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The Good Earth (29-Jan-1937)

Director: Sidney Franklin

Writers: Talbot Jennings; Tess Slesinger; Claudine West

From novel: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

Musical Score by: Herbert Stothart

Keywords: Drama

Wang, a peasant farmer, marries the slave woman O-Lan, who bears him two sons and a daughter; and with time and sacrifice, they achieve some prosperity. Wang takes a second wife, a dancer. Won Oscars for Best Actress and Best Cinematography; received additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Editing.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Walter Connolly
8-Apr-1887 28-May-1940 It Happened One Night
Charley Grapewin
20-Dec-1869 2-Feb-1956 Tobacco Road
Tilly Losch
15-Nov-1903 24-Dec-1975 Ballet dancer, sometimes actress
Keye Luke
18-Jun-1904 12-Jan-1991 Charlie Chan's No. 1 Son, Lee
Paul Muni
22-Sep-1895 25-Aug-1967 The Life of Louis Pasteur
Luise Rainer
12-Jan-1910 30-Dec-2014 German film actress
Jessie Ralph
5-Nov-1864 30-May-1944 San Francisco


Paul Muni   ...   Wang
Luise Rainer   ...   O-Lan
Walter Connolly   ...   Uncle
Tilly Losch   ...   Lotus
Charley Grapewin   ...   Old Father
Jessie Ralph   ...   Cuckoo
Soo Yong   ...   Aunt
Keye Luke   ...   Elder Son
Roland Lui   ...   Younger Son
Suzanna Kim   ...   Little Fool
Ching Wah Lee   ...   Ching
Harold Huber   ...   Cousin
Olaf Hytten   ...   Liu, Grain Merchant
William Law   ...   Gateman
Mary Wong   ...   Little Bride


Review by anonymous (posted on 7-Feb-2007)

The Good Earth is based on the novel by Pearl S. Buck. It is the story of a humble farmer, Wang (Paul Muni), and his wife O-Lan (Luise Rainer) in China and depicts their struggles through famine and the revolution. The movie also illustrates the culture of the time, i.e., arranged marriages, lower status of women in Chinese society. The love and respect between the farmer and his wife are demonstrated through the actors' gestures and expressions - very little is spoken between them. Even when Wang becomes very prosperous and takes another wife, which is considered acceptable, the viewer can still see the love between him and O-Lan. Luise Rainer's acting is superb. Paul Muni's portrayal is also very good but his acting is a bit over the top at times (remnants of the silent movie era).

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