The Good Earth
The Good Earth (1937)

The Good Earth, based on Pearl Buck's sprawling novel, is the story of a Chinese farming couple whose lives are torn apart by poverty, greed and nature. For her portrayal of the wife O-Lan, Luise Rainer won the second of her… More

Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: January 29, 1937
DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006
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Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

No harmful false note is struck.

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Pat Graham
Chicago Reader

Critical opinion has not been kind, but studio excavators may find much to admire.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It gets by with great star performances, but the story remains undramatic.

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Time Out

It's a typically lumbering, cautious, overblown Thalberg project, saved by Rainer's genuinely moving, Oscar-winning portrayal of Chinese peasantry, and by an immensely spectacular storm of locusts.

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Sarah Boslaugh
Playback:stl epic tale of a Chinese family who overcomes famine, revolution, locusts, and a whole lot more in their journey from poverty to prosperity.

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Dan Jardine
Slant Magazine

Epic in scope, though intimate in effect.

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Frank S. Nugent
New York Times

Once again Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has enriched the screen with a superb translation of a literary classic.

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

In source novel and film, simplicity, family, and hard work are the pillars.

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Emanuel Levy

Earnest and solemn, The Good Erath, based on Pearl Buck's Pulitzer prize-winning best-seller, is a typical MGM "prestige" literary adaptation, honoring Luise Rainer with a second (undeserved) Best Actress Oscar.

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More reviews for The Good Earth

Flixster Audience Score: 76% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
Long and slow but entertaining if you stick with it. Muni as was his usual practice when buried under makeup slightly hammy but less so than when he played Zola… More
Byron Brubaker
Holds fairly closely to Buck's novel. Sadly having most of the lead roles filled by non-Chinese actors such as Muni, Rainer, Connolly, and Grapewin shows… More
Aj V
If you can get over the fact that a lot of the actors are Americans made up to look like Asians, you will enjoy this movie. It's a drama, but it's… More
John Ballantine
Passable film with a bunch of white actors in makeup to look Asian. Getting beyond this insensitivity, Muni proves up to the usual job even if this is not a… More
Veronique Kwak
"the good earth" is the earliest massive hollywood productions for oriental epic in exclusion of fu manchu series. it has great ambition to interpret… More
Anthony Valletta
Beautifully photographed and a great adaptation of the book. A real find for students of film.