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Our Town (1940)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  24 May 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 1,589 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 »



(play), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Title: Our Town (1940)

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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fay Bainter ...
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 ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


I don't want to get married.....I'M AFRAID! See more »


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 May 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Nuestro pueblo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Hypercube restored)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »


The beginning of the movie takes place on June 7, 1901. That night everyone comments on how beautiful the moon is and we later learn it is 8:30pm. The moon did not rise until midnight on that date. In fact the sun did not set until 8:30pm. Additionally, crickets can be heard loudly chirping throughout these scenes. This would be very unusual for early June, but common in late August. See more »


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 »


Referenced in Friends: The One with the Cooking Class (2002) See more »


Art Thou Weary, Art Thou Languid?
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

I liked it
23 February 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've never read the play or seen it performed. All I knew is that it won a Pulitzer Prize and was constantly being done by community theatres. Also there are at least FOUR made for TV versions (this is the only theatrical one). I figured it was time I finally saw it.

From what I can gather, this is a heavily edited version (the TV versions run from 2 to 3 hours) and I KNOW the ending was changed (because of the Production Code). Still I liked it for what it was. Also I saw a recently restored version so it looks pretty good (considering it's over 60 years old).

It's just about life in a small New Hampshire town from 1901 to 1940. It concerns various characters but mostly centers on Emily Webb (Martha Scott) falling in love with George Gibbs (William Holden). It also flawlessly recreates a small town in the early 20th century. Everybody knows everybody else, they all live comfortably with each other, nobody locks their doors at night...combine that with some breath taking production design by William Cameron Menzies and it creates a very comfortable, idyllic feeling. Also some of the shots of the town at night were just beautiful.

A lot of people complain about the total lack of chemistry between Scott and Holden. They're not wrong but this was Scott's first film and Holden's third (I believe)...they were still young and learning. As it is, it's incredible to see Holden so young, handsome and full of life. Scott is very good also and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for this. They're backed up by a great cast of character actors from he 1930s--basically, nobody is bad. This didn't move me to tears like others said it did, but it WAS very moving. I'd like to see the other versions.

So, a pretty good view of small town life in the early 20th century.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Depressing ending jiw2
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