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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

  • Directed by Elia Kazan
  • United States, 1945, 129 mins., English

Adapted from the much loved novel by Betsy Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn relays the story of a poverty stricken family striving for more in Williamsburg, Brooklyn through the eyes of a young girl (Peggy Ann Garner, winner of the Academy Award for “the outstanding child actress of 1945”) whose circumstances are about to undergo a drastic change. Kazan’s deeply humanist film is one of the ultimate works of Americana captured on celluloid, and his deft direction helped steer actor James Dunn to his only Oscar win as the endlessly encouraging but ever drunken father. “Elia Kazan has directed this picture, his first, with an easy naturalness that has brought out all the tone of real experience in a vastly affecting film.”—Bosley Crowther, The New York Times.

Genres: Drama

Other Films by Elia Kazan

A Face in the Crowd

A parable about the dangers of media sensationalism, the problems with “15-minute” fame culture, and unchecked greed, Kazan’s film came at the tail end of a string of masterpieces—among them A Streecar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden—and is a scathing indictment of the power of the media in American culture. From