The Good Earth Reviews
An interesting social and moral tale, based on Pearl Buck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Quite epic in its span and scale. The main theme of life's vagaries, rolling with them and recovering from them is well told. The theme of legacies and succession was also done well. The moral themes - greed, theft - were touched upon but not explored too well nor extensively.
Solid work by Paul Muni in the lead role. Luise Rainer deserved her Oscar for playing O-Lan - she is fantastic in the role.
One of the greatest films from the 1930's. "The Good Earth" is a higly emotional and devestating look at the plight of Chinese farmers who battle a huge drought that forces them to leave their lands for life in the big city.
One drawback is that Hollywood wasn't ready to cast actual Chinese actors in the leads. Despite this Paul Muni and Luis Rainer (who won a Best Actress Oscar) give rare and poignant performances. Though they are not Chinese, the are able to capture the essense and heartbreaking souls of the characters.
For a film from 1937 the spectacular scene of the invading locusts is a true revelation and highly memorable.