1958 / 118:00 / B/W / Drama/ Comedy/ Romance
Director: Anthony Mann
Starring: Robert Ryan, Tina LOuise, Aldo Ray
Formats: Available in High Definition restored version.
The primitive, ribald Georgia rustics of Erskine Caldwell's best-selling novel are brought brilliantly to the screen in the widely acclaimed American classic. Provocative for it's day, the frank and sexy novel has lost none of it's zest in this transformation to celluloid. In fact, the changes necessitated by the nature of movie-making may have made it better. Robert Ryan, in what many critics claim as the role of his career, plays Ty Ty Walden, the poor white farmer convinced that there is a golden treasure buried somewhere on his land. He spends years digging up the farm, littering the fields with empty holes, in his fruitless quest for riches. His family and his share-croppers languish in poverty. The 'Little Acre' referred to in the title is that bit of land set aside as an offering to the church. But in the simple and direct way of country folk, the acre is moveable if it is thought to contain the treasure. It's not sacrilege or disrespect but the honest bargain of a simple man with his God. His struggle for an easy answer to life's problems is mirrored in the actions of the rest of the cast, each one believing in something seemingly impossible to achieve. It is a terrific ensemble cast in support of Ryan, all responding ably to the firm direction of Anthony Mann. In a noteable change from the book, screenwriter Philip Yordan has Ryan and his sons (after failing to find the treasure and witnessing sorrow and hardship of those around them) planting the earth, as a farmer should, putting into the earth rather than trying to take out.
"Rousing, rollicking and ribald, "God's Little Acre" is a rustic revel with the kick of a Georgia mule." 14 May 1958 Variety
Award Categorie Person Year Status
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS US National Film Registry 1993 won
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