The Good Earth (1937)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Romance

The Good Earth (1937) Poster

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.

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  • The Good Earth (1937)
  • Paul Muni and Luise Rainer in The Good Earth (1937)
  • Paul Muni in The Good Earth (1937)
  • The Good Earth (1937)
  • Paul Muni in The Good Earth (1937)
  • Charley Grapewin and Paul Muni in The Good Earth (1937)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

21 September 2000 | keven711
The Good Earth.... The Great O-Lan
The Good Earth is a film about love, marriage, family, and the land that you live on. But more precisely its about faithfulness to those institutions and bedrocks of society as shown through O-Lan and her farming family in China.

A wonderful story by Pearl Buck, Great direction by Sidney Franklin and Victor Fleming [uncredited], very good acting headed by Paul Muni, great cinematography by Karl Freund, and special effects 20 years ahead of their time make this a classic.

However as good as those elements to this film are the reason The Good Earth is one of the 100 greatest films of all time is O-Lan. O-Lan, O-Faithful O-Lan. How you linger in my memory. One of my two favorite female character-performances in film history. The other is Scarlett O'Hara. Two peas in a pod? No, more like night and day. Both beautiful in their own way. It amazes me that these two character-performances came from films directed by Victor Fleming within two years of each other. Louise Rainer as O-Lan gives a performance as subtle and subdued as the character she plays. While Vivien Leighs performance is as perky and over the top as the character she plays. O-Lan is discreet and selfless. Scarlett is brash and self-absorbed. O-What a double feature Gone With the Wind and The Good Earth would make. O-Lan and Scarlett. Ying and Yang.

If you are a "liberated woman" than The Good Earth may not be for you. But as for me, O-Lan is the salt of the good earth.

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