7.7/10
4,046
62 user 22 critic

The Good Earth (1937)

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 Lotus.

Directors:

Sidney Franklin, Victor Fleming (uncredited) | 2 more credits »

Writers:

Talbot Jennings (screen play), Tess Slesinger (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Won 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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 <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

China . . . . Land of unrest . . . tomorrow they may Starve !

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La buena tierra See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

Black and White (Sepiatone)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of Ernest Borgnine's five favourite films. See more »

Goofs

Unexplained sequence of events or possible error in continuity. Toward the beginning of the film, Farmer Wang walks to the Great House to meet his bride, O-Lan. He is carrying a basket. It appears to be empty. As he enters a market, the farmer declines to buy peaches. We don't see him purchase goods or trade for anything. We don't see him filling the basket. However, the next scene shows him at the door of the house with a full basket. Later, he does buy peaches. At this point, however, we're still not made aware how he has money or silver. See more »

Quotes

Aunt: When a farmer buys silk robes and washes his whole body every day, there's a woman. That's sure !
Uncle: But a rich man may have two wives but the wife must cling to her husband. That is as it should be.
Aunt: That's right. A woman is allowed but one mistake.
Uncle: Of course. Now then, it is said: you may see a teapot with four teacups, but did you ever see a teacup with four teapots ?
Aunt: It is also said: do you ever see two spoons in the same bowl that do not knock against each other ?
See more »

Crazy Credits

The type-style used appears to be lettering hammered into brass. Even the style of the letters seems to be from china or Asia. Note the style on "N" and "O". See more »

Connections

Featured in Irving Thalberg: Prince of Hollywood (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Classic
22 July 2006 | by artzauSee all my reviews

This film was released the year I was born and will be, like me, 70 in 2007. I watched it again last night having not seen it since high school. While it was full of 30's sentiment and the acting was a bit stereotyped, nevertheless, it was superb. Pearl S. Buck's story did come alive through the magic of the chemistry of Luise Rainer and Paul Muni. The novel which earned Ms. Buck the Nobel Prize for literature comes alive under the baton of Sydney Franklin which along with an excellent script recounts the story of peasant farmer, Wang Lung, whose father obtains a bride for him, a slave girl from the kitchen of a local landlord. In Buck's story, Wang's success is underwritten by his willingness to listen to his wife, most of the time, and the love of the land. In the end he comes to realize that his wife, like the land, is the source of his wealth, happiness and immortality. Buck's stories always had strong women cast in a critical spot to influence the outcome of events in the pre-feminist world. The German-born Luise Rainer brings a tentative but determined Peasant Chinese woman to life in her portrayal of Olan. Muni likewise captures the naive but honorable Wang, eventually caught between the two worlds of the wealthy and the peasant. Other classic characters include Charlie Grapewin, Dorothy Gale's Kansan Uncle Henry from the Wizard of Oz, Walter Connelly as the mewing, conniving uncle and Keye Luke as Number One Son-- but this time, not Charlie Chan's.

A classic might be defined as a movie you can watch time and again and never tire of. If that's indeed the case, this film is a classic, no doubt whatsoever.


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