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on January 27, 2004
Perhaps one seeing this film for the first time, in this day and age, will not realize just how racy this picture was when it was produced (in 1958). I watch it now, and I still can't believe that they "got away with it". The picture, a yarn concerning a Georgia hayseed family, took the "Ma And Pa Kettle" concept to new heights!
The gist of the story is that Ti-Ti, and his strapping sons, are digging for his pappy's gold, which, legend has it, is buried somewhere on their Georgia farm. They've been digging in the ground for fifteen years.....and haven't found anything yet. The characters seem, to me, to be the basis for the Clampetts on the Beverly Hillbillies........especially Darlin' Jill (who surely was the model for Ellie Mae).
The picture includes one of the hottest forbidden love scenes to ever be committed to celuloid (between Tina Louise and Aldo Ray). This was back in the days when things had to be creatively SUGGESTED (to avoid censorship). Things are different today, when anything goes and a "love scene" is thrown in for mere titillation, showing yet another improbable, sexual acrobatic endeavor between two participants. This scene between "Griselda" and "Will" has actual BEARING on this story. Those were the days.
It might seem quite campy (it is!). It certainly is hilarious, and even tragic at times. I recommend "GOD'S LITTLE ACRE" highly!
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on September 13, 2008
Released in 1958, Anthony Mann's God's Little Acre caused a scandal in theaters and was even banned in many places. Now 50 years later, the DVD format lets viewers see what they may have missed. In 1930s rural Georgia, Ty Ty Walden and his family live on a farm, barely scraping by. Ty Ty was told by his great grandfather there's gold buried on the farm, and he's convinced it's still there. Helped out by his sons, he's been digging for 15 years without luck. The gold story serves as a jumping off point for the rest of the story, the relationships and dynamics of Ty Ty's family. Directed by Anthony Mann, this is a beautifully shot movie, in more ways than one, as the story of the Walden family develops. The relationships are real, the love and hot believable as Ty Ty tries to find the gold while also continuing to be able to live. It's not a well-known movie, but it's an enjoyable movie, if for nothing else than to see what all the scandal was about. It seems tame compared to movies now, but you can see why it caused a stir.

In what's really an ensemble cast, Robert Ryan gives one of his best performances as Ty Ty Walden, the family patriarch trying to keep his family together, all the while searching for his great grandfather's gold. Ryan pulls off the dramatic and comedic scenes equally well throughout, especially the scenes with the cross on his farm's God's little acre. Aldo Ray plays Will Thompson, Ty's son-in-law who's been out of a job for six months since a mill closed. Will married Ty's daughter Rosamund (Helen Westcott) but really loves Griselda, married to Ty's son Buck. They have a history together, and it's their scenes together that caused a stir upon the movie's release. Tina Louise of Gilligan's Island fame shows off what a good actress she is in her first movie role as Griselda, the beautiful wife of Buck who still has feelings for Will. Mann puts Louise on display throughout, and she looks more beautiful here than any of her Ginger Grant days. Jack Lord and Vic Morrow are very good as Ty's sons, Buck, the jealous husband who worries his wife doesn't love him, and Shaw, the younger son still growing up. Buddy Hackett has a funny part as Pluto Swint, a local man running for sheriff who's fallen in love with Ty's youngest daughter, Darling Jill (Fay Spain). Also worth mentioning is Michael Landon as Dave Dawson, an albino who Ty is convinced will lead them to the gold.

The DVD doesn't have any special features, but the movie looks great in a widescreen presentation, Ernest Haller's cinematography never looked better. This isn't a great movie, but it's positives heavily outweight the negatives. So for a good story with great performances from Robert Ryan and Tina Louise, check out God's Little Acre!
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on June 2, 2001
Review are you kidding, they just don't make movies like this anymore. Two plots going on at the same time the main being a treasure hunt which causes men to test what their true treasure is and the love story which for its time was almost scandelous. This is a good old fashhion movie. Did I say good. I mean great.
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on July 15, 2012
I recently purchased three movies starring Robert Ryan; they included Bad Day at Black Rock, Men in War, and this gem. Robert Ryan definitely has to have been one of Hollywood's underrated actors. He has turned in a lot of satisfying performances; as the prickly Col. Breed in "The Dirty Dozen", Gen. Grey in "The Battle of The Bulge", the murderer Reno Smith in "Bad Day at Black Rock", and perhaps his most unusual role as Ty Ty Walden in this movie. As the patriarch of the family, he has searched for gold on his farm for fifteen years, letting his once prosperous cotton fields go to seed, and huge deep holes! To compound matters, his daughter Darlin' Jill (Fay Spain), is making a play for any guy she fancies, including the old horsehead Pluto Swint (Buddy Hackett), who is running for sheriff, and Dave Dawson (Michael Landon), who plays the albino who is kidnapped by Ty Ty to help him find gold. Also adding to the tension is his son Buck's (Jack Lord)problems with wife Griselda (Tina Louise), as she is attracted to Will Thompson (Aldo Ray). One of Ty Ty's workers, Uncle Felix (Rex Ingram), continually tells him how his efforts are tearing his family apart, and that he should go back to farming to ensure his family's long term survival. When released in 1958, this film created quite a stir, as it cast southerners in a negative light, along with some racy scenes involving Tina Louise and Aldo Ray, and also Fay Spain and Buddy Hackett. It is amazing to see how things have changed between now and then. This movie is actually quite tame by today's standards. If you like Robert Ryan, this movie is a great addition to anyone's collection, and is really in a class by itself.
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on July 26, 2013
The hype about banning this movie is comical by today's standards, or should I say the lack of. At times in may appear a bit unbelievable, but after all isn't that what good entertainment is about. Great cast. Vic Morrow and Jack Lord were especially good as the sons of Ty Ty. Wonderful collectors' item.
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on May 31, 2012
The Geneon release from 2005 is not the Pan And Scan aspect ratio listed in the production details. It is instead a 1:85 Wide Screen aspect ratio, and the pristine print, restored by UCLA, is presented in its uncensored 118 minutes. However, and unfortunately, it is NOT ANAMORPHIC, so if you have a big Flat Screen, you're in for a big disappointment: you'll get a nice widescreen image surrounded by a lot of empty black space. Unforgivable for such a "recent" re-release. I suppose that explains the low price. I have no idea if the original DVD release on Image Entertainment is anamorphic, but to my great surprise, all of Image Entertainment DVDs I've purchased as far back as 2001 fill my entire 55" flat screen. I guess we'll have to wait for Criterion to do this one justice though it will be a pricier disc.

As to the film itself, it's not for everyone. It is a satire on old time religion with a cast of rather unpleasant characters, and though it's beautifully restored, the print tends to look kind of inky most of the time. In its day it was considered "daring" by some and "salacious" by others. By today's standards, however, it is quite tame. An unexpected turn by Anthony Mann, a director known principally for his 1950's majestic Westerns and 1940's tough film noirs.
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on February 11, 2007
What could be funnier than the premise that God has his own little plot of land (doesn't it all belong to him?) which keeps getting moved around to make way for yet another fruitless dig looking for gold where none has ever been found. Set in the old (1920's-30's)poor south, poor farm owners dependent on their share croppers working their farm which provides them all a living because the resident farm owners are too lazy to farm and too busy digging for gold, the property is all pot holed from past digs and God's cross that indicates his ownership keeps getting moved around when the patriarch of the family gets a new inspiration where to dig and it is usually right where the cross has been relocated. Lust and greed, longing and jealousy, violence and avarice, faith and hope, all in one story. Erskine Caldwell was a great writer, this and Tobacco Road are hoots, great actors star in this flick. Of course it is slightly sanitized from the actual book but it's still pretty faithful to the story line.
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on December 20, 2011
'God's Little Acre' is a likeable Southern-gothic Depression-era drama, full of eccentric characterizations and occasional over-emoting (not unsuitable to the genre) from a melting pot of recognizable actors, all brought vividly to life by one of the most interesting directors of his time, Anthony Mann ('Raw Deal,' 'Winchester 73,' 'El Cid'). Note, though, if you're on the fence about picking up Geneon's bare-bones 2005 release, that Amazon's reporting of a 1.33:1 framing is inaccurate; the print appears to be the same in terms of picture quality (from the UCLA Film and Television Archive), running time (118 mins.) and aspect ratio (1.85:1) as Image's 2001 version (also currently out of print but much pricier). 4 stars each for content and presentation.
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on February 28, 2009
I'm not sure what the other reviewer got for his dollar but I have the dvd pictured & yes it is in a slim case but the picture looks fabulous. Maybe they were reviewing the case? If you liked Peyton Place or anything Tenesse Williams, you will like this one. And yes, Tina Louise is stunning in it but who knew Jack Lord was so damn hot back in the day? You won't recogize Michael Landon for a while (at least I didn't).It's a good story & well worth the [...] I paid.
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on April 28, 2008
Here's a movie that I'd not expected. Robert Ryan, Vic Morrow, Michael Landon, Jack Lord, Buddy Hackett, and Tina Louise really set the screen on fire. A good surprise for me.
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