"Our Town" Is Released

Our Town is a 1940 film adaptation of a play of the same name by Thornton Wilder starring William Holden, Martha Scott, Fay Bainter, Beulah Bondi, Thomas Mitchell, Guy Kibbee and Frank Craven.

It was adapted by Harry Chandlee, Craven and Wilder. It was directed by Sam Wood. The movie was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Scott, who repeated her stage role as Emily Webb, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and Aaron Copland was nominated for Best Score. The film was a faithful reproduction of the play except for two significant changes: the film used scenery, where the play had not, and the events of the third act, which in the play revolve around the death of one of the main characters, were turned into a dream that she awakens from, able to resume a normal life.

Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Our Town is given the Hollywood treatment in this adaptation directed by Sam Wood featuring an evocative score by Aaron Copland and outstanding production design by William Cameron Menzies. Frank Craven is Mr. Morgan, the narrator and our guide through the small town of Grover's Corners in the more innocent American times of 1901, 1904, and 1913. Mr. Morgan chronicles the lives of a handful of Grover's Corners citizens, centering upon Emily Webb (Martha Scott), the daughter of the local newspaper editor (Guy Kibbee), and George Gibbs (William Holden), the son of the local doctor (Thomas Mitchell). Emily and George fall in love and the film details their difficult courtship, marriage, and tragic childbirth. The film was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, losing out to Rebecca. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide