7.7/10
4,064
63 user 22 critic

The Good Earth (1937)

Passed | | Drama, Romance | 6 August 1937 (USA)
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
Edit

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

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

MGM was initially keen on the idea of filming on location in China, as was the Chinese Nationalist government at the time, although Pearl S. Buck's novel was not well liked by the authorities. Nationalist leader Gen. Kai-Shek Chiang himself pushed for the production, as did his powerful wife Madame Chiang, but they insisted on full censorial control, which MGM simply would not grant. Instead, the studio shot the film the way it wanted to in California. 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

Wang Lung: Where are all these soldiers going ?
Unidentified laborer: They say there's a revolution coming.
Wang Lung: Revolution ? What is revolution ?
Unidentified laborer: I don't know but it has something to do with food.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Introduction played with opening credits: The soul of great nation is expressed in the life of its humblest people. In this simple story of a Chinese farmer may be found something of a the soul of china - its humility, its courage, its deep heritage from the past and its vast promise for the future. See more »

Connections

Featured in Some of the Best (1944) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A great old Hollywood classic
6 April 2001 | by timmaukSee all my reviews

This is where the term "classic film" comes from. This is a wonderful story of a woman's bravery, courage and extreme loyalty. Poor Olan got sold to her uncaring husband, who through the years learned to appreciate her. (Yeah right, A PEARL!!)

Luise Rainer was the beautiful star who had won the Best Actress Oscar the year before for her small role (and what a waste of an oscar) in "The Great Zigfield". It really didn't show what, if any, talent she had other than her exotic beauty. But in "Good Earth" she shows that she can really act! Her beauty was erased and she had no great costumes either. People say that she didn't show any real emotions in this film. Like hell. Her character Olan is a shy and timid woman, with inner strength. She is quiet during parts of the film with only her eyes and body to convey her emotions. Example: those scenes during the fall of the city and when looters were being shot. If you people are saying that she doesn't act well in this film, you are NOT looking!

Paul Muni shows that he can act as well. His character is not a likeable one to me. He never sees her for what she is, until the very end of the story. A sweet loving and dedicated wife and mother, with her own special beauty. The greatest one of all, the beauty from within, like a pearl.

If you get a chance to see this film, watch it. You will see one of the best films that the golden age of Hollywood created.


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