The Old South (1940)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.7/10 from 102 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Chronicle of the importance of cotton to the economy and culture of the American South.



(original screenplay)
0Check in
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang, an officer, gentleman, antiquarian, gigolo, at the moment a ... See full summary »

Directors: Curt Siodmak, Robert Siodmak, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Erwin Splettstößer, Brigitte Borchert, Wolfgang von Waltershausen
Short | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  

A tale of science's battle with Africa's dread sleeping death that tells the true-life story of Sir David Bruce, a doctor/scientist. who went to Uganda in British Africa in 1900, and after ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Carey Wilson
Friend Indeed (1937)
Certificate: Passed Short | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Pete Smith tells the story of 'Sparky', a German shepherd dog trained to lead his blind master, a country doctor who lost his sight in a fire, and now has to depend upon the dog to lead him... See full summary »

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Pete Smith, Mary Gordon, John Ince
Short | Biography | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Story of Colonial American David Bushnell, inventor of the submarine and depth charge.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: James Bush, Lester Dorr, Gladden James
Short | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

It's the mid-nineteenth century. As long as their have been hospitals, the joy that women have felt having just given birth in a hospital may be quickly marred by their sudden death due to ... See full summary »

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Shepperd Strudwick, John Nesbitt, Rudolph Anders


Uncredited cast:
Eli Whitney (uncredited)
Frank Whitbeck ...
Narrator (voice) (uncredited)


Cotton is one of the most important crops grown worldwide. What was once the land rich but dollar poor southern US and cotton are synonymous with each other, the crop itself originally imported from India. Despite the ease of growing cotton and the world demand for it, the labor intensive activity of separating the seed from the lint made it an expensive proposition until the creation of the cotton gin by inventor Eli Whitney in the late eighteenth century. Whitney was an unassuming schoolmaster when he created his deceptively simple but time and labor saving device, which revolutionized the cotton industry and led to great increases in the planting of cotton crops and production in the southern US. This increase had the unforeseen consequence of insufficient laborers to pick the cotton, which in turn led to an increase in the slave trade from West Africa, and the growing economic disparity between the rich cotton plantation owners and the poor slaves. The moral question of slavery ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

20 January 1940 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Included on a special edition home video of Gone with the Wind (1939). See more »


Narrator: Gone. Gone with the wind.
See more »


References Gone with the Wind (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

In sympathy to the South
5 August 2010 | by (Portland, Oregon, United States) – See all my reviews

This "documentary" says much more about 1940 USA than it does about the history of cotton and the South. It's an example of the political correctness of that time: don't say anything that offends white Southerners! It's fascinating to watch: you get to hear how Southern history and slavery used to be taught in schools in the USA (I say "used to", but this was the version of the history I heard as well as late as 1980 or so in Kentucky). The movie doesn't have a political agenda, but as a result of its skewed view of history, ends up explaining cotton and Southern history largely in sympathy to the South, particularly regarding the issue of slavery, with only one scene depicting its horrors -- "balanced" with a scene of a slave family that will make you cringe for all the wrong reasons. I don't think the film was intended as propaganda -- I think the producers were actually trying to present something historical (and cash in on all the "Gone With the Wind" mania of the time). I give it 8 out of 10 because, wow, you'll learn a LOT about the climate of the USA in 1940 with regard to how it wanted to think about the Civil War.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Old South (1940) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: