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86 user 33 critic

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

PG | | Drama, Romance | March 1945 (USA)
Trailer
2:15 | Trailer
Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writers:

Tess Slesinger (screen play), Frank Davis (screen play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dorothy McGuire ... Katie Nolan
Joan Blondell ... Aunt Sissy
James Dunn ... Johnny Nolan
Lloyd Nolan ... Officer McShane
James Gleason ... McGarrity
Ted Donaldson ... Neeley Nolan
Peggy Ann Garner ... Francie
Ruth Nelson ... Miss McDonough
John Alexander ... Steve Edwards
B.S. Pully B.S. Pully ... Christmas Tree Vendor
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Storyline

In Brooklyn circa 1900, the Nolans manage to enjoy life on pennies despite great poverty and Papa's alcoholism. We come to know these people well through big and little troubles: Aunt Sissy's scandalous succession of "husbands"; the removal of the one tree visible from their tenement; and young Francie's desire to transfer to a better school...if irresponsible Papa can get his act together. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Great and Haunting Book Pours Its "Heart" Out on the Screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild depiction of mature plot material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After being so impressed by the dailies of the film, executives at Fox wanted to re-shoot the entire movie in Technicolor, but Elia Kazan refused. See more »

Goofs

The portrait of General Washington in Francie's classroom was issued nationwide to public schools and buildings in 1932 to mark the bicentennial of his birth. The chronology of the story has events taking place at least 20 years earlier. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Katie Nolan: This'll be the last of them now, Francie.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gossip Girl: Bonfire of the Vanity (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

An der schönen, blauen Donau (On the Beautiful Blue Danube), Op. 314
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played when the tree is getting cut
See more »

User Reviews

Go Forth Into the World and Make Thy Dreams Come True.
10 July 2004 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

A youngster (Peggy Ann Garner) in circa 1900 Brooklyn dreams of a suitable education and ultimately a better life. She and her young brother (Ted Donaldson) experience highs and lows as their lives are followed in a documentary-style format that creates a realistic and compassionate view. Poverty is tough in the area though as mother Dorothy McGuire (in arguably her greatest role) and father James Dunn (in one of the finest performances ever captured on film, he deservedly won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1945) have a hard time making ends meet. McGuire has a difficult time seeing the bright things in their lives, while Dunn (a hopeless alcoholic) treats everyone, including strangers on the street, with love, respect and understanding. Dunn sees greatness in Garner, even when most do not, and does his best to see that her hopes do come true. The title is symbolistic as a large tree in front of the family's low-rent apartment is about to be cut down to their dismay. It also refers to the fact that Garner is growing up and showing maturity way beyond her years; she is literally branching out and letting her leaves flourish. First-time director Elia Kazan arguably does the best work of any film-maker who had never completed a feature previously as he just lets Betty Smith's wonderful novel unfold methodically with a deliberate pace, tone and style. The screenplay yielded Oscar nominations for adapters Frank Davis and Tess Sleringer. Dunn, an actor who had a very pedestrian career, showed just how much of a hidden talent he really was. He is the straw that mixes the entire movie into an American classic. Arguably one of the top 10 films of the 1940s and one of the best features of all time. 5 stars out of 5.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1945 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lazos humanos See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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