The Green Pastures



Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

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720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
853.07 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S ...
1.55 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by boris-269 / 10

Sweet movie that stands the test of time.

When you pop either THE GREEN PASTURES or HALLELUJAH in your DVD player, Warner Brothers' disclaimer comes up, stating these films "are a product of their time.... it does not express Warner Brothers' opinion....." Okay, they're setting the record straight. They want to present two excellent movies, without offending anyone. The "warning" is eclipsed by two factors. These two films, both with all black casts, showcase amazing talent often smothered by the then Hollywood studio system. They also both carry a message of faith told in a very entertaining manner.

THE GREEN PASTURES opens with a Sunday School sermon in the deep south. The classroom is made up of attentive black children asking some pretty intelligent questions about the Bible. We peek into one child's view of heaven. Since this child probably knows very little of the world outside her community, heaven is one big fish-fry with plenty to eat, where the adults get to hangout and smoke ten-cent "see-gars".

It's here where God (referred to in the film as "De Lawd") makes an appearance. This is an Oscar worthy performance by Rex Ingram, one of many black actors at the time who seldom received decent film work from Hollywood. Ingram plays "De Lawd" in a sweet, soft-spoken manner, never talking down to the humans he created. "Now you're just doing fine," he tells Adam. "But there's just one thing missing. You need a family." Ingram's quiet tone always tells us this guy has things in order. Film fans may remember Rex Ingram as Jim in HUCKLEBERRY FINN (1939) and as the laughing, constantly sarcastic genie in THE THIEF OF BAGDAD (1940). Not only was Ingram an accomplished stage actor, but he was a certified MD as well!

Ingram also plays Adam and Hezdrel. During the later performance, GREEN PASTURES most memorable time-tested message comes across very simply. We realize this is truly a cinematic classic. The Bible stories are depicted here in pseudo 20th century settings with old world behavior. (Much like the villages in the first three FRANKENSTEIN films) Moses is a modern-day "trickster" who gives Pharaoh's top magician a run for his money. In another scene, a pistol packing gangster in a double breasted suit mouths off to Noah.

Reviewed by mark.waltz8 / 10

A beautiful spiritual drama that is historically important in black cinema!

While the DVD has a disclaimer that warns viewers of possible offensive content, it really has very little to offend, if anything at all. I've seen much worse in bits and pieces of other films over the years, and there is nothing here really to offend other than the fact that some ideas have changed since 1936 yet some things haven't. The film is an allegory of the bible as performed by an all black cast. It modernizes many stories from the bible as told to a group of children by a minister, focusing on Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses and the slaves of Egypt, the capture of the Hebrews by the King of Babylon, and finally life during the time of Christ. All is done in a sweet and beautiful setting, employing hundreds of black actors in one film, something seldomly done during the 30's by a major Hollywood studio such as Warner Brothers. People might be offended by its resemblance to the infamous "Going to Heaven on a Mule" sequence from "Wonder Bar" (made at Warner Brothers two years before),as the setting seems to be the same. However, there are not visibly any white actors in black face, nor giant watermelons or tap dancers. Only one visual (men praying while playing craps) might cause raised eyebrows, but since the actors are all black, it actually seems more based on something that would really happen. Is this any more stereotypical than characters 40 years later on "Sanford and Son" and "Good Times" were? It's one thing to say that some stereotypes are based upon truth, but here, if there are stereotypes of any kind, they are balanced with the opposite side of the spectrum as well.

This is based upon a Pulitzer prize winning play by Marc Connelly which probably has not been performed in decades. We have seen many positive changes in films and theatre since 1936, yet "Green Pastures" remains historically important for not only being one of the few mainstream all black films ("Hallelujah!" in 1929 is a rare earlier artistic triumph) that we only occasionally saw ("Cabin in the Sky" and "Stormy Weather" 7 years later) but a respectful one as well. Rex Ingram is a wonderfully dignified God; My only complaint is that he seems too human in his analyzation of humanity, and not the all-knowing kindly perfect spirit I have come to know God as. Eddie "Rochester" Anderson is very unrecognizable in looks and voice as Noah, which is a credit to his acting ability. Not once did I think of him as Mr. Benny's sidekick while watching him. It's difficult to describe this film and analyze it entirely; It would require more words than allowed here. Each story is told simply and beautifully and each performance is greatly nuanced with humanity and compassion. If other spiritual dramas had half the heart and soul of what this film has, then we would be very graced in our film viewing experience.

Reviewed by MartinHafer8 / 10

You should see this one once....

"The Green Pastures" is a far from perfect film and I am pretty sure quite a few folks would be offended by the picture. In fact, the DVD begins with a written disclaimer that explains that the content is offensive when seen today. Obviously, times have changed and the film's patronizing style is out of style in the 21st century--but it's also a film you should see as there really isn't anything like it--even MGM's "Cabin in the Sky". And, in some ways, it's rather beautiful.

The film features an all-black cast--something very unusual for a production from a major studio. It consists of young black children listening to Bible stories and shows the kids' conception of what these events must have been like. The stories are seldom literal--and are quite different from the Biblical originals (such as having only one plague instead of the ten from the story of Moses). But there is also a certain beauty in the stories that show a literal physical God interacting with angels and people on Earth. Sure, it's NOT something that seminary professors would heartily endorse, but the film isn't meant to be literal.

As I said above, the stories are all done with a black cast--even Rex Ingram as God (called 'Da Lawd'). And, although patronizing in style and possessing a few awful stereotypes (such as folks shooting dice),the film is also gentle and good-natured and I assume the film was NOT intended to harm anyone. In other words, the manner is not one to put down black America but perhaps unintentionally minimizes them by often portraying them with a certain child-like innocence. You just have to see it to know what I mean.

So how did this film manage to still get an 8. After all, it surely has a lot of problems! Well, the artistry is the reason. Along with some very nice acting, the film has terrific sets, nice direction and is just lovely. See this one.

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