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Our Vines Have Tender Grapes
     

Our Vines Have Tender Grapes

Director: Roy Rowland

Cast: Edward G. Robinson, James Craig, Frances Gifford

 
An earnest rural melodrama set among Norwegian immigrants in Wisconsin, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes is a slightly updated version of George Victor Martin's 1940 novel. Edward G. Robinson stars as Martinius Jacobson, a farmer devoted to his wife Bruna (Agnes Moorehead) and precocious seven-year-old daughter Selma (Margaret O'Brien), whom he lovingly calls

Overview

An earnest rural melodrama set among Norwegian immigrants in Wisconsin, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes is a slightly updated version of George Victor Martin's 1940 novel. Edward G. Robinson stars as Martinius Jacobson, a farmer devoted to his wife Bruna (Agnes Moorehead) and precocious seven-year-old daughter Selma (Margaret O'Brien), whom he lovingly calls "Jente Mi." Along with her freckle-faced five-year-old cousin, Arnold (Jackie "Butch" Jenkins), Selma lives a carefree, joyous life, which is only temporarily clouded by the sudden death of Ingeborg Jensen (Dorothy Morris), an emotionally disturbed young women whose stern father (Charles Middleton) had refused to let her attend school despite the pleas of newly arrived schoolmarm Viola Johnson (Frances Gifford). The latter is quietly falling in love with Nels Halvorson (James Craig), the town newspaper editor, but cannot envision herself as a rural wife. She changes her mind when, inspired by young Selma, the entire town of Fuller Junction come to the aid of Bjorn Bjornson (Morris Carnovsky), who has lost his livestock when lightning struck a newly erected barn. When Selma generously donates her pet calf to the impoverished farmer, the townspeople in general, and Martinius in particular, follow suit, prompting Viola to reconsider her harsh views of country life and retract her letter of resignation to the school board.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Hans J. Wollstein
Its title taken from the Song of Solomon. II. 15 ("Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines; for our vines have tender grapes"), this pastoral family drama proved the perfect antidote to a war-weary audience. While the world war was finally nearing its end, the home fires burned brightly and little Margaret O'Brien packed 'em in at the local bijous. Margaret was almost a force of nature in the early '40s, arguably the most natural child actress there ever was. Our Vines Have Tender Grapes stands as a testament to her remarkable talent and no other child actress could have made Selma Jacobson more believable. MGM knew very well what they had, and Margaret earned above-title billing right alongside Edward G. Robinson. The latter is equally letter-perfect as the hardworking farmer and if the Jewish Robinson may not have been the obvious choice to play a Norwegian immigrant, he overcame that handicap by offering an affectionate portrayal of a quiet, dedicated family man. Partially filmed on director Roy Rowland's ranch in the San Fernando Valley, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes became the surprising victim of a lawsuit, filed in 1946 by original author George Victor Martin's former wife, Selma, who claimed that the film was based on her life and that its exhibition had caused her to suffer "undue public attention, mental anguish, and humiliation." The outcome of the suit, however, is not known.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/17/2009
UPC:
0883316221549
Original Release:
1945
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Presentation:
[B&W, Full Frame]
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
4,253

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Edward G. Robinson Martinius Jacobson
James Craig Nels Halverson
Frances Gifford Viola Johnson
Agnes Moorehead Bruna Jacobson
Morris Carnovsky Bjorn Bjornson
Butch Jenkins Arnold Hanson
Sara Haden Mrs. Bjornson
Greta Granstedt Mrs. Faraasen
Dorothy Morris Ingeborg Jensen
Arthur Space Mr. Peter Hanson
Elizabeth Russell Kola Hanson
Louis Jean Heydt Mr. Faraasen
Charles B. Middleton Kurt Jensen
Arthur Hohl Dvar Svenson
John Berkes Circus Driver
George Lloyd Farmer
Margaret O'Brien Selma Jacobson
Francis Pierlot Minister
Abigail Adams Girl
Rhoda Williams Marguerite Larsen

Technical Credits
Roy Rowland Director
Edward C. Carfagno Art Director
Jack Dawn Makeup
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Arnold A. Gillespie Special Effects
Daniel Hall Special Effects
Hugh Hunt Set Decoration/Design
Irene Costumes/Costume Designer
Bronislau Kaper Score Composer
Robert Sisk Producer
Robert Surtees Cinematographer
Dalton Trumbo Screenwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Ralph Winters Editor

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