A Norwegian farmer lovingly raises his daughter in rural World War II-era Benson Junction, Wisconsin.A Norwegian farmer lovingly raises his daughter in rural World War II-era Benson Junction, Wisconsin.A Norwegian farmer lovingly raises his daughter in rural World War II-era Benson Junction, Wisconsin.
In this rural Wisconsin town where few even have electricity, the settlers are mostly Norwegian immigrants who did like our American Midwest climate because it was so similar to Norway. They are a tight knit group and are a reserved bunch. But as the film shows, during a crisis they do come together.
O'Brien and Jenkins are an appealing pair of youngsters. Their childhood is a whole lot like Tom Sawyer's and Huck Finn's. Of course in one instance they try duplicating something Tom and Huck did that nearly turns tragic.
Agnes Moorehead also shows what a capable player she is in playing Robinson's wife and O'Brien's mother. I'm sure she was grateful for not playing an evil woman for a change.
There is a subplot involving a romance of editor James Craig and new school teacher Frances Gifford. Gifford is first quite resistant to the town, she's a big city girl, but she warms up to them and Craig.
But the film really belongs to Robinson and O'Brien. Robinson has a tough fight, but he more than holds his own in scenes with the little moppet. Sad he didn't do more films like this.
Our Vines Have Tender Grapes is a timeless classic, I think children and families of any age will identify and love it.
- Oct 10, 2007