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The Plow That Broke the Plains (1936)

Unrated | | Documentary, Short, Drama | 10 May 1936 (USA)
This documentary is about what happened to the Great Plains of the United States and Canada when uncontrolled farming destroyed the soil and led to the Dust Bowl.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Thomas Chalmers ...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bam White ...
Farmer
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Storyline

This documentary is about what happened to the Great Plains of the United States and Canada when uncontrolled farming destroyed the soil and led to the Dust Bowl.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 May 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Pflug  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Three of the four cameramen (all but Paul Ivano) who worked on this film were fired by director/writer Pare Lorentz. Basically, they considered him too verbally script-oriented and not sufficiently visually oriented. One of these cameramen was Paul Strand, who went on to become one of America's most honored still photographers. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Donald Brittain: Filmmaker (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Reveille
Traditional
Played as part of the score when WWI breaks out
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User Reviews

 
Important historical images
12 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not quite ten years past the first full length talkie, this movie commentary could easily be imagined as written with intertitles. As another nod to the silent tradition, the music conveys much of the story, partly out of habit and partly to avoid they criticisms from the film industry had mounted against the film while still in production that the movie was simply a propaganda piece financed by the Roosevelt administration. The filmed images were necessary to educate people around the nation, be they politicians who railed against yet another alphabet organization to conserve the plains, or to the common people who saw the haunted "Okies" with sand blasted cars and faces coming to their states as unwelcome. For this reason, the film deserves to be preserved and viewed.

If you are having trouble finding the film, go to Wikipedia and click on "The Internet Archives" hypertext to see the movie online. If you want to get to the heartbreaking stories behind this enormous catastrophe, do read "The Worst Hard Time" by Timothy Egan, as recommended by another commentator. You will even get the background story to the mustachioed plowman and his family.


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