John and Mary sims are city-dwellers hit hard by the financial fist of The Depression. Driven by bravery (and sheer desperation) they flee to the country and, with the help of other workers, set up a farming community - a socialist mini-society based upon the teachings of Edward Gallafent. The newborn community suffers many hardships - drought, vicious raccoons and the long arm of the law - but ultimately pull together to reach a bread-based Utopia.Written by
This film premiered at the Century of Progress International Exposition in Chicago on July 30, 1934 at the 15,000 seat Lagoon Theater. King Vidor was on hand along with many foreign dignitaries in Chicago for the World's Fair. After the film's premiere it was cut by more than ten minutes for its national release. Many of the cast from the original showing are missing in the currently available prints. See more »
Don't worry Mary. I know things are hard now but we'll make it in the end.
But how, John? Who's going to save us?
Not who, Mary, what. The bread will save us, the bread.
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Desperate people set in desperate Great Depression times try to eke out a living on an abandoned farm. Rousing for its "back to the land" pioneering spirit of people from all walks of life forced to help each other start a new life (or starve). The film preaches self-reliance (away from expecting government assistance), yet encourages people to help each other (in a somewhat Socialistic sense), so there are mixed messages here. There seems to be an undercurrent not to trust the various forms of government either.
Parts of this film are greater than the whole, with uneven performances and some hackneyed "girl tries to steal husband" scenes that make you want to fast-forward... Director King Vidor managed to get "OK" performances out of some of the lesser (amateur?) performers (some of which never made another film).
I've seen this film dozens of times for its most interesting scenes, tops of which include the famous ditch digging scene at the films end.
Unlike Grapes of Wrath, Our Daily Bread is overall optimistic that the individual can rise above dire straits to triumph through "work, work without stopping." Unfortunately, this film has enough flaws in story and acting to keep it from anywhere near the masterpiece status Grapes of Wrath has achieved.
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