Shockingly, surprisingly, stars Paul Muni and Luise Rainer pull it off. He's Wang Lung, a simple Chinese farmer. She's O-Lan, his even more simple wife. This adaptation of the Pearl Buck novel has the pair surviving through an epic struggle against poverty and nature, building their farm up from nothing (with O-Lan helping to bring in the harvest the night before she gives birth), then losing everything, slumming on the streets of the city, finding a cache of jewels during a riot, building it all up again, and facing a family crisis when Wang Lung decides to buy a second, younger wife. Hey, it's old world China. In the end, our heroes have to do battle against a plague of locusts. Locusts!
Continue reading: The Good Earth Review
James Allen (Paul Muni), a returning World War I veteran, is one of the unluckiest people you'll ever meet. His first problem: returning WWI vets were guaranteed none of the upward mobility that vets of later wars were granted. There were no G.I. Bills for these guys. Returning to his old job as a clerk in a factory, Allen knows he's changed, but his job hasn't. He stares dreamily out the window at a bridge being built and realizes that he wants to become an engineer to continue the kind of work he did in the Army.
Continue reading: I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.