OUR DAILY BREAD is a wide-screen tableau of a feast which isn't always easy to digest - and in which we all take part. A pure, meticulous and high-end film experience that enables the audience to form their own ideas.
Claus Hansen Petz,
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
American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1931-1940 credits C.E. Anderson in the role of "blacksmith"; actually he plays the butcher who trades John a scrawny chicken for his ukulele. See more »
[warning her about John]
I don't know how long you're gonna be here or why, but that guy's married, so you lay off!
My gosh, ain't you anticipatory!
See more »
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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