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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

PG Released Feb 28, 1945 2h 8m Drama List
94% Tomatometer 18 Reviews 90% Audience Score 2,500+ Ratings
This adaptation of the classic novel tells the story of young Francie Nolan (Peggy Ann Garner) who yearns for life beyond her Brooklyn apartment building. While her daily routine is difficult, she makes the best of her situation, living with her hard-working mother (Dorothy McGuire), alcoholic father (James Dunn) and tough little brother (Ted Donaldson). Encouraged by her kind but irresponsible dad, Francie struggles to keep her hopes up and persevere despite all the odds against her. Read More Read Less

Critics Reviews

View All (18) Critics Reviews
Nell Minow Common Sense Media Faithful adaptation of classic family story. Rated: 3/5 Dec 21, 2010 Full Review TIME Magazine A sober and reasonably truthful story of life among the lowly. Dec 5, 2008 Full Review Variety Staff Variety Where Tree is frequently slow, it is offset by the story's significance and pointed up notably by the direction of Elia Kazan. Nov 1, 2007 Full Review Fannie Hurst Modern Screen Here is a picturization of a book that will challenge the interest and anticipation of the millions of Americans who love that outstanding novel of two seasons ago: A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. Jun 15, 2023 Full Review Cinelandia Staff Cinelandia A very human story with small grand details that excites and touches a sentimental cord. [Full review in Spanish] Sep 1, 2022 Full Review Yasser Medina Cinefilia It reflects the early sobriety of Kazan's style, but its melodrama about poverty and family nucleus seems to me inconsistent and unemotional. [Full review in Spanish] Rated: 6/10 Nov 24, 2021 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (134) audience reviews
Audience Member Dont listen to anyone named Margret. This film is fantastically fleshed out by real people~ actors perfectly cast~ who bring real emotion to this story with added depth & clarity that is missing from the bland, sophomoric novel. It is the RARE exception of a film being greater than its source material and no matter how many times i view it, no matter what season, it always brings me to tears in specific powerful scenes that transcend art and tap into the roots of all humanity. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 06/15/24 Full Review Margaret Seriously inferior to its source material. Betty Smith's novel depicts a world of unrelenting harshness, pain and danger, where even the smallest acts of kindness or bits of beauty or moments of comfort are cherished. None of the book's pain and hunger and cruelty are evident here: the sadistic teachers, judgmental gossips and savage bullies. Here the indifferent librarian is kind, the neighboorhood shopkeepers like children, and Francie's teacher encourages her to write about the ugly truth of things rather than shaming her for it. Most disappointingly, a book that is candidly and beautifully about the experiences of females -- which deals frankly with female desire and the raw pain of childbirth -- now barely passes the Bechdel test. Johnny Nolan becomes the center of the film and remains its center after his absence, until another male can be found to take his place. He's also played by a 44 year old man, 15 years older than his wife, when Johnny's main draw was meant to have been his youth and golden beauty. This movie begs to be remade in a time where women can tell their own stories, where sex, pregnancy and childbirth are not taboo, and cruelty and pain aren't sanitized away. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 10/06/23 Full Review Ernie K A deeply affecting drama; sweet yet sad, full of optimistic strains amidst consistently pessimistic circumstances, and rife with superior performances. A young girl's dreams, a family's stark realities, and the cord of emotional connection between father and daughter. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 08/19/23 Full Review red t A Classic Drama. The acting is very well done throughout and gets exceptional in parts in the 2nd Act. James Dunn steals the show and a very strong performance by everyone else in particular Peggy Ann Carter. The Cinematography is the highlight of this film and is exceptional throughout. The shots are always well framed, beautifully detailed, intimate settings and rich with character and things always going on in the background making things pop. The editing and pacing are very well crafted and seamless with the only complaint being the first half while the scenes are very well done take a bit to actually form a story with it. But the payoff is very deserving still. The Music also is decent in this but I would have liked to have seen a bit more use as it would have done a lot to help with the pacing in the first half especially. Overall this is a Classic Drama and anyone that is a fan of the book or fans of Dramas, Elia Kazan, or any of the actors in this should give this a watch. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review andy h I seriously don't know why this classic novel adaptation isn't talked about more, nor do I understand the rejection of this lovely leading girl. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Such a charming film. I watched this with someone who had just finished reading the book. I knew nothing about the film but it very quickly charmed me. Highly recommended and the cast are great! Pure classic movie that will warm your heart. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/15/23 Full Review Read all reviews
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis This adaptation of the classic novel tells the story of young Francie Nolan (Peggy Ann Garner) who yearns for life beyond her Brooklyn apartment building. While her daily routine is difficult, she makes the best of her situation, living with her hard-working mother (Dorothy McGuire), alcoholic father (James Dunn) and tough little brother (Ted Donaldson). Encouraged by her kind but irresponsible dad, Francie struggles to keep her hopes up and persevere despite all the odds against her.
Director
Elia Kazan
Producer
Louis D. Lighton
Screenwriter
Frank Davis, Anita Loos, Tess Slesinger, Betty Smith
Distributor
20th Century Fox
Production Co
Twentieth Century Fox
Rating
PG
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Feb 28, 1945, Wide
Runtime
2h 8m
Sound Mix
Mono