IMDb > The Sea of Grass (1947)
The Sea of Grass
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The Sea of Grass (1947) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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Release Date:
25 April 1947 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Spencer Tracy. Cattle baron . . ruthless, rugged! Katharine Hepburn. Fiery . . . fascinating gal from St. Louis! Robert Walker. Gun-shooting and gambling fool! Melvyn Douglas. He knew women! Soft words, Soft looks! See more »
Plot:
This western begins with St. Louis resident Lutie Cameron (Katharine Hepburn) marrying New Mexico cattleman Col... See more » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(11 articles)
A Year with Kate: State of the Union (1948)
 (From FilmExperience. 18 June 2014, 3:00 PM, PDT)

A Year with Kate: Song Of Love (1947)
 (From FilmExperience. 11 June 2014, 3:30 PM, PDT)

A Year with Kate: The Sea of Grass (1947)
 (From FilmExperience. 4 June 2014, 2:00 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Lumbering Western Melodrama Slow On The Draw But Mostly On Target See more (24 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Spencer Tracy ... Col. James B. 'Jim' Brewton

Katharine Hepburn ... Lutie Cameron Brewton

Robert Walker ... Brock Brewton

Melvyn Douglas ... Brice Chamberlain

Phyllis Thaxter ... Sara Beth Brewton

Edgar Buchanan ... Jeff, Cook on Brewton Ranch

Harry Carey ... Doc J. Reid
Ruth Nelson ... Selina Hall, Sam Hall's Wife
William 'Bill' Phillips ... Banty, Brewton Ranch Hand (as Wm. 'Bill' Phillips)
Robert Armstrong ... Floyd McCurtin (Brewton's attorney)
James Bell ... Sam Hall, Homesteader
Robert Barrat ... Judge Seth White, Salt Fork
Charles Trowbridge ... George Cameron
Russell Hicks ... Major Dell Harney
Trevor Bardette ... Andy Boggs, Homesteader
Morris Ankrum ... A.J. Crane, Attorney
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eddie Acuff ... Cattleman (uncredited)
Henry Adams ... Gambler (uncredited)
Erville Alderson ... First Station Agent (uncredited)
Myrtle Anderson ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Stanley Andrews ... Bill the Sheriff (uncredited)
Frank Austin ... Second Station Agent (uncredited)
Polly Bailey ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Dick Baron ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Jack Baxley ... Homesteader (uncredited)
Vangie Beilby ... Old Townswoman (uncredited)
Joseph E. Bernard ... Homesteader (uncredited)
Margaret Bert ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Robert Bice ... Brewton Ranch Hand (uncredited)

Barbara Billingsley ... Bridesmaid (uncredited)

Whit Bissell ... Ted, the Clerk (uncredited)
Chet Brandenburg ... Townsman (uncredited)
Joe Brockman ... Cattleman (uncredited)
Ralph Bucko ... Townsman (uncredited)
Marietta Canty ... Rachael (uncredited)
Nora Cecil ... Mrs. Ryan, Nurse (uncredited)
William Challee ... Deputy Sheriff (uncredited)
Wheaton Chambers ... Dean (uncredited)
Ruth Cherrington ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Naomi Childers ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Gertrude Chorre ... Brewton's Indian Nurse (uncredited)
Davison Clark ... Cattleman (uncredited)
Joseph Crehan ... Colorado Senator Grew (uncredited)
Sidney D'Albrook ... Townsman (uncredited)
Frank Darien ... Minister (uncredited)
Jack Davis ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)
Vernon Dent ... Train Conductor (uncredited)
Helen Dickson ... Piano Player Spectator (uncredited)
Mike Donovan ... Nester (uncredited)
Franz Dorfler ... Townsman (uncredited)
Budd Fine ... Brakeman (uncredited)

Douglas Fowley ... Joe Horton (uncredited)
Fred Gilman ... Cattleman (uncredited)

Ann Gowland ... Sarah Beth at Age 2 (uncredited)
Fred Graham ... Poker Game Spectator (uncredited)
Jesse Graves ... Luke (uncredited)
Charles Hagen ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Frank Hagney ... Poker Game Spectator (uncredited)
John Hamilton ... Forrest Hamilton (uncredited)

Jimmy Hawkins ... Brock at Age 5 (uncredited)
June Hedin ... Sarah Beth at Age 11 (uncredited)
Pat Henry ... Brock at Age 1 (uncredited)
Earle Hodgins ... Brewton Ranch Hand (uncredited)
Stuart Holmes ... Party Guest (uncredited)
William Holmes ... Gambler (uncredited)
Bob Ingersoll ... Station Loafer (uncredited)
Dick Johnstone ... Townsman (uncredited)
Jack Kenny ... Townsman (uncredited)
Rose Langdon ... Townswoman (uncredited)

Paul Langton ... Young Doctor (uncredited)
Larry Lathrop ... Messenger (uncredited)
Nolan Leary ... Homesteader (uncredited)
Ralph Littlefield ... Homesteader (uncredited)
Leota Lorraine ... Townswoman (uncredited)
George Magrill ... Homesteader (uncredited)
Robert Malcolm ... Townsman (uncredited)
Chief Many Treaties ... Indian (uncredited)
Mickey Martin ... Newsboy (uncredited)
Kermit Maynard ... Station Loafer (uncredited)
Charles McAvoy ... Homesteader (uncredited)

Charles Middleton ... Charley, Saloon Owner (uncredited)
Howard M. Mitchell ... Railroad Conductor (voice) (uncredited)
Skeets Noyes ... Beady-Eyed Man (uncredited)
Carol Nugent ... Sarah Beth at Age 7 (uncredited)
James O'Rear ... Piano Tuner (uncredited)
Norman Ollestad ... Brock at Age 8 (uncredited)
J.L. Palmer ... Townsman (uncredited)
Frank Pharr ... Station Loafer (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Homesteader (uncredited)
Obed 'Dad' Pickard ... Townsman (uncredited)
Bernice Pilot ... Maid (uncredited)
George Reed ... Uncle Nat (uncredited)
John Rice ... Cowboy (uncredited)
Dick Rich ... Loud-Mouthed Salt Fork Townsman (uncredited)
Duncan Richardson ... Brock at Age 3 (uncredited)
Buddy Roosevelt ... Ike Randall, Brewton Ranch Hand (uncredited)
Gene Roth ... Homesteader (uncredited)
Dick Rush ... Cattleman (uncredited)
Sam Savitsky ... Townsman (uncredited)
Phil Schumacher ... Townsman (uncredited)
Irving Smith ... Black Servant (uncredited)
Patty Smith ... Sarah Beth at Age 4 (uncredited)
Wyndham Standing ... Gambler (uncredited)
Jack Stoney ... Poker Game Spectator (uncredited)
Glenn Strange ... Bill Roach, Brewton Ranch Hand (uncredited)
Henry Sylvester ... Townsman (uncredited)
Forrest Taylor ... Homesteader (uncredited)

Ray Teal ... Cattleman (uncredited)
Laura Treadwell ... Townswoman (uncredited)
William Van Vleck ... Nester (uncredited)
Dorothy Vaughan ... Mrs. Hodges (uncredited)
John Vosper ... Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Eddy Waller ... Homesteader (uncredited)

Dan White ... Wake, Brewton Ranch Hand (uncredited)
Guy Wilkerson ... Brewton Ranch Hand (uncredited)
Bill Wolfe ... Homesteader (uncredited)
Rocky Woods ... Cattleman (uncredited)

Hank Worden ... Bill, Salt Fork Townsman (uncredited)

Directed by
Elia Kazan 
 
Writing credits
Conrad Richter (novel "The Sea of Grass")

Marguerite Roberts  and
Vincent Lawrence 

Produced by
Pandro S. Berman .... producer
 
Original Music by
Herbert Stothart 
 
Cinematography by
Harry Stradling Sr.  (as Harry Stradling)
 
Film Editing by
Robert Kern  (as Robert J. Kern)
 
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Paul Groesse 
 
Set Decoration by
Edwin B. Willis 
 
Costume Design by
Walter Plunkett 
Valles (costumes: men)
 
Makeup Department
Jack Dawn .... makeup designer
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair designer
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Sid Sidman .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Mildred Griffiths .... associate set decorator
Frank Wesselhoff .... painter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
 
Special Effects by
A. Arnold Gillespie .... special effects
Warren Newcombe .... special effects
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Irene .... costume supervisor
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Alberto Colombo .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Hugo Frey .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Albert Sendrey .... orchestrator (uncredited)
David Snell .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Carl 'Major' Roup .... script clerk (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
123 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Finland:S | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (PCA #11861, Adult Audience) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | West Germany:16 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In his autobiography, Elia Kazan said of this film: "It's the only picture I've ever made that I'm ashamed of. Don't see it."See more »
Quotes:
Brice Chamberlain:Why do women insist on loving men for what they want them to be instead of what they are?See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) (VG)See more »

FAQ

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
Lumbering Western Melodrama Slow On The Draw But Mostly On Target, 22 March 2012
Author: oldblackandwhite from North Texas sticks (see all my reviews)

The Sea Of Grass is slow moving and talky, but not as bad as many have portrayed it. If I told you without cluing you in on the title I had a top-production 1947 MGM picture staring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, and Melvyn Douglas, you would be expecting a glossy white telephone movie with a love triangle and lots of high melodrama from the three stars. That's essentially what you get here, only replace the white telephones with elk antler hat racks, the swank park avenue apartments with rambling ranch houses, and the busy New York street scenes with a dusty, one-horse, Nineteenth Century New Mexico town. The Sea Of Grass is a soap opera dressed up as a Western. If that is what you are expecting, instead of a traditional shoot-'em-up, you may be much more pleased with it.

The three stars deliver their usual stellar performances and three fine, textured character studies. Old, smoothie Douglas is particularly effective as a hard-edged attorney and later judge, cattle baron Tracy's stalwart opponent and Katherine's illicit lover, father of her second child. The large supporting cast shines, led by Edgar Buchanan and Harry Carry. Over rated Robert Walker is over-the-top as usual, but fun to watch. Production values are superb with terrific luminous, old nitrate black and white cinematography typical of the era, a rich Herbert Stodhart score, good, authentic costumes, great sets with some spectacular location scenery dovetailed in for long shots of Southwest grasslands and cliffs. Principally concentrating on relationships, the story moves along at a glacial pace, but the stars and an intelligent, if messy, script hold interest. Some of the dialog is a little preachy and overblown, but it is generally believable and satisfying. There is hardly any action until the last reels, and even then it is half-hearted and ultimately just peters out. The major subplot is the traditional Western theme of cattlemen versus homesteaders, but the eventual showdown comes early and is anti-climatic. Nevertheless, the movie is engrossing and enjoyable for the acting and the production values. It is refreshing to see a movie about the Old West that concentrates on decent real people and their real life problems instead of just dwelling on brawls between lowlifes who hang out in brothels and saloons.

The Sea Of Grass is not bad, but not as good as it should have been with all it had going for it. Director Elia Kazan reportedly said he was ashamed of the picture, and he should have been. The overly slow pacing, lack of spark between Tracy and Hepburn, and other problems clearly resulted from his flabby direction. With three top stars at the peaks of their careers, an intriguing story, and a big budget, The Sea Of Grass should have been a much better picture. And it would have been if Raoul Walsh had directed it.

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