A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)


“Look, God invented time and when He invents something, there’s always plenty of it.” – Johnny Nolan

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Jan 2019)

Brief Synopsis – An Irish family tries to survive in Brooklyn around the turn of the 20th Century.

My Take on it – This is yet another film that I had never heard of before seeing that it had a actor nominated for an Oscar and this also has a strange title that can only be deciphered properly once one sees the film.

The premise itself is quite interesting and they do a great job of explaining the realistic aspects of the story especially when it comes to the differing temperaments of two parents on how to raise their children.

Dorothy McGuire and James Dunn are both superb as the parents and they show how each of the parents have different paths to the way they want to help their children grow up properly and perceive the world as it should be.

Dunn deservingly won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here and it’s quite easy to feel the love that he has for his entire family.

He is willing to do just about anything to help them see the world in an optimistic view like he sees things despite his own personal hardships in life.

I’s so easy to care about the way that he treats his family because of his always cheerful disposition even if he still needs to work on his own inner demons especially his on and off bouts with alcoholism.

They give us a great view of how life must have been like for families like this around the turn of the 20th Century.

Peggy Ann Garner is great as the oldest daughter who is quite affected by the way her parents raise her.

She won a Juvenile Oscar that year for this performance.

Bottom Line – Interesting premise that comes across as quite realistic especially given the different temperaments of the parents. McGuire and Dunn are superb as the parents and we get to see how their differing paths of parenting affect the way their children grow up and perceive their world. Dunn won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in this film and was quite deserving because it’s so easy to feel the love he has for his family which will let him do all he can for them despite his own personal hardships.  We get a nice look at how life was like for the poor during that time period.  Garner really stands out in the role of the young child who’s life is shaped by the way her parents raise her. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to Turner Classic Movies, Joan Blondell performed a very “adult” scene during the filming of “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” which the sensors deleted from the film’s final cut. The Nolan children find a condom, and her character, Aunt Sissy, is tasked with describing to them what it is. She approaches this explanation with compassion as opposed to clinical coldness. Despite the fact that this scene was omitted from the final product, Blondell always considered it “the best work she ever did on screen.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)

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2 thoughts on “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1945 | MovieRob

  2. Pingback: Oscar Best Acting Winners | MovieRob

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