Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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This beautifully written story is based on the novel by George Victor Martin and given a superior screen-play treatment by Dalton Trumbo - it also marked a departure from playing violent gangsters for the great Edward G. Robinson. It's been said that Robinson agreed to make another Gangster film for MGM only if he got to play the lead in this film. And he's grand as the Norwegian farmer and father, to the remarkable young Margaret O' Brien (playing daughter Selma) Together they create a marvellous screen rapport.
The entire cast is strong, with an interesting performance by the all too little seen Polish Actor, Morris Carnovsky. Carnovsky was among several in this production to be black banned by the HUAC'S witch-hunt - that unfortunately, removed so many highly talented names from Hollywood during the 50s. Carnovsky issued a profound statement after the hearing which said: "The committee's work was not really an inquiry, but an inquisition into the inviolable areas of one's deepest manhood and integrity–the end result is the blacklist, the deprivation by innuendo of one's right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in work." Trumbo and Robinson were also heavily affected by this committee's continuing accusations.
The novelist's estranged wife sued, claiming Selma was based on her life - which caused her considerable humiliation.
Another stand-out young performer, Butch Jenkins matches O'Brien with well-realised portrayals of county kids observing the adult world through young eyes. There's a different sort of mood to this human look at the trials and tribulations of settlers in a new homeland, and it should make for a refreshing experience for those who enjoy storytelling and moviemaking in the 40's golden year's style.
Polish composer Bronislau Kaper, another escapee from Nazi Europe - captures all the emotions and grandeur of life in the new land.
The Re-Mastered WB Archive DVD offers above average, clean images and clear sound, making for a doubly enjoyable entertainment journey.
Edward G. Robinson could ACT, which was extraordinary among the early Hollywood "stars" who could only play themselves. Agnes Moorehead, as his wife, displays a range of maturity that other actors could not convey. The film, as a whole, is a masterpiece and is interesting from beginning to end.
The glaring obstacle to its place in movie history is its over reliance on Christian superstition. Even in the 1940s, people did not wholeheartedly fall for a contrived, simplistic religion -- as can be seen by the way people acted. Having Margaret O'Brien repeat a Christian fable narrows the audience for this film down to Christian fundamentalists (of which Norwegians were not). All other belief systems need not apply. More importantly, most of the educated world realized by that time that the superstitions and fables they had been raised with were merely fables. To demonstrate the communities beliefs of the 1940s, the church was present and attended. It did not need the added pressure of reading another superstition or fable into it, taking up precious time.
Despite how it seems, and because of the growth of modern communication, it is thought that these "communities" no longer exist and that selfishness runs rampant everywhere. That is not the case and is one of the points of this movie. The "characters" all moved on. What values did they instill in the other people they were to later meet? We don't need childish stories to "make" us act right. The reason we act right is because of communities portrayed in "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes".
The best inspiring movie ever made!
This movie is about my family. Selma had many other siblings, one of them being my great grandmother Beathe. I am so happy that this movie was made and I have a glimpse into what my families life was like before my time.
This is a GREAT classic film with wonderful acting by top-notch actors (O'Brien, Robinson & Moorehead), to say the least; and a storyline/screenplay to match. It's all about the storytelling - no high action of blowing cars or buildings or shooting people - just various life experiences and issues that affect a particular family and the close-knit farming Wisconsin community they live in during the wartime 1940s. I loved it all. Just beautifully done. I HIGHLY recommend.
A beautiful tribute to honest, hardworking Norwegian immigrants of Wisconsin. The Christmas theme also resonates for this family film.
Syrupy goings on with a nice message but it's presented in such a sticky way it's hard to take. Butch Jenkins plays an odious little brat and Margaret O'Brien is too precious for words.
What a beautiful, down to Earth story. Grab the Kleenex and enter a more simple time. Having grown up in the midwest in the 50's I know this is accurate portrayal of a great time in our country's history, Kind and gentle, human and a delight for a Sunday afternoon. Even today's CG spoiled kids will love this one.
Edward G. Robinson was short in stature but large in personality. He's an underrated actor in my opinion and this role is an example of his range.
It was ok, but kinda boring. C+