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 <email@example.com>
According to the Sunset Garden Book, the tree that grew in Brooklyn was an Ailanthus tree, or Tree of Heaven. It has naturalized itself over much of the U.S., to the point of being considered a weed tree, but it is still invaluable as an attractive windbreak and shade tree, adaptable under the harshest conditions. See more »
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 »
What a magnificent motion picture! Dorothy McGuire and Peggy Ann Garner give the greatest mother-daughter performances of all time. Betty Smith's book is a classic, and this film somehow manages to do it perfect justice in the first movie ever directed by Elia Kazan.
In many ways I feel privileged to be able to comment here because I may be the only "reviewer" in these pages to have been in Brooklyn very close to the time of this film (I was born in 1909). The film recaptures the feel, the mores, the neighborhood so magnificently, it is incredible. Every time I watch this movie, I feel as if I am revisiting my youth, albeit an idealized version.
Everyone who watches this movie should share it with the next generation of moviegoers. It truly is timeless.
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