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The Green Promise (1949)

 -  Drama  -  22 March 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 194 users  
Reviews: 14 user

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 »



(original story and screenplay)
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Title: The Green Promise (1949)

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Complete credited cast:
Marguerite Chapman ...
Deborah Matthews
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


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

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Release Date:

22 March 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Green Promise  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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

Charming and Still Relevant
16 November 2009 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

Charming little farm family drama, made more so by Wood's incandescent performance. Her emotions from joy to alarm are so infectious, it's hard not to be moved. That scene of acceptance into 4H is a little marvel of the kind of uninhibited joy that somehow gets lost on the way to adulthood. True, at times she's a little much, yet it's hard not to believe she's actually feeling what she's conveying, sort of an untutored version of the Stanislavski method, at least as I understand it. I also like Marguerite Chapman's unsmiling farm girl. She's certainly a long way from the expected eye-batting coquette when handsome David Barkley (Paige) comes calling. There's a feeling that the responsibilities of surrogate motherhood are making her old beyond her years. It's an unusually realistic, if rather dour, performance.

Despite the warm family overtones, the script is far from sappy. Catch how Dad (Brennan) manipulates the family's democratic process. He wants the image of democratic equality at the same time he works it for his own advantage. There's a larger lesson here that remains topical for our own time. Also, note how Dad opts for short-term financial advantage over longer-term conservation by cutting down the hillside trees. Those roots provide long-term flood protection, but don't provide the immediate cash he needs. Thus, his motives are understandable, yet when rain comes, calamity results. We continue to be confronted by the environmental issue of short-term advantage versus long-term security; at the same time, the screenplay raises this concern long before its like became a national issue.

The values here may be conservative, but they're hardly hidebound. Catch Rev. Benton's (Stone) Sunday morning sermon. It's really a recognition of the importance of science as both a source of knowledge and a potential benefit to our lives. The message is also a long way from the type of dogmatic conservatism that sees the Bible as the last word on either worldly wisdom or natural history. Then too, the values of 4H and the family farm are as relevant now as they were then, perhaps more so now that the hard lessons of industrial farming have entered our food supply. My general point is that the movie may be dated in some ways, but the screenplay remains an intelligent one even 60 years later.

Unfortunately, the version I last saw (on TMC) was edited and failed to include the now notorious bridge scene referred to by other reviewers. It also failed to include at least one other important scene I recall from an earlier version. So viewers should be alert to edited versions. Nonetheless, the movie is generally under-rated and combines both solid entertainment values with a well thought out message that makes for very worthwhile viewing.

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You can find this on w/bridge scene Ten-Inch-Toni
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