- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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I saw it for the first time when I started watching TCM after retiring, discovering I love black and white 40's movies. And this is one of the best. As other have mentioned I agree it's a masterpiece with excellent and moving performances by Dorothy McGuire, James Dunn, and the young Peggy Ann Garner. I see it whenever it's on, never tire of it, and always weep in the same places especially when Francie finds the graduation flowers and card on her desk supposedly planned to be given to her by her beloved late father in advance upon his daughter's graduation, and her grief and emotions finally explode and overcome her as she cries and sobs with the pain and loss of her ill-fated and alcoholic "sick" dad. One feels that this has been orchestrated by Francie's Aunt Sissy delightfully played by Joan Blondel, who understands Francie and her grief, and that Aunt Sissy has provided the flowers and written the card. Impossible to have a dry eye.
art. Dorothy McGuire is outstanding. She is the strong yet vulnerable matriarch who holds her little family together in the face of tragedy and loss. When watching the film, the viewer might believe Ms McGuire never had to learn a line. She simply knew what Katie Nolan would say in every circumstance. As she holds the Nolan family together, McGuire plays a humble yet heroic woman undaunted by the sometimes overwhelming challenges of life. Young Peggy Ann Garner as Francie is as endearing as any child actress has ever been. Warm, gentle, innocent and devoted to her parents and family, she portrays the idealized image of a first generation immigrant desperately trying to fit into American culture. She adores her father (beautifully played by James Dunn) and when the family loses him, Francie's pain and grief are as heart rending as one would find in real life. The graduation scene when Aunt Sissy (Joan Blondell) leaves a bouquet of flowers on Francie's classroom desk along with a note written by Francie's daddy shortly before his death would make a strong man weep. It is one of the most beautiful scenes ever filmed and the secret of its emotional impact is its total simplicity. A sweet, deserving little girl receives a bouquet to carry just like all of the other girls. There is much one can say but A Tree Grows in Brookyn is timeless. Outstanding acting, a set that takes one back to the turn of the last century, a simple story of daily life for a struggling immigrant family and beautiful film scenes that instill hope and joy in the viewer's mind no matter how often one sees the movie all combine to make this a true gem.
A tree grows in Brooklyn
It's great. When are you going to have it on TCM soon I hope
A tree grows in Brooklyn grows in my heart
- Judy Ahrend
I've seen this film many times, and I want to see it again. It is the love of the family , the great acting, and the wonderful story, the drives this movie. I've been searching for it, and found this spot so I can get in my recommendation. Just watch it it's wonderful.
a tree grows in brooklyn
- kevin sellers
Have you ever noticed that, in this film, there is ALWAYS music in the background? It's mostly turn of the century (i.e. the 20th) street music, like "Sidewalks Of New York," although traditional holiday ballads sometimes intrude. Don't know exactly why Kazan chose to do this. Maybe he felt it added to the noisy energy of a family living in the poorer parts of a big city, where you don't have the money to live in silence. Whatever the motivation it's just one more reason to like this film. It's kind of like merging the world of Gilbert and Sullivan with that of the Group Theatre. Very interesting. Other, more obvious reasons to enjoy this movie are the excellent performances Kazan gets from Dorothy McGuire and James Dunn, who are not people you think of when the topic of great acting is broached, as well as the adolescent Peggy Ann Garner. (Kazan was always good directing actors who express teen angst. Think "East Of Eden" and "Splendor In The Grass.") It does get a bit sentimental at times, although not as teary as you would expect. I'm gonna give it an A minus.
An absolute must
- John Wilson
All one needs to view this 1945 near-masterpiece is an appreciation for brilliant film-making. I assure you, you will lose yourself completely in the story of the Nolan family, a humble, impoverished Irish-American family holding on by mere threads in 1900 New York. Director Elia Kazan's first film experience is often overlooked by his magnificent cinematic efforts in years to come (`A Streetcar Named Desire' and `East of Eden'), which is hardly fair. So much heart has gone into this emotional piece of Americana
must - see film
This is a perfect movie. It pulls you in from the beginning and does not let up. The setting is dull and dingy, a reflection of the sad lives of the characters. Despite this, the family has some happy moments even though they are poor and downtrodden. Peggy Ann Garner blew me away the first time i saw the film- her facial expressions, voice, the way she lovingly holds her deceased father's shaving mug and puts it in a shabby box of memories. Joan Blondell gives an Oscar - worthy portrayal of the aunt. James Dunn breaks your heart as the father. I love the Christmas scene at home after Francie and Neely bring the tree home. Too many scenes to list here, but when Francie gets her flowers for graduation, have kleenex ready!!The movie will stay with you and become a favorite to watch every time it is on.
Still Feeling the Effects!
I saw this for the very first time yesterday and I'm still moved. Poignant, engaging film, it set my heart on fire. A must see for all! I just marked on my calendar the next showing will be on Dec. 11 at 11:30am Central and I'll be there with bells on! Wonderful, wonderful!! :)
An American Classic
Outstanding story of an Amercan Irish family told through the eyes of a young girl, Francie, an aspiring writer who idolizes her alcoholic father, and the friction with her very pragmatic mother who has to work, scrimp and save every penny to keep her family from starving. Joan Blondell plays Aunt Sissy, who is supportive but promiscuous, and who understands Francie more than her mother. Outstanding view of life in the early 20th century in Brooklyn, New York.
My all-time favorite movie
- Daniel Bubbeo
I'm so glad TCM has been showing this film quite a bit lately, because it's one everybody should see. The first time I ever saw it was when I was about 12, airing appropriately on Christmas. From the moment I started watching, I was reeled in by the wonderful writing, Elia Kazan's sensitive direction and the magnificent performances of this terrific cast. Dorothy McGuire, one of my favorites, gives what may be her finest performance. Her character could easily have come off as a villain, but thanks to this skillful actress, she really makes us understand Katie Nolan's frustrations and imbues the part with great sympathy. James Dunn, likewise, could have come as a cartoonish drunk; instead his Johnny Nolan wins us over and it's easy to understand why Francie adores him so despite his many flaws. Joan Blondell certainly hit her peak as Aunt Sissy and plays the role with a lovely balance of humor and drama. Ted Donaldson is great as Neeley and Lloyd Nolan is marvelous taking a break from his tough guy roles to play kind-hearted Officer McShane. But the real star is Peggy Ann Garner, in what may be the best child performance ever put on film. She is sensational, capturing Francie's dreamy nature and heartbreaking as she deals with the circumstances life deals her (her graduation scene when she receives her father's flowers is a masterful piece of acting).Kazan also deserves credit for eliciting such great performances from his cast and also for his superb recreation of life in Brooklyn in the early 1900s. This is a rarity for a '40s film in that even though it was shot on a Hollywood lot, it has a true on-location feel. Everyone, please, see this fabulous movie.P.S. I've seen this movie at least 40 times and it never fails to move me. One of the nicest memories I also have is that I have a copy of the book which was signed by Dorothy McGuire.
Throughout my adult life, i have watched this movie maybe 80 times. Each time i see it, i see something i didnt before. Recently i found the movie and watched it about 20 to 25 times in a month, (watching it as i write this review). I love it! though ive seen it so many times, i still laugh and cry through it. For me, it gets better each time i see it. Im going to introduce it to my 6yr old gand-daughter soon, and hope she loves it as much as i do.
This is one of the great masterpieces, as good as anything that has come out of Hollywood. The entire look of the film, the carefully judged camera angles, the sense of claustrophobia, the crown scenes are all remarkable. The actual performances, particularly those of Dorothy Mcguire and James Dunn are probably the best work that they did in their careers- magnificent, but everyone is delivering the best work. All of this indicates the absolute mastery of Elia Kazan at the helm. A film of great emotional depth and rewards. If you love film, you must get to know this great one!
Beautiful and Poignant Story
Beautiful story of a poor Irish family in Brooklyn and their struggles, hardships and inter-relationships. Francie, the main character and an aspiring writer, is the favorite of her father, Johnnie Nolan, who is an alcoholic and barely earns enough to feed his family. Dorothy Maguire portrays the mother, whose favorite child is Neily, Francie's younger brother. The mother scrubs floors to keep a roof over her family's head, and she never takes the time to read Francie's excellent compositions. When she learns that she is pregnant with her 3rd baby, Francie's mother insists that Francie quit school and go to work because she is a better student than Neely, who hates school. This idea doesn't set well with Johnnie, who goes out in snowy weather and tries to find more work, even though he doesn't even have a winter coat. After being missing for several days, he is found drunk in a doorway and dies of pneumonia. At his funeral, the mother discovers how much her husband, that she never respected or appreciated, was loved by others, many of whom she never met. She learned that despite his alcoholism, his sparkling personality impressed everyone who met him. Francie's mother insists she assist her during labor at home because they cannot afford a hospital. She names the new baby Annie Laurie, after the Irish ballad often sung by Johnnie. After a few months, the friendly neighborhood cop who often brought Johnnie home drunk, played by Lloyd Nolan, proposes to Francie's mother, who agrees to allow him to adopt Annie Laurie. At the end, Francie and Neely ponder how much easier life will be for Annie Laurie, but that they had a lot of fun. Joan Blondell does an excellent job portraying Aunt Sissy, Francie's warm and loving, but illiterate and promiscuous aunt. Many interesting features, such as the practice of giving away Christmas trees on Christmas Eve if the recipient can remain standing after the tree is thrown at them.
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
- Jane Ives
One of the most touching stories I have ever seen on screen. To this day, this is the most wonderful story I have ever viewed. It is a true gem!!
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
- Dashiell Barnes
A sensetive adaptation of Betty Smith's novel. Garner recieved a Juvenile Oscar, Dunn won an Academy Award as her dreamer father, plus McGuire & Blondell are great. Director Kazan, in his debut film, authentically brings to life the struggles of the family in an amazingly recreated set of Brooklyn. A fine coming-of-age story. I give it a 4.5/5.
To watch again and again
Very good story, acting pulls you in and keeps you there. Great character development, you really feel for this family. Black and white makes adds to the feeling of the environment. Don't miss out on this not too widley known film.
- Scott P
I had never seen this movie before and wow what a well performed movie. Yes, what a great movie around the holidays instead of the more recent stuff that hollywood thinks people want to see. Bravo.
- Anna Marie
This is one of the best movies I have ever seen. I can't watch it without bawling like a baby. A wonderful, touching story with outstanding acting by all. It's a movie you won't soon forget!
This is one of the best movies I've ever seen. I saw it one time and it's made an ever lasting impression on me. TCM needs to show this movie more often so many others can enjoy. Make it a tradition around Christmas time, like it's a Wonderful Life. That would be perfect!
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
When will this movie be shown on Tcm? I would definitely consider this an Essential and would love to hear Mr. Osborne and Mr. Baldwin critique it.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
One of the best movies ever! Nice to watch during Christmas time instead of film noir on Christmas Day. How can I purchase the dvd?
- Steve S.
See my review (I forgot to grade it)!
- Steve S.
James D. & Joan Blondell w/ Peggy Ann G. et al - tremendous movie -It has everything one would probably have like to have seen in 1945! I own the VHS and it's still hanging in there! Man, I would have loved to have taken Joan Blondell out to dinner :-) It is tops! It's worth all stars a critic could give it!
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
When will this be released on it's own??? I have the book, I have the book on cd and I still can only rent it from the Public Library on VHS!!! This is a classic of all classics. Any girl growing up in any era can relate to this movie. It is the most moving, tender, heartbreaking story about a girl, named Francis Nolan, growing up in Brooklyn. She wants to be educated, but has many struggles to finance her schooling. At that time, girls attended some school, worked for a bit, got married and had children. The boys went to school to be educated so they could support the family.Francis' father dies of the drink, her mom works day and night to put food on the table and send them to school. Things change, Francis works full time and her brother gets to attend school. The story ends in a good way and you will have to see it. This is a classic movie that shows how hard life can be and that with hope, effort and family, things may go your way.
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
I love, love, love this movie. It's undoubtly one of my favorites. I bought it years ago on VHS and still have it. In fact it's in my room waiting to be viewed, hahaha!This story is a exceptional look of a impoverished family that are basically a happy family, but suffer from not having the stability they need from their alcoholic husband and father. He is so loved and worried about, but still try to depend on him for the support of home. The real stability comes from the mother and the love they receive from their mother's sister (Sissy). It is a heartwarming film of families coming together to make ends meet.Based on the times, it is an inspirational film and will warm your heart.
Este filme um dos melhores dos anos 40. Fala da unio de uma famlia apesar das enormes dificuldades que sofre. Um filme maravilhoso que d uma lio de vida a quem assiste. O filme foi indicado para o Oscar de melhor roteiro e James Dunn como melhor ator. Um filme que merece 10 estrelas por sua qualidade.
By far, one of my favorite movies, and one of the few films that does justice to its book counterpart (much like To Kill A Mockingbird). I can't believe it's not available on its own on DVD (for those of us who'd rather not fork over the $169.99 for the Elia Kazan Collection).
A tree grows in Brooklyn
- Laurie Goodwin
This movie in unforgettable after you see it. It is warm and the relationship between a daughter and a troubled alcoholic father is by far the most touching.
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
This is one of the few movies that causes you to reflect on your own life. The trials, disappointments, longings and unconditional love that a child can feel, even at a tender age. There becomes no substitute for the ones you love, regardless of their faults. You find beauty, warmth and comfort in those who know you best and only seek to make you stronger.
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
A heartwarming wonderful movie. The acting is superb! Must see for families!
tree grows in brooklyn
i have been searching for this movie- looks like i will have to keep waiting- i love TCM, and wonder when this gem will be shown again- tomorrow is Father's Day- it would be wonderful to show it to millions of kids illustrating the love of a father for his family- maybe make it an annual tradition ? How many requests are required before it is released on DVD ? it might not be a blockbuster, but it is one of the best, in my eyes. Perhaps people just need to be reminded of it.......
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
- Mary Gonzalez
What a great and impressive movie this was for me.I can relate to the little girls pain and yet have the same strength and ability to seek hope. The unequiviqual love she had for her father. Her little brother acting as all little brothers do, yet she took care of him too. The mothers endurance to keep the family together made me wonder how she managed all that and still able to smile.Realistic true life.
A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
- patrick j tully
I have just finished reading the book.I could not put it down.The film was an inspiration and although a lot was left out itstill captured the essence of the book.It is one of the best films I have ever seen.The book is an American Classic
Beautiful script and acting is superb
- Noreen Thompson
This beautifully crafted film stands up as a classic tale reflecting the lives of immigrant families in the early 1900's. I cry every time I see it..very moving.
This is a lovely movie and I would love to be able to watch it again. All of the performances are wonderful but especially Oscar winner James Dunn. I cannot believe that this is not available on DVD! I love it. This is all you need to make a good movie. A good, simple story and an excellent cast; that's it. It's a wonderful, wonderful movie that makes me laugh and cry. Please, oh please TCM....please play this movie! And release it on DVD so I can show it to everyone I know.
This Drama Film on DVD
- Jeffrey Kenison
It did win an Academy Award for best supporting actor (James Dunn).
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
- Jay Higgins
What an extraordinary film, it's so touching. I could not imagine anyone not being moved by this movie. The entire cast is magnificent. Elia Kazan does an amazing job directing. One if the most remarkable things about the film is that it hasn't dated much at all. Unusual for 1945. Brilliant in every respect.
This is a true gem. It is a simply fascinating portrayal of the struggles of a family at the beginning of the twentieth century. Filmed at the end of World War II and in the closing years of the Depression, the audience is reminded that no matter what obstacles life throws in our way, even the worst loss imaginable, there is hope we can come out okay if we don't give up. It is a treasure that gets better each time it's viewed. It is one of The Essentials in my book!
Elia Kazan at his best
- Doug Sand
A great film classic--one the best from a superb period of great filmmaking.
- ginny bezoski
I remember my mom suggesting this book to me when I was about 12. I loved to read and still do. It's a book I have read more than once also. The movie was produced well before I was born and of course I had to wait until it was released to TV. What a movie!! It truly stays in form with the book. It is one of my favorite movies and I make it a point to watch whenever it comes to TV.
- patrick deacy
there are not many movies i care to watch a second time,this is one i would, put this one out there and you will have a new patron.
I loved it.
- Jennifer Gonsalves
I loved this movie so much I immediately went out and bought the book. I couldn't put it down. I would love to see it again. I suggest Betty Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to anyone.
One of the BEST!
I saw this movie for the first time last week. The story and the acting were just marvelous. Even though it was sad in some parts ~it left me with a feeling of hope and happiness. This is one movie you can get involved in and I just wish everyone would watch it. Thank you TCM for showing it and I hope you do a repeat soon.
It must have been fate when I stumbled upon this wonderful movie on TCM on 2/8/09 while visiting my son. See my previous comment on 1/7/08 when I pleaded for TCM to show this movie. It is every bit as fine as I remembered, and I have truly missed it. The performances are all top-notch. Now it just needs to come out on DVD!!
A Masterpiece Film
This book was a wonderful story and the film carries the message of the book without distortion or changing the spirit of the book. It is a beautiful story for all ages and as such should be available for all to enjoy often at home. Good literature can be seen or read many times, each time one sees or has a slightly different sense of what the story is trying to tell. It should be available on home video...
A true American masterpiece
This film beautifully tells the story of a family that struggled to make life in this country under very difficult circumstances. This first generation family seen through the eyes of the daughter is just about perfect and takes deeper meaning when viewed with today's events as a reference. The cast is outstanding and the film grows stronger with the passage of time. I cannot recommend this film enough!
I Love This Film!
The book was my favorite when it first came out and this film is a wonderful spirit-lifting tribute to Ms. Smith's book.
A "tree" that will grow in your heart
Finally this movie is back on TCM...and on Oscar month where it belongs. Its my favorite 1940's movie (The screenplay is far superior to the book)Don't miss it!
One of the Best
- Diane T.
This was the most influential book of my life. The original movie version is the best and I would love to own it. Every young person, especially those who may be struggling, should see this movie. It is uplifting and inspiring on so many levels.
Forgive or not to Forgive, that is the question.
- Lucrocia Williams
I've seen this movie 3 or 4 times.This movie will really make you examine your own life.How many people's lives do you impact on a daily basis? I want my teenage girls to see this movie so they can see the strengths and the weaknesses in a family and how love is all you need in a family.
Love It...Love It!!!
This movie has got to be one of my all time favorites! My sister and I came across this movie several years ago and we just fell in love with Francie. I read the book and had to pass it on to my two best friends and they absolutely loved it. I told them about the movie and they cannot wait to see it. I was heartbroken when I found out it is not available on Home Video. I am currently re-reading the book with my daughter and can't wait to have movie night and watch this wonderful movie with all the girls.
I recently read the book (again) and I'm waiting, patiently, for the movie to show. I've seen it twice over the course of the past 10 years. I wish it were available to purchase. I just returned from a visit to Brooklyn and walked the streets named in the story. I could just imagine being there when Betty Smith was living in Williamsburg - oh please play the movie!!!
A Great Movie, a Must See
- Lisa Adkins
I would really be Please if you show this Movie, so I can share this movie with family and friends.If I can remember correcrly theres lots to learn from this movie.
A Must See Tear Jerker
I read the book when I was 10 only because my cousin lived in Brooklyn and thought it would be interesting - I loved it. I have re-read it at least 10 times since then. I didn't know there was a movie out and one night while flipping channels I came upon a movie where a girl was sitting on a balcony with a book and thought "hey this reminds me of my book!" I couldn't believe it when her papa came in and called her name! I think I cried and then held my breath through the whole movie. I always check the schedule hoping it will be on and when I joined a movie club it was the first movie I ordered. The actors did an awsome job, especially Dorothy McGuire as Katie. On a final note my daughter's middle name is Francie!!!!
A beautiful, touching movie
- Marie Tobin
Please, please, please can someone show this movie??? I taped it on VHS many years ago, and played it so much that I wore out the tape! It is a beautifully acted, touching story, and it will be sad if it falls off the radar, and deprives a generation of movie watchers. Dorothy McGuire is one of my favorite actresses, and she and all of the actors are flawless. I highly recommend this movie!
WHY I LOVE THIS MOVIE
- KAYE HODGE
I FIRST READ THIS BOOK IN 1963 WHEN MY OLDEST DAUGHTER WAS NOT BORN YET SHE ARRIVED IN1965 IWAS JUST MOVED AND SO EMOTINAL AFTER READING IT, THAT WHEN MY DAUGHTER WAS OLD ENOUGH I GAVE IT TO HER TO READ. SHE ALSO LOVED IT AS I DID. THEN IN1980 MY OTHER DAUGHTER WAS BORN AND WHEN SHE GOT OLDER I GAVE HER THE BOOK TO READ. LIKE MYSELF AND MY OLDEST DAUGHTER SHE FRLL IN LOVE WITH THE BOOK. IT IS SO TELLING OF HOW A FAMILY OF ONLY ONE PARENT WHO IS KEEPING THE FAMILY FEED, SHELTERED,AND LOVE. THAT WAS US AND A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN HELPED MY DAUGHTERS UNDERSTAND OUR HARD TIMES
Best movie ever!
- Daniel Bubbeo
I first saw this movie one Christmas night as a child, and I fell in love with it. It's a moving, believable and beautifully acted story of poverty, family and coming of age. Peggy Ann Garner gave what I still think is the best performance ever by a child star. James Dunn's Oscar was well-deserved. It takes a great actor to make a ne'er-do-well alcoholic such a sympathetic character. And Dorothy McGuire is magnificent as Katie. Made two years after her debut as a naive child bride in "Claudia" and the same year as "The Enchanted Cottage," in which she played a lonely, homely housekeeper, she had proven in such a short time that she was one of the screen's most versatile actresses. Joan Blondell is wonderful as Aunt Sissy, giving what had to be her finest performance, and Lloyd Nolan and Ted Donaldson also give terrific performances. Elia Kazan's directorial debut is impressive, and the film has more heart and soul than many of his later films where Method acting sometimes got in the way of the warmth. City life has rarely been more convincing. A masterpiece!
It was oscar winning for a reason!
one of the most overlooked classic dramas of the 1940s. James Dunn received an oscar & Peggy Ann Garner received a special childs award....showing just how great their performances were. This is one of my favorite movies starring also one of my favorite actresses Dorothy McGuire. It is available on VHS...get it!
A Great American Classic
- James Doris
A somewhat inspiring and insightful view of a struggling family and their early 1900's life in Brooklyn. Outstanding directorial debut by Kazan highlighted by excellent performances by James Dunn and Dorothy McGuire. A special treat and a 'must see' for those who enjoy this genre of American films.
"A tree grows" but the movie list doesn't!
why would a great movie classic like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn NOT be out on video? I bought my daughter the book, but couldn't find the movie!It's a wonderful story...with a beautiful heroine and faith in family.
- michael york
kazan makes his mark as an important director with this his very first film as director the performances are outstanding dunn deserves his oscar and mcguire is sooooooo fine this actress is one of the most overlooked in film history but she is right on the nose even though she is too young for the part but her incisive acting helps her overcome this deficit how well kazan worked with actors is further proven with the performance of peggy ann garner one of the most poetic and least mannered child performances ever the story is sentimental and moving without ever becoming maudlin just a superior example of zanucks fox film productions wish tcm had more access to fox films though
No DVD yet?!?!?!?
- Lillian Lee
Somebody tell me why this more people have not voted for this to be on DVD. It deserves it and this is totally sad. Sure, nothing compares to the book but this movie is a treasure that I think is worthy of a two disc special edition.
You're left filled with hope!
This movie is such a moving drama! You see real life through the eyes of an extrodinary young girl. You see though their "rough way of life" how proud a mother can be...and yet how hopeless she can feel. A father who picks the bottle over his family yet gives the ultimate sacrifice and a young girl who can see beauty in her drab and cruel world. You'll laugh, cry, get angry but will see hope in a very cruel world!