The Sea of Grass (1947)


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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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.

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


as Col. James B. 'Jim' ...

as Lutie Cameron Brewto...

as Brice Chamberlain

as Brock Brewton

as Sarah Beth Brewton

as Doc Reid

as Selina Hall

as Floyd McCurtin

as Sam Hall

as George Cameron

as Maj. Harney

as Andy Boggs

as Ike Randall

as Bill Roach

as Joe Horton

as Cowboy

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as Mrs. Hodges

as Rachael

as Conductor

as Station Agent

as Foreman

as Black Servant

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as Sen. Graw

as Forrest Cochran

as Brock, Age 5 1/2

as Hotel Clerk

as Brakeman

as Piano Tuner

as Mrs. Ryan

as Indian Nurse

as Brock (age 1)

as Sarah Beth (age 2 1/...

as Conductor

as Piano Tuner

as Uncle Nat

as Station Agent

as Sarah Beth (age 4 1/...

as Brock (age 3)

as Station Loafer

as Station Loafer

as Cattleman

as Cattleman

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as Sarah Beth (age 7)

as Beady-Eyed Man

as Homesteader

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as Judge White

as Homesteader

as Minister

as Deputy Sheriff

as Newsboy
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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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