Tobacco Road (1941)

Approved  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  7 March 1941 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,391 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 9 critic

Shiftless Jeeter Lester and his family of hillbilly stereotypes live in a rural backwater where their ancestors were once wealthy planters. Their slapstick existence is threatened by a ... See full summary »



(based on the novel by), (stage play), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marjorie Rambeau ...
William Tracy ...
Dude Lester
Elizabeth Patterson ...
Ada Lester
Captain Tim
George Payne
Zeffie Tilbury ...
Russell Simpson ...
Chief of Police
Spencer Charters ...
County Clerk
Irving Bacon ...
Harry Tyler ...
Auto Dealer


Shiftless Jeeter Lester and his family of hillbilly stereotypes live in a rural backwater where their ancestors were once wealthy planters. Their slapstick existence is threatened by a bank's plans to take over the land for more profitable farming; subplots involve the affairs and marriages of son Dude and daughter Ellie May. Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ON THE SCREEN AT LAST! The Picture you've waited eight years to see...Picturized by the men who gave you "GRAPES OF WRATH" See more »


Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

7 March 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El camino del tabaco  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Broadway play by Jack Kirkland based on Erskine Caldwell's novel opened 4 December 1933 and set a record for longevity on Broadway when it closed on 31 May 1941 after 3,281 performances. It was revived on Broadway twice in the next two years, bring its total running time there to nearly ten years (1933-1943). Opened at the Theatre Masque and then moved to the 48th Street Theatre followed by the Forrest Theatre for the original production. The play was revived in 1942, 1943 and 1950. The original Broadway production is the seventeenth longest running show ever as of February, 2013. See more »


The morning following a torrential rain storm, dirt roads are absolutely dry. See more »


Lov Bensey: I want a young wife. I ain't gonna take no 23 year old woman for a wife, have everybody laughin' at me.
See more »


Referenced in The Lady Is Willing (1942) See more »


Shall We Gather at the River?
Written by Robert Lowry
Sung a cappella by Marjorie Rambeau and Charley Grapewin
Reprised by Charles Halton, Spencer Charters and others at the marriage bureau
Played as background music often
Sung by an offscreen chorus at the end
See more »

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User Reviews

Annoying and Boring
30 June 2008 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

In Georgia, near to the Savannah River, the lazy and crook hillbilly Jeeter Lester (Charley Grapewin) lives in the Tobacco Road with his wife Ada (Elizabeth Patterson), his son Dude (William Tracy) and his single daughter Ellie May (Gene Tierney) in a very poor condition. When the bank decides to take over his land, the banker George Payne (Grant Mitchell) is convinced by his friend Capt. Tim Harmon (Dana Andrews) to lease the land to Jeeter for US$ 100.00 per year. Jeeter plots a means to loan the amount from the widow Sister Bessie Rice (Marjorie Rambeau) that has just received U$ 800.00 from the life insurance company. However, Bessie decides to get married with Dude and uses the money to buy a brand new car for Dude. Jeeter plots a means to sell her car while he tries to marry Ellie May with his son-in-law Lov Bensey (Ward Bond) that was left by his wife.

"Tobacco Road" is absolutely overrated with a boring story that is not funny and annoying characters. Dude honking the horn of the car is irritating; Jeeter is a small time crook and thief that steals his own family and it is impossible to feel any empathy or sympathy for such hillbilly. My vote is four.

Title (Brazil): "Caminhos Ásperos" ("Rough Ways")

17 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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