The Sea of Grass (1947) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Sea of Grass (1947)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Katharine Hepburn appears as a headstrong woman married to a tyrant rancher (Spencer Tracy) whose ruthless actions force her toward a kinder, gentler man (Melvyn Douglas). She has a child by Douglas and then returns to her husband Tracy, raising the son amidst a sea of scorn.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Western, Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Conrad Richter, Marguerite Roberts, Vincent Lawrence
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 23, 1991
Warner Home Video


Spencer Tracy
as Col. James B. 'Jim' ...
Katharine Hepburn
as Lutie Cameron Brewto...
Melvyn Douglas
as Brice Chamberlain
Robert Walker
as Brock Brewton
Phyllis Thaxter
as Sarah Beth Brewton
Harry Carey
as Doc Reid
Ruth Nelson
as Selina Hall
Robert Armstrong
as Floyd McCurtin
James Bell
as Sam Hall
Charles Trowbridge
as George Cameron
Russell Hicks
as Maj. Harney
Trevor Bardette
as Andy Boggs
Dan White
as Ike Randall
Glenn Strange
as Bill Roach
Douglas Fowley
as Joe Horton
John Rice
as Cowboy
Dorothy Vaughan
as Mrs. Hodges
Vernon Dent
as Conductor
Erville Alderson
as Station Agent
Jack Davis
as Foreman
Irving Smith
as Black Servant
Henry Adams
as Gambler
Joseph Crehan
as Sen. Graw
John Hamilton
as Forrest Cochran
John Vosper
as Hotel Clerk
Budd Fine
as Brakeman
James O'Rear
as Piano Tuner
Nora Cecil
as Mrs. Ryan
Gertrude Chorre
as Indian Nurse
Pat Henry
as Brock (age 1)
Ann Gowland
as Sarah Beth (age 2 1/...
Howard Mitchell
as Conductor
James O'Reare
as Piano Tuner
George H. Reed
as Uncle Nat
Frank Austin
as Station Agent
Patty Smith
as Sarah Beth (age 4 1/...
Duncan Richardson
as Brock (age 3)
Frank Pharr
as Station Loafer
Bob Ingersoll
as Station Loafer
Ray Teal
as Cattleman
Eddie Acuff
as Cattleman
Davison Clark
as Cattleman
Joe Brockman
as Cattleman
Rocky Wood
as Cattleman
Fred Gilman
as Cattleman
Dick Rush
as Cattleman
Carol Nugent
as Sarah Beth (age 7)
Jim Hawkins
as Brock, Age 5 1/2
Skeets Noyes
as Beady-Eyed Man
George Magrill
as Homesteader
Charles McAvoy
as Homesteader
Nolan Leary
as Homesteader
Eddy Waller
as Homesteader
Forrest Taylor
as Homesteader
Robert H. Barrat
as Judge White
Ralph Littlefield
as Homesteader
Frank Darien
as Minister
William Challee
as Deputy Sheriff
Dick Baron
as Newsboy
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News & Interviews for The Sea of Grass

Critic Reviews for The Sea of Grass

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

It seems wasteful to let two such good, attractive actors wander through a lavish production like thoroughbred somnambulists.

Full Review… | January 23, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

To the credit of Elia Kazan, it must be said that his direction has pace, but the writers and others have betrayed him.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Film is loaded with very superior acting and spectacular imaginative photography.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007
Top Critic

Fails to deliver the required action for a western.

Full Review… | October 1, 2014
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

At 131 minutes, this sprawling western was long on talk and short on action.

Full Review… | November 1, 2007
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Kazan had only made one previous film, and the stilted melodrama reflects the director's inexperience as he failed to get more than adequate performances from the two leads, whom he felt intimidated by.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for The Sea of Grass


Minor entry in the Hepburn/Tracy canon is justifiably obscure. The script is long winded but not terribly deep. As far as the performances Spencer Tracy is right at home as the rigid man whose pride works to his detriment but Kate seems uncomfortable in her role and it doesn't really fit her, a wounded dignity is needed and her tough resilience is at odds with that, Margaret Sullavan would have been much better suited to the part. The basic structure of the film works against what was always so special about the pair and that's their interaction, for great swatches of this they are apart. Robert Walker shows up late in the proceeding and injects some much needed life in the picture but is gone too soon. One good piece of casting is Phyllis Thaxter as the pair's grown daughter, she bears a striking resemblance to both and really does seem as if she could be their child. The best performance in the whole show is turned in by the reliable Edgar Buchanan as the family standby, his involvement with the others is one of the few parts that doesn't feel artificial. The usually reliable Melvyn Douglas is defeated by a stick figure character. The pace of the film is too slow, this was an early film for Kazan and he still had some learning to do, and by the end it becomes a trial too sit though. Not awful but a miss.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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