Life in small town Wisconsin. Selma and Arnold, aged 7 and 5, pal around together between their two farms. Selma has a newborn calf that her father gave to her which she named 'Elizabeth'. Nels is the editor of the Fuller Junction Spectator and the kids just call him 'editor'. Viola is the new school teacher from the big city. While Nels wants to marry Viola, Viola does not want to live in a small quiet, nothing happening town. The biggest news is that Faraassen has built a new barn. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
One of Edward G. Robinson's most beloved films is this one in which he totally reverses type and becomes the wise father of Margaret O'Brien. Our Vines Have Tender Grapes and the tender grapes referred to are the children in their innocence, Margaret O'Brien and Jackie Jenkins.
In this rural Wisconsin town where few even have electricity, the settlers are mostly Norwegian immigrants who did like our American Midwest climate because it was so similar to Norway. They are a tight knit group and are a reserved bunch. But as the film shows, during a crisis they do come together.
O'Brien and Jenkins are an appealing pair of youngsters. Their childhood is a whole lot like Tom Sawyer's and Huck Finn's. Of course in one instance they try duplicating something Tom and Huck did that nearly turns tragic.
Agnes Moorehead also shows what a capable player she is in playing Robinson's wife and O'Brien's mother. I'm sure she was grateful for not playing an evil woman for a change.
There is a subplot involving a romance of editor James Craig and new school teacher Frances Gifford. Gifford is first quite resistant to the town, she's a big city girl, but she warms up to them and Craig.
But the film really belongs to Robinson and O'Brien. Robinson has a tough fight, but he more than holds his own in scenes with the little moppet. Sad he didn't do more films like this.
Our Vines Have Tender Grapes is a timeless classic, I think children and families of any age will identify and love it.
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