7.7/10
4,037
62 user 22 critic

The Good Earth (1937)

Although married Chinese farmers Wang and O-Lan initially experience success, their lives are complicated by declining fortunes and lean times, as well as the arrival of the beautiful young Lotus.

Directors:

Sidney Franklin, Victor Fleming (uncredited) | 2 more credits »

Writers:

Talbot Jennings (screen play), Tess Slesinger (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Muni ... Wang
Luise Rainer ... O-Lan
Walter Connolly ... Uncle
Tilly Losch ... Lotus
Charley Grapewin ... Old Father
Jessie Ralph ... Cuckoo
Soo Yong Soo Yong ... Aunt
Keye Luke ... Elder Son
Roland Lui Roland Lui ... Younger Son
Suzanna Kim Suzanna Kim ... Little Fool
Ching Wah Lee Ching Wah Lee ... Ching
Harold Huber ... Cousin
Olaf Hytten Olaf Hytten ... Liu - Grain Merchant
William Law William Law ... Gateman
Mary Wong Mary Wong ... Little Bride
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Storyline

The story of a farmer in China: a story of humility and bravery. His father gives Wang Lung a freed slave as wife. By diligence and frugality the two manage to enlarge their property. But then a famine forces them to leave their land and live in the town. However it turns out to be a blessing in disguise for them... Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

China . . . . Land of unrest . . . tomorrow they may Starve !

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La buena tierra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The mob scene involved 1500 extras. See more »

Goofs

When Wang Lung and his family are waiting for the train, the locomotive that passes behind them has a number clearly visible on the front of the boiler. When the same train is seen approaching the crowds, the locomotive does not have a number and is not the same design. See more »

Quotes

Ching: Hunger makes men mad.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The type-style used appears to be lettering hammered into brass. Even the style of the letters seems to be from china or Asia. Note the style on "N" and "O". See more »

Connections

Featured in Another Romance of Celluloid (1938) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A good Hollywood epic
10 April 2000 | by Servo-11See all my reviews

I watched this movie with some curiosity. I wanted to see if 1) Paul Muni could play Chinese and 2) Luise Rainer deserved her Oscar. I came away from the film thinking YES! Having seen Muni in only one film where he was quite hammy, I expected the same type of performance here. I was happily proved wrong. Although some might criticize him as being too childlike and stereotypically simple in the Hollywood idea of Asians, I thought he was just right in the role. Keye Luke, if he'd been given the chance to play a lead role, might have played him in much the same manner.

I was particularly impressed by the camera work and the use of crowd scenes, especially during the sacking of the palace where O-Lan was once a slave. The graphic and grim atmosphere of the firing squad and the drought made this an epic quite unlike others of the same time where it was all glitz and glitter. I watched this film from beginning to end enthralled. I can't say the same for the "epics" of today.


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