A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

PG  |   |  Drama  |  2 August 1945 (Australia)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 5,229 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 23 critic

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



(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
James Dunn ...
Ted Donaldson ...
Ruth Nelson ...
Miss McDonough
John Alexander ...
Steve Edwards
B.S. Pully ...
Christmas Tree Vendor


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



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 August 1945 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Baum wächst in Brooklyn  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the June 1945 issue of Screenland Magazine costume designer Bonnie Cashin, in her column "Notes from a Designer's Diary" comments "If the average American girl could be the heroine of her own life story, and dress accordingly! This thought struck me more forcibly than it ever had before while I was fitting Dorothy McGuire for the part of Katie in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." Most of the girls want to look a little glamorous on screen (and off) whether the story calls for rags or riches. Not Dorothy. A stickler for characterization, she stood for hours in her old rags and ravels, suggesting a patch here, a droop there, deliberately deglamorizing herself in order to make sure that not a single bright thread should give the lie to Katie's threadbare life. Dorothy was playing a heroine of poverty and she dressed accordingly. So should we all, in the parts we play, in make believe, or in life. Joan Blondell didn't complain, either, when as Aunt Sissy, she had to wear the sort of ugly-period-of-1914 clothes, the high-topped shoes, the blousy blouses, the too-tight corset. "Oh, Bonnie," little Peggy Ann Garner said to me when we were making Francie's clothes, "oh, Bonnie, every picture they put me in I have to wear poor girls' clothes. Can't I have one good dress?" So we gave her the white graduation dress and the red roses and Peggy Ann accepted poverty and trouped through the picture, patiently ironing her one faded cotton (and she did iron it) and well content. See more »


[first lines]
Katie Nolan: This'll be the last of them now, Francie.
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Featured in Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey (1995) See more »


Daisy Bell
(1892) (uncredited)
aka "A Bicycle Built for Two"
Written by Harry Dacre
Performed by a calliope after buying the bread
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of my personal top ten
27 August 1999 | by See all my reviews

If I ever go to that deserted island with a VCR and ten movies, this would be one of them. This is one of those rare cases when the movie is nearly as good as the book. Peggy Ann Garner perfectly embodies the role of Francie Nolan, and her brother Neely is around to provide the comedy, and he's very funny. Of course, McGuire, Dunn and Blondell are great, but I enjoyed the children the most. Look for a very young Ruth Nelson, who plays a sympathetic teacher of Francie - the scene between them is very memorable. Overall I can't say enough great things about this movie - it should be seen by anyone & everyone.

51 of 54 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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