7.7/10
4,036
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

Because the Sino-Japanese war was in progress, the Chinese government threatened not to approve the movie if any Japanese actors were cast in any role. See more »

Goofs

Unexplained sequence of events or possible error in continuity. Toward the beginning of the film, Farmer Wang walks to the Great House to meet his bride, O-Lan. He is carrying a basket. It appears to be empty. As he enters a market, the farmer declines to buy peaches. We don't see him purchase goods or trade for anything. We don't see him filling the basket. However, the next scene shows him at the door of the house with a full basket. Later, he does buy peaches. At this point, however, we're still not made aware how he has money or silver. 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

Referenced in Hold That Kiss (1938) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Wonderful movie, with stellar performances
5 May 2004 | by alfiefamilySee all my reviews

Let's eliminate any discussion about the use of non-Asian actors playing Asian roles. The movie is 67 years old. In 1937 studio chiefs believed that any actor could/should be able to play any role. Actors were under contracts, and did not always have a choice about what role they played. End of story.

This is a truly great epic story of love, individual rights, class strata, and men/women issues. The centerpiece of the film is two brilliant performances by Luise Rainer and Paul Muni.

Muni plays Wang, a Chinese farmer, who is about to take a wife (Rainer). From the start, he treats her with respect, during a time when women were looked on as little more than hired help. Without giving too much of the movie away, they go through the highs and lows of all relationships, and even though the story may take place in late 19th/early 20th century,the story and much of their feelings, seems credible.

Other than the fact that the movie is about 5-10 minutes longer than it needs to be, and the performances of Charley Grapewin and Walter Connolly are typical 1930's cartoon characters, this is a really wonderful movie that, unfortunately, has become a victim of political correctness.

9 out of 10


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