"The Good Earth" Is Released
The Good Earth (1937) is a film about Chinese farmers who struggle to survive.
It was adapted by Talbot Jennings, Tess Slesinger, and Claudine West from the play by Donald Davis and Owen Davis, which was in itself based on the 1931 novel of the same name by Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck The film was directed by Sidney Franklin, Victor Fleming (uncredited) and Gustav Machaty (uncredited).
The film starred Paul Muni as Wang Lung. For her role as his wife O-Lan, Luise Rainer won an Academy Award for Best Actress. The film also won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Karl Freund. It was nominated for Best Director, Best Film Editing and Best Picture.
Based on Donald Davis and Owen Davis' stage-adaptation of Pearl S. Buck's sprawling novel, Sidney Franklin's The Good Earth is the story of a Chinese farming couple whose lives are torn apart by poverty, greed, and nature. Paul Muni stars as Wang Lung a hardworking, but poor, farmer who weds freed-slave O-Lan (Luise Rainer). They struggle to build a life together, but after finally finding success, a plague of locusts descends upon their land, bringing a true test of the couple's perseverance. For her performance, Luise Rainer won the second of back-to-back Best Actress Oscars, while cinematographer Karl Freund took home an Academy Award for his photography work. The Good Earth was the final film production of Irving Thalberg, who died before the film was completed. ~ Matthew Tobey, All Movie Guide