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Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945)

Passed | | Drama, Family | September 1945 (USA)
3:27 | Trailer
A Norwegian farmer lovingly raises his daughter in rural World War II-era Benson Junction, Wisconsin.


Roy Rowland


Dalton Trumbo (screen play), George Victor Martin (book)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward G. Robinson ... Martinius Jacobson
Margaret O'Brien ... Selma Jacobson
James Craig ... Nels Halverson
Frances Gifford ... Viola Johnson
Agnes Moorehead ... Bruna Jacobson
Morris Carnovsky ... Bjorn Bjornson
Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins ... Arnold Hanson
Sara Haden ... Mrs. Bjornson
Greta Granstedt ... Mrs. Faraassen
Dorothy Morris ... Ingeborg Jensen
Arthur Space ... Pete Hanson
Elizabeth Russell ... Kola Hanson
Louis Jean Heydt ... Mr. Faraassen
Charles Middleton ... Kurt Jensen
Francis Pierlot Francis Pierlot ... Minister


Life in small town Wisconsin. Selma and Arnold, aged 7 and 5, pal around together between their two farms. Selma has a newborn calf that her father gave to her which she named 'Elizabeth'. Nels is the editor of the Fuller Junction Spectator and the kids just call him 'editor'. Viola is the new school teacher from the big city. While Nels wants to marry Viola, Viola does not want to live in a small quiet, nothing happening town. The biggest news is that Faraassen has built a new barn. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M-G-M's True-to-Life Drama


Drama | Family


Passed | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The title is taken from The Holy Bible, The Song of Solomon, Chapter 2-15: "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes." See more »


A cow does not have two stomachs as Martinius Jacobson says to the children in the barn. A cow actually has four stomachs. The Rumen, The Reticulum, The Omasum, and the Abomasum. See more »


[first lines]
Selma Jacobson: [walking down a dirt road in the country] Georgie's gonna be a farmer when he grows up, and he's gonna raise buffalo.
Arnold Hanson: Buffalo have all been killed - I know, my father killed them all.
Selma Jacobson: All the same, they aren't all dead. Anyway, that's what Georgie's gonna be when he grows up.
Arnold Hanson: When I grow up I'm gonna be a soldier, and shoot all the time.
[pretends to shoot a gun with a stick in his hand]
Arnold Hanson: I'll be fearless.
Selma Jacobson: I'm gonna be a WAC and I'm gonna shoot more than you do cause I'm older.
Arnold Hanson: No you won't...
See more »


Featured in A Night at the Movies: Merry Christmas! (2011) See more »


Joy to the World
(1719) (uncredited)
Music attributed to George Frideric Handel
Hymn by Isaac Watts (1719)
Arranged by Lowell Mason
Sung by all in Church
See more »

User Reviews

A Charming Film That Offers Lessons In Living
2 May 2005 | by gftbiloxiSee all my reviews

This simple story offers sentiment without saccharine in its story of a farming family in a small community. Episodic in nature, the film follows the adventures of daughter Selma (Margaret O'Brien) and her friend Arnold (Jackie "Butch" Jenkins) as they, like the crops under her parents' care, grow into caring, loving individuals.

The cast is the great thing here. O'Brien was a gifted little actress, charming in her prissiness, and Jenkins equals her as her slightly pouty friend. Both offer memorable performances--but the truly remarkable performances here, the ones for which the film should be prized, come from Edward G. Robinson and Agnes Moorehead, who are cast against type in the roles of Selma's parents. Robinson, of course, is best remembered for his tough-guy roles, full of energetic bluster; Moorehead is most often recalled as one of the most memorable shrews in Hollywood history. But both show the range of their talents in this film, playing quietly, simply, and very movingly--and one regrets that both (particularly Moorehead) were not given more opportunity to play such in-depth roles more often.

Ultimately, VINES is about how parents teach their children and shape their lives--and about how children, for good or ill, learn from their parents. Simply filmed, beautifully performed, and memorable from start to finish, it is a film that deserves wider recognition than it normally receives. An excellent family film that both parents and children will enjoy.

Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer

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Release Date:

September 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Frühling des Lebens See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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