Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Classic Movie - The Good Earth

Classic Movie - The Good Earth
Black and white - 1937
Starring Paul Muni as Wang Lung and Luise Rainer as his wife O-Lan
Academy Award Winner for Best Actress and Best Cinematography

This movie is about Chinese farmers struggling to survive. Wang Lung is a farmer who marries O-Lan, a servant at the Great House. They call it the Great House because that is where the most powerful and rich family in their village lives.
Owning land is a big thing to farmers but it's very expensive to buy. Together the couple has 2 sons and 1 daughter. Everything is fine until a drought comes, bringing famine. Wang Lung can't decide if he should sell his land or not. He needs to find a way to feed his family.
Eventually, they follow the rest of the villagers south, to find work. They have to beg and steal to survive. After the drought they return home to their farmland but still struggle.
After years of struggling things turn around for the family and the boys get a great education. They help their father buy the Great House. But then he cheats on his wife with a young dancer he met. When a swarm of locusts threatens the village his oldest son tells them about making a firebreak. When the disaster is over, Wang Lung realizes what a fool he's been and makes up with his wife.
I like this movie. It's longer than most movies but they did not leave anything out.

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully photographed and a great adaptation of the book. A real find for students of film.