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Our Town (1940)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  24 May 1940 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,550 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 11 critic

Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century. People grow up, get married, live, and die. Milk and the newspaper get delivered every morning, and nobody locks... See full summary »

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Title: Our Town (1940)

Our Town (1940) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Fay Bainter ...
...
...
Guy Kibbee ...
...
Frank Craven ...
Doro Merande ...
Philip Wood ...
Ruth Tobey ...
Rebecca Gibbs (as Ruth Toby)
Douglas Gardner ...
Arthur B. Allen ...
Professor Willard (as Arthur Allen)
Charles Trowbridge ...
Dr. Ferguson
Spencer Charters ...
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Storyline

Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century. People grow up, get married, live, and die. Milk and the newspaper get delivered every morning, and nobody locks their front doors. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

I never felt so alone in my life. Why can't I stay for a while just as I am? I don't want to get married. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nuestro pueblo  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Hypercube restored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The play opened on Broadway in New York City, New York, USA on 4 February 1938 at Henry Miller's Theatre, and had 338 performances. Frank Craven, Martha Scott (her Broadway debut), Arthur B. Allen and Doro Merande originated their movie roles in the play, and Teresa Wright was an understudy. The popular Pulitzer Prize play also had 3 revivals on Broadway. See more »

Goofs

Mr. Webb says that of the residents of Grover's Corners, 86% are Republican, 12% are Democrats and 4% are indifferent. That's a total of 102%. See more »

Quotes

Mrs. Julia Hersey Gibbs: It seems to me, once in your life, before you die, you ought to see a country where they don't speak any English and they don't even want to.
See more »

Connections

Remade as To theatro tis Defteras: I mikri mas poli (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Art Thou Weary, Art Thou Languid?
(1868)
Music "Stephanos" by Henry W. Baker (1868)
Greek words by Stephen of Mar Saba (Judea) (8th century)
Translated from Greek to English by John M. Neale (1862)
Played on an organ in church by Philip Wood and sung by the choir
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Mind of God
26 July 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

OUR TOWN is a timeless classic, and this 1940 film version captures the major themes from Thornton Wilder's great play.

At once simple and profound, unsentimental and heart-breaking, the story of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, and its citizens is a time capsule of early 20th Century America. Two neighboring families are examined in their everyday lives, and we especially follow George Gibbs (William Holden) and Emily Webb (Martha Scott) as they grow up and marry.

A stage convention, the Stage Manager (Frank Craven), acts here as a tour guide and talks directly to the audience and tells them the history of the town and stories about the characters. Independent of time, the Stage Manager can also see into the future and matter-of-factly see the various deaths of several characters as well as their pasts.

The scene from the cemetery is chilling yet is quite wondrous as the characters there ponder the timelessness of the universe. Also great is Emily's visit back to her family on her birthday, where she finally understand that life is made up or so many small and insignificant details that we hardly notice as times flies by.

The film boasts a terrific cast with Fay Bainter and Beulah Bondi outstanding as the mothers , Thomas Mitchell and Guy Kibbee solid as the fathers. Also notable are Doro Merande as Mrs. Soames, Arthur Allen as the professor, Philip Wood as the organist, Spencer Charters as the constable, Stu Erwin as the milkman, and Ruth Tobey as Rebecca, who gets to tells the "mind of god" anecdote.

The ending is different from the play's but works well in this version.

This is a film that badly needs restoration


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