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The Green Pastures 1936
Description: God, heaven, and few Old Testament stories, including the Creation and Noah's Ark, are described supposedly using the perspective of rural, black Americans.
Released: 01 Aug 1936 Director: Marc Connelly, William Keighley Writers: Roark Bradford (suggested by: Southern Sketches "Ol' Man Adam and His Chillun'"), Marc Connelly (a fable by) Actors: Rex Ingram, Oscar Polk, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Frank H. Wilson Genres: Drama
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The Green Pastures Reviews:

The Green Pastures enacts Old Testament Bible stories as seen through the eyes of rural black children. The film starts in a ramshackle church, generations ago, presumably in the Deep South. As the Sunday School teacher relates the Bible stories we are transported to Heaven to witness the Creation, the Banishment from the Garden of Eden, the Flood, and the Exodus. An all-black cast, speaking in the rural idiom, and set in modern day (1930s) surroundings makes for one of the most special films you will ever see.All the pieces fit together perfectly. It's a joy to watch, deeply spiritual, and the gospel choir accompaniment is an added treat. Grade A.


I first saw "The Green Pastures" quite by accident as a 13 year-old while visiting grandparents in Detroit, Michigan many, many years ago...I never forgot it.Years later, in college, while on a date, I was saying my date about it and we stopped by the school library so I should search a copy of the enjoy to present her...she loved it, too. I've since purchased the tape and watch it each now-and-then when I wish to smile and feel good.I remember asking my mom about the film when I first saw it and everytime remembered her response..."how do you think the tiny black kids in the film pictured God and others in the Bible?" And that, of course, is exactly what Marc Connelly was trying to receive us to think about.Though the original play/movie may have met resistance in the South, it was a hit in Fresh York. To the eternal historical revisionists of today who see nothing but stereotypes and negative images, I'd recommend you take other look.Country folk of the early part of this century did talk with accents and several had much education (whites as well as blacks). The dialog of the movie is less a contrived stereotype than it is a snapshot of what the easy life was like. It's not difficult for me to imagine a dedicated Mr. Deshee teaching children in Sunday School about the nice book. Nor is it difficult to understand why they might picture pharoe's guards in double-breasted suits like the gangsters in the news of their youth, or relating any number of another scenes to what was familiar to them.Connelly was not trying to convert viewers to religion...he was trying to receive those already converted to see the private relationship with God enjoyed by all his children, regardless of their station in life.There are no whites in the movie, just as there were no whites in the instant community where the storyline takes place. This film was not made with the burden of each social dilemma we've struggled with over the years. To blindly force modern perceptions and racial baggage on it does nothing but dampen the easy joy of this special gem.


Old-time film buffs - and anyone interested in the Bible - could not miss this movie if they have the possibility to see it. It says the stories of the Old Testament, with an all African American cast, with the gloss typical of 1930's Warner Brothers.Highlights contain the first scenes in Heaven and just about anything with Rex Ingram. He gives The Almighty nice weight & serenity; he also plays Adam.Acting is nice throughout and some of the unique results are still fun to watch.



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