The Good Earth ()

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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... See more »

  • Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations.
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Cast verified as complete

Old Father
Soo Yong ...
Elder Son
Roland Lui ...
Younger Son
Suzanna Kim ...
Little Fool
Ching Wah Lee ...
Olaf Hytten ...
Liu - Grain Merchant
William Law ...
Mary Wong ...
Little Bride
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Revolutionary Army Captain (uncredited)
Philson Ahn ...
Man (uncredited)
Caroline Chew ...
Teahouse Dancer (uncredited)
Mitzi Cummings ...
Chinese Girl (uncredited)
Jack Don ...
Chinese Peasant (uncredited)
Teahouse Singer (uncredited)
Roland Got ...
Younger Son (uncredited)
Betty Soo Hoo ...
Baby (uncredited)
James B. Leong ...
Chinese Peasant (uncredited)
Chinese Girl Singing and Playing Mandolin (uncredited)
Bessie Loo ...
Chinese Woman (uncredited)
Chinese Farmer (uncredited)
Clarence Lung ...
Boy (uncredited)
Banker (uncredited)
Miki Morita ...
Wang's House Guest (uncredited)
Lily Mui ...
Child (uncredited)
Layne Tom Jr. ...
Chinese Boy (uncredited)
Chinese Peasant (uncredited)
Chinese Man (uncredited)
Iris Wong ...
Chinese Woman (uncredited)
Marcella Wong ...
Baby (uncredited)
Shirley Wu ...
Baby (uncredited)
Chinese Peasant (uncredited)

Directed by

Sidney Franklin
Victor Fleming ... (uncredited)
Gustav Machatý ... (uncredited)
Sam Wood ... (uncredited)

Written by

Talbot Jennings ... (screen play) &
Tess Slesinger ... (screen play) and
Claudine West ... (screen play)
Pearl S. Buck ... (based upon the novel by)
Frances Marion ... () (uncredited)

Produced by

Albert Lewin ... associate producer
Irving Thalberg ... executive producer (uncredited)

Music by

Herbert Stothart

Cinematography by

Karl Freund ... (photographed by)

Film Editing by

Basil Wrangell ... film editor
Ben Lewis ... supervising film editor: MGM (uncredited)

Editorial Department

Slavko Vorkapich ... montage
Peter Ballbusch ... montage (uncredited)
Tom Held ... editing staff (uncredited)
Ben Lewis ... assistant editor (uncredited)
Charles T. Trego ... montage (uncredited)

Art Direction by

Cedric Gibbons

Costume Design by

Herbert Neuwirth ... (uncredited)

Makeup Department

Jack Dawn ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Max Factor ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Charles Gemora ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Cecil Holland ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Norbert A. Myles ... makeup artist: Charley Grapewin (uncredited)
Web Overlander ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Mike Ragan ... makeup artist (uncredited)
Robert J. Schiffer ... makeup artist (uncredited)
William Tuttle ... makeup artist (uncredited)

Production Management

Dave Friedman ... production manager (uncredited)
Frank Messenger ... production manager (uncredited)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Hugh Boswell ... assistant director (uncredited)
Fred Niblo ... second unit director (uncredited)
Hezi Tate ... assistant director (uncredited)

Art Department

A. Arnold Gillespie ... associate art director (as Arnold Gillespie)
Harry Oliver ... associate art director
Edwin B. Willis ... associate art director
Tom Gubbins ... props: China (uncredited)
F. Suie One ... props and Chinese artifacts (uncredited)

Sound Department

Douglas Shearer ... recording director

Special Effects by

James Basevi ... special effects: locust sequence (uncredited)
Dave Friedman ... special effects: locust sequence (uncredited)
James Curtis Havens ... special effects: locust sequence (uncredited)


Jewel Jordan ... stunt double: Luise Rainer (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Charles G. Clarke ... photographer: China (uncredited)
Ben M. Cohen ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Russell A. Cully ... photographer: China (uncredited)
George W. Hill ... supervising photographer: China (uncredited)
Mason Hooper ... photographer: backgrounds and process shots (uncredited)
Walter Lundin ... camera operator: Cedar City (uncredited)
Gustav Machatý ... director of process photography (uncredited)
Ray Ramsey ... camera operator (uncredited)
H.C. Smith ... photographer: China (uncredited)
Harkness Smith ... assistant camera (uncredited)
Frank Tanner ... still photographer (uncredited)
'Newreel' Wong ... photographer: China (uncredited)

Casting Department

Chester Gann ... casting: Chinese extras (uncredited)
William Grady ... casting: Chinese extras (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

Dolly Tree ... wardrobe
Tom Gubbins ... costumes: China (uncredited)
Eugene Joseff ... costume jeweller (uncredited)

Music Department

Wayne Allen ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Clifford Vaughan ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Edward Ward ... composer: additional music (uncredited)

Other crew

Donald Davis ... adapted for the stage by
Owen Davis ... adapted for the stage by
Victor Adams ... stand-in: Paul Muni (uncredited)
Marian Ainslee ... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
Pearl S. Buck ... technical advisor (uncredited)
Marc Connelly ... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
Howard Dietz ... press representative (uncredited)
Jules Furthman ... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
DuBose Heyward ... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
James Lee ... technical advisor (uncredited)
Clarence Locan ... publicist (uncredited)
Frances Marion ... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
John M. Nickolaus ... laboratory supervisor: sepia tinting (uncredited)
Bessie Ochs ... technical advisor: China (uncredited)
Yee On ... supervisor of landscapes (uncredited)
'Dutch' Pettit ... pigtail braider (uncredited)
Franz Schulz ... screenplay constructor (uncredited)
Frank Tong ... assistant: Harry Oliver (uncredited)
Y.S. Tsao ... technical advisor (uncredited)
General Ting-Hsiu Tu ... technical advisor (uncredited)


Irving Thalberg ... we dedicate this picture to the memory of (as Irving Grant Thalberg)
Crew verified as complete

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Plot Summary

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

Plot Keywords
Taglines China . . . . Land of unrest . . . tomorrow they may Starve ! See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • La terre chinoise (France)
  • Die gute Erde (Germany)
  • La buena tierra (Spain)
  • Visages d'orient (Belgium, French title)
  • Az édes anyaföld (Hungary)
  • See more »
  • 138 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $2,800,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia Special effects experts were unable to produce an authentic-looking locust plague. Just as they were about to abandon the scene, they received word that a real locust plague was taking place several states away. A camera crew was rushed to the scene to capture it on film. See more »
Goofs When Wang Lung looks up and notices the second wind during the locust scene you can see a man walking in the background from left to right wearing normal clothes and a white hat and smoking what looks like a cigar. See more »
Movie Connections Edited into Dragon Seed (1944). 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 »
Quotes O-Lan: When I go back in that house, it will be with my son in my arms. I'll have a red coat on him... and red flower trousers... and a hat with a gilded Buddha and tiger-faced shoes, and I'll go into the kitchen where I spent my days as a slave and into the great hall where the old mistress sits with her pipe, and I'll show myself and my son to all of them.
O-Lan: [Smiles, contented] Hmm.
Wang Lung: Well... Now, I... I haven't heard you speak so many words since you came to this house.
See more »

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