A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


D: Elia Kazan 

20th Century Fox (Louis D. Lighton)

US 1945

128 mins


W: Tess Slesinger & Frank Davis[based on the novel by Betty Smith]

DP: Leon Shamroy

Ed: Dorothy Spencer

Mus: Alfred Newman

Dorothy McGuire (Katie Nolan), Joan Blondell (Aunt Sissy), James Dunn(Johnny Nolan), Lloyd Nolan (McShane), Peggy Ann Garner(Francie Nolan), Ted Donaldson (Neeley Nolan)

Elia Kazan's first directorial assignment was bringing Betty Smith's best-selling novel to the screen. 

The story follows a family living in Brooklyn at the turn of the 20th century, with matriarchal figure Katie Nolan struggling to save every penny, while the father of the family, Johnny uncontrollably spends it all on alcohol. 

The film is blessed with a collection of excellent performances, particularly Peggy Ann Garner as Francie, the young daughter of the family, and James Dunn, who won a supporting actor Oscar for his work.

The superb detail put into the production is so fine, you'd be forgiven for not realising it was a studio-bound production.

It's a little overlong, and a little old-fashioned, but is still a fine example of a 1940's family melodrama.


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn