese Girl Singing and Playing Mandolin (uncredited)
Bessie Loo ... Chinese Woman (uncredited)

Richard Loo ... Chinese Farmer (uncredited)
Clarence Lung ... (uncredited)
Arthur Marks ... Boy (uncredited)

Charles Middleton ... Banker (uncredited)
Miki Morita ... Wang's House Guest (uncredited)
Lily Mui ... Child (uncredited)
Layne Tom Jr. ... Chinese Boy (uncredited)
Kam Tong ... Chinese Peasant (uncredited)

Sammee Tong ... Chinese Man (uncredited)
Iris Wong ... Chinese Woman (uncredited)
Marcella Wong ... Baby (uncredited)
Shirley Wu ... Baby (uncredited)

Victor Sen Yung ... Chinese Peasant (uncredited)

Directed by
Sidney Franklin 
Victor Fleming (uncredited)
Gustav Machatý (uncredited)
Sam Wood (uncredited)
Writing credits
Talbot Jennings (screen play) &
Tess Slesinger (screen play) and
Claudine West (screen play)

Pearl S. Buck (based upon the novel by)

Frances Marion  uncredited

Produced by
Albert Lewin .... associate producer
Irving Thalberg .... executive producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Herbert Stothart 
Cinematography by
Karl Freund (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Basil Wrangell (film editor)
Ben Lewis (supervising film editor: MGM) (uncredited)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Costume Design by
Herbert Neuwirth (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Max Factor .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Charles Gemora .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Cecil Holland .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Norbert A. Myles .... makeup artist: Charley Grapewin (uncredited)
Web Overlander .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Mike Ragan .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
William Tuttle .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Dave Friedman .... production manager (uncredited)
Frank Messenger .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hugh Boswell .... assistant director (uncredited)
Fred Niblo .... second unit director (uncredited)
Hezi Tate .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
A. Arnold Gillespie .... associate art director (as Arnold Gillespie)
Harry Oliver .... associate art director
Edwin B. Willis .... associate art director
Tom Gubbins .... props: China (uncredited)
F. Suie One .... props and Chinese artifacts (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Special Effects by
James Basevi .... special effects: locust sequence (uncredited)
Dave Friedman .... special effects: locust sequence (uncredited)
James Curtis Havens .... special effects: locust sequence (uncredited)
Jewel Jordan .... stunt double: Luise Rainer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Charles G. Clarke .... photographer: China (uncredited)
Ben M. Cohen .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Russell A. Cully .... photographer: China (uncredited)
George W. Hill .... supervising photographer: China (uncredited)
Mason Hooper .... photographer: backgrounds and process shots (uncredited)
Walter Lundin .... camera operator: Cedar City (uncredited)
Gustav Machatý .... director of process photography (uncredited)
Ray Ramsey .... camera operator (uncredited)
H.C. Smith .... photographer: China (uncredited)
Harkness Smith .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Frank Tanner .... still photographer (uncredited)
'Newreel' Wong .... photographer: China (uncredited)
Casting Department
Chester Gann .... casting: Chinese extras (uncredited)
William Grady .... casting: Chinese extras (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Dolly Tree .... wardrobe
Tom Gubbins .... costumes: China (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Slavko Vorkapich .... montage
Peter Ballbusch .... montage (uncredited)
Tom Held .... editing staff (uncredited)
Ben Lewis .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Charles T. Trego .... montage (uncredited)
Music Department
Wayne Allen .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Clifford Vaughan .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Edward Ward .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Donald Davis .... adapted for the stage by
Owen Davis .... adapted for the stage by
Victor Adams .... stand-in: Paul Muni (uncredited)
Marian Ainslee .... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
Pearl S. Buck .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Marc Connelly .... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
Howard Dietz .... press representative (uncredited)
Jules Furthman .... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
DuBose Heyward .... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
James Lee .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Clarence Locan .... publicist (uncredited)
Frances Marion .... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
John M. Nickolaus .... laboratory supervisor: sepia tinting (uncredited)
Bessie Ochs .... technical advisor: China (uncredited)
Yee On .... supervisor of landscapes (uncredited)
'Dutch' Pettit .... pigtail braider (uncredited)
Franz Schulz .... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
Frank Tong .... assistant: Harry Oliver (uncredited)
Y.S. Tsao .... technical advisor (uncredited)
General Ting-Hsiu Tu .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Irving Thalberg .... we dedicate this picture to the memory of (as Irving Grant Thalberg)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
138 min
Black and White (Sepiatone)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:G | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1937) | South Korea:All | Sweden:15 | UK:A | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #2584) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

The mob scene involved 1500 extras.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Wang Lung:If you could have a little food, you'd have strength to bring the child. I'll find it. Tomorrow I'll...
O-Lan:When have you had food ?
Wang Lung:There's a thing in me that hurts... and not hunger. But a man has no words.
O-Lan:No words... but I know.
Wang Lung:O-Lan, the earth has forgotten us.
See more »
Movie Connections:


How does the movie end?
How closely does the movie follow the book?
Why are there so few real Chinese actors in this very Chinese story?
See more »
33 out of 41 people found the following review useful.
A Blockbuster That Retains Its Magic, 5 April 2003
Author: felixoscar from New York, USA

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!

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