IMDb > Our Town (1940)
Our Town
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Our Town (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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Our Town -- 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.

Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   1,498 votes »
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Down 33% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Thornton Wilder (play)
Thornton Wilder (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Our Town on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
24 May 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
I don't want to get married.....I'M AFRAID! See more »
Plot:
Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century. People grow up, get married... See more » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 2 wins See more »
User Reviews:
Classic Americana See more (46 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Sam Wood 
 
Writing credits
Thornton Wilder (play)

Thornton Wilder (screenplay) &
Frank Craven (screenplay) &
Harry Chandlee (screenplay)

Produced by
Sol Lesser .... producer
 
Original Music by
Aaron Copland 
 
Cinematography by
Bert Glennon 
 
Film Editing by
Sherman Todd 
 
Production Design by
William Cameron Menzies 
 
Art Direction by
Lewis J. Rachmil 
 
Set Decoration by
James W. Payne (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Barney Briskin .... production manager (uncredited)
Alfred Raboch .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Sherwood .... assistant director
Lee Sholem .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Julia Heron .... interiors
Harry Horner .... associate production designer
 
Sound Department
Paul Neal .... sound technician
Thomas T. Moulton .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Jack Cosgrove .... special photographic effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Coburn .... still photographer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Edward P. Lambert .... wardrobe
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Irvin Talbot .... orchestral director
Jerome Moross .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Edward P. Goodnow .... technical advisor
Sol Lesser .... presenter
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
90 min | 89 min (Hypercube restored version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | USA:Not Rated | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #6071)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60-minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 6, 1940, with William Holden and Martha Scott reprising their film roles.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Soundtrack:
The Wedding MarchSee more »

FAQ

Is 'Our Town' based on a book?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
What is 'Our Town' about?
See more »
12 out of 15 people found the following review useful.
Classic Americana, 29 May 2001
Author: rollo_tomaso (rollo_tomaso@excite.com) from New York, NY

Beautiful and poetic movie blends great score, direction and acting into a symphonic ode to small-town life in turn-of-the-century America. This movie is purely about the poetry behind human trials and tribulations. It is also a marvelous time capsule that should be shown to any literature class transmitting perfectly the soul of pre-war America. I recommend it as a family movie to all.

The rest of this review deals with the other reviewers since it has been made clear by what I have read that the IMDB "no spoilers" rule strangely does not apply to Our Town. True, the movie was no more Thornton Wilder's play than Yentl was Isaac Bashevis Singer's short story or Educating Rita was Willy Russell's play or Christine was Steven King's book to name just three which were radically changed to accommodate the director's vision of what a movie based on these materials should say to the moviegoing audience. King has said words to the effect that, "(paraphrasing...) My book is my book. When I sell my rights to the movie-makers to use my book as a platform for a film, it is precisely that which I do. The movie is not my book any more than How The West Was Won is history. It is merely the participating artists' vision of the source material." The late James Michener has voiced similar opinions.

Admittedly, others like Gore Vidal have felt damaged when three lines were omitted. They view their text as sacrosanct. My suggestion to them is to emulate J. D. Salinger. If you don't want your work changed, do not sell the rights; a movie is not a book or a play; it is a movie.

For what it is worth, I had read the play first, was depressed by it, and was personally surprised, delighted, and enraptured by the lyrical ending which, to me, remained more true to the entire spirit of the movie (a la Sam Wood's Goodbye Mr. Chips -- still one of my all-time favorites, also not 100% true to James Hilton's book)than the original bummer ending would have, since the tone had been lightened and lyricized throughout. But, this is what artistic expression and interpretation is all about. Different eyes, minds, and hearts see and interpret the same things differently. Sam Wood, like Thornton Wilder, was an artist, not a mechanic, as were the other artists involved in the movie. What lives is their interpretation of the source material to make a movie that is an ode to small-town American life rather than Wilder's essay on the unbearable lightness of being, as it were.



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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Depressing ending jiw2
A few Questions that I need help on... anunknownstory
Too bad the musical version is not around barjo4
A lovely new short film about it Michelle1969
Original book/script text? Valmier
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