8.1/10
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Ruth Nelson ...
Miss McDonough
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Steve Edwards
B.S. Pully ...
Christmas Tree Vendor
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Storyline

In Brooklyn circa 1900, the Nolans manage to enjoy life on pennies despite great poverty and Papa's alcoholism. We come to know these people well through big and little troubles: Aunt Sissy's scandalous succession of "husbands"; the removal of the one tree visible from their tenement; and young Francie's desire to transfer to a better school...if irresponsible Papa can get his act together. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Great and Haunting Book Pours Its "Heart" Out on the Screen!

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild depiction of mature plot material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 August 1945 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Baum wächst in Brooklyn  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Besides Gene Tierney, Mary Anderson and Jeanne Crain were rumored for the Katie Nolan role, while it was reported that Phil Regan was the leading candidate for the role of Johnny. Alice Faye was the first actress considered for the role of Katie, not Aunt Sissie, according to the Hollywood Reporter in 1943. See more »

Goofs

When the girl is ironing, she never gets a hot iron off the stove; back then, said irons had to be heated from some heat source, usually the stove top. One was used while another was being heated, and then the person would switch when the one ironing got too cool to press the wrinkles out. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Katie Nolan: This'll be the last of them now, Francie.
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Connections

Featured in A Letter to Elia (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! You Beautiful Doll
(1911) (uncredited)
Music by Nat Ayer
Performed on piano during the opening credits
Played often in the score
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Go Forth Into the World and Make Thy Dreams Come True.
10 July 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A youngster (Peggy Ann Garner) in circa 1900 Brooklyn dreams of a suitable education and ultimately a better life. She and her young brother (Ted Donaldson) experience highs and lows as their lives are followed in a documentary-style format that creates a realistic and compassionate view. Poverty is tough in the area though as mother Dorothy McGuire (in arguably her greatest role) and father James Dunn (in one of the finest performances ever captured on film, he deservedly won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1945) have a hard time making ends meet. McGuire has a difficult time seeing the bright things in their lives, while Dunn (a hopeless alcoholic) treats everyone, including strangers on the street, with love, respect and understanding. Dunn sees greatness in Garner, even when most do not, and does his best to see that her hopes do come true. The title is symbolistic as a large tree in front of the family's low-rent apartment is about to be cut down to their dismay. It also refers to the fact that Garner is growing up and showing maturity way beyond her years; she is literally branching out and letting her leaves flourish. First-time director Elia Kazan arguably does the best work of any film-maker who had never completed a feature previously as he just lets Betty Smith's wonderful novel unfold methodically with a deliberate pace, tone and style. The screenplay yielded Oscar nominations for adapters Frank Davis and Tess Sleringer. Dunn, an actor who had a very pedestrian career, showed just how much of a hidden talent he really was. He is the straw that mixes the entire movie into an American classic. Arguably one of the top 10 films of the 1940s and one of the best features of all time. 5 stars out of 5.


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