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The Green Promise (1949)

 -  Drama  -  22 March 1949 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 197 users  
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A stubborn old farmer won't listen to any of his neighbors about how to improve the efficiency of his farm with modern methods, as he thinks "the old ways" were just fine. His three ... See full summary »

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Title: The Green Promise (1949)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Marguerite Chapman ...
...
Mr. Matthews
Robert Paige ...
David Barkley
...
Susan Matthews
Ted Donaldson ...
Phineas Matthews
Connie Marshall ...
Abigail Matthews
Robert Ellis ...
Buzz Wexford
Jeanne LaDuke ...
Jessie Wexford
Irving Bacon ...
Julius Larkins
...
Rev. Benton
Geraldine Wall ...
Mrs. Wexford
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Storyline

A stubborn old farmer won't listen to any of his neighbors about how to improve the efficiency of his farm with modern methods, as he thinks "the old ways" were just fine. His three daughters live on the farm with him, and the oldest one, a teenager, has fallen in love with a local boy. However, she knows that she is expected to help her father work the farm and is torn between her love for the local boy and her father's expectations for her to continue working the farm. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Drama

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22 March 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Grande Promessa  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The failure of the original copyright holder to renew the film's copyright resulted in it falling into public domain, meaning that virtually anyone could duplicate and sell a VHS/DVD copy of the film. Therefore, many of the versions of this film available on the market are either severely (and usually badly) edited and/or of extremely poor quality, having been duped from second- or third-generation (or more) copies of the film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting journey into rural America
27 September 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Green Promise is now remembered largely because the guys at RKO built a footbridge across a fake stream: the bridge collapsed too soon, Natalie fell into the water, broke her wrist, and was afraid of water ever after.

The movie itself is obviously intended to endorse the activities of 4-H, the activities of which continue to be laudable in many ways. I have had students at the college where I teach who have spent their youth as 4-H'ers and have had a great experience.

Walter Brennan is playing Walter Brennan as Amos McCoy in this outing, about 7 years before that series. It's a rather flat performance. The other stars are pretty much who we expect them to be; Milburn Stone is "Doc" a couple of years before "Gunsmoke" made its TV debut. (Was he "Doc" on the radio? I don't know.) Natalie Wood turns in a fine performance here... as Margaret O'Brien. It's interesting to watch; even more interesting to hear. Away from the TV, I actually thought it was Margaret--the most incredible, most uncanny child star ever, whose subsequent career was... negligible.

Some have suggested that this film has some sort of "conservative" agenda, but I am not so sure. It seems to me that the film's agrarian message was and is pertinent to an ideal of American rural life that has often been dismissed by more sophisticated critics. Had the script been written by a blacklisted screenwriter, it would probably be hailed as a masterpiece of populist cinema, like "The Plow That Broke the Plains" or "The Grapes of Wrath," but since it seems to be more typical of rural (Republican) America, it is dismissed.

Yes, this is a didactic film, and one that probably furthers the argument that the mimetic is more powerful that the didactic in theatre, but as an example of "instructive" film--like, as has been suggested, those movies that children who grew up in the fifties and sixties watched in the classroom, it is pretty darn convincing, and a paradigm for the genre. At the same time, when compared to masterpieces like "The Red Star" it--oh golly!--is probably of as much merit.


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