6.8/10
2,058
54 user 12 critic

Our Town (1940)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 24 May 1940 (USA)
Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century. People grow up, get married, live, and die. Milk and the newspaper get delivered every morning, and nobody locks... See full summary »

Director:

Sam Wood

Writers:

Thornton Wilder (play), Thornton Wilder (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 6 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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The story of the fictional American small town of Grover's Corners between 1901 and 1913 through the everyday lives of its citizens.

Director: George Schaefer
Stars: Hal Holbrook, Ned Beatty, Barbara Bel Geddes
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Holden ... George Gibbs
Martha Scott ... Emily Webb
Fay Bainter ... Mrs. Gibbs
Beulah Bondi ... Mrs. Webb
Thomas Mitchell ... Dr. Gibbs
Guy Kibbee ... Mr. Webb
Stuart Erwin ... Howie Newsome
Frank Craven ... Mr. Morgan
Doro Merande ... Mrs. Soames
Philip Wood Philip Wood ... Simon Stimson
Ruth Tobey Ruth Tobey ... Rebecca Gibbs (as Ruth Toby)
Douglas Gardner Douglas Gardner ... Wally Webb
Arthur B. Allen Arthur B. Allen ... Professor Willard (as Arthur Allen)
Charles Trowbridge ... Dr. Ferguson
Spencer Charters ... Constable Warren
Edit

Storyline

Change comes slowly to a small New Hampshire town in the early 20th century. People grow up, get married, live, and die. Milk and the newspaper get delivered every morning, and nobody locks their front doors. Written by John Oswalt <jao@jao.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The screen's most unusual picture. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 May 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nuestro pueblo See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sol Lesser Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Hypercube restored)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The poster advertising for this film made it sound as if it were a tense psychological melodrama about somewhat scandalous characters, which it most certainly wasn't. See more »

Goofs

The Stage Manager mentions the "Boston train" and the "Albany train" passing through Grover's Corners, NH. The Boston-Albany train line did not (and does not) enter New Hampshire. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Morgan: [Opening] The name of our town is Grover's Corners, New Hampshire. It's just cross the line from Massachusetts. Latitude is 42 degrees, 40 minutes. Longitude is 70 degrees, 37 minutes. Running right through the middle of the town is Main Street. Cutting across Main Street on the left is the railroad tracks. Beyond the railroad tracks is Polish Town. You know, foreign folks who come here to work in the mills or a couple of Canuck families, and the Catholic church. You can see the steeple on the ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Vampire Diaries: Our Town (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played on an organ after the wedding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
I liked it
23 February 2004 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

I've never read the play or seen it performed. All I knew is that it won a Pulitzer Prize and was constantly being done by community theatres. Also there are at least FOUR made for TV versions (this is the only theatrical one). I figured it was time I finally saw it.

From what I can gather, this is a heavily edited version (the TV versions run from 2 to 3 hours) and I KNOW the ending was changed (because of the Production Code). Still I liked it for what it was. Also I saw a recently restored version so it looks pretty good (considering it's over 60 years old).

It's just about life in a small New Hampshire town from 1901 to 1940. It concerns various characters but mostly centers on Emily Webb (Martha Scott) falling in love with George Gibbs (William Holden). It also flawlessly recreates a small town in the early 20th century. Everybody knows everybody else, they all live comfortably with each other, nobody locks their doors at night...combine that with some breath taking production design by William Cameron Menzies and it creates a very comfortable, idyllic feeling. Also some of the shots of the town at night were just beautiful.

A lot of people complain about the total lack of chemistry between Scott and Holden. They're not wrong but this was Scott's first film and Holden's third (I believe)...they were still young and learning. As it is, it's incredible to see Holden so young, handsome and full of life. Scott is very good also and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for this. They're backed up by a great cast of character actors from he 1930s--basically, nobody is bad. This didn't move me to tears like others said it did, but it WAS very moving. I'd like to see the other versions.

So, a pretty good view of small town life in the early 20th century.


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