8.1/10
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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

PG | | Drama, Romance | March 1945 (USA)
Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.

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Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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On TV

Airs Thu. Nov. 23, 3:30 PM on TCM

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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...
...
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Officer McShane
...
McGarrity
...
...
Ruth Nelson ...
Miss McDonough
...
Steve Edwards
B.S. Pully ...
Christmas Tree Vendor
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Storyline

In Brooklyn circa 1900, the Nolans manage to enjoy life on pennies despite great poverty and Papa's alcoholism. We come to know these people well through big and little troubles: Aunt Sissy's scandalous succession of "husbands"; the removal of the one tree visible from their tenement; and young Francie's desire to transfer to a better school...if irresponsible Papa can get his act together. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Great and Haunting Book Pours Its "Heart" Out on the Screen! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild depiction of mature plot material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

March 1945 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Baum wächst in Brooklyn  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Besides Gene Tierney, Mary Anderson and Jeanne Crain were rumored for the Katie Nolan role, while it was reported that Phil Regan was the leading candidate for the role of Johnny. Alice Faye was the first actress considered for the role of Katie, not Aunt Sissie, according to the Hollywood Reporter in 1943. See more »

Goofs

When the girl is ironing, she never gets a hot iron off the stove; back then, said irons had to be heated from some heat source, usually the stove top. One was used while another was being heated, and then the person would switch when the one ironing got too cool to press the wrinkles out. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Katie Nolan: This'll be the last of them now, Francie.
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Connections

Featured in A Letter to Elia (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Wiegenlied, Op. 49, No. 4 (Lullaby)
(1868) (uncredited)
Music by Johannes Brahms
Played when Francie and her father first discuss the tree
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Charming Family Story
27 October 2004 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This charming family story has much to offer. The story has a wealth of worthwhile, thoughtful material, plus some good lighter moments, and the production is on-target, not stinting on anything but never drowning out the substance of the story. Several of the cast members give particularly good performances, and most of them are also well-matched with their roles.

Much of the story centers on a couple of interesting relationships. In both cases they are well-acted, and in both cases the relationships suggest a number of themes worth thinking about. Having these two relationships so well-defined and memorably portrayed raises the movie well above the level of a mere sentimental family story.

The relationship between Francie and her father probably makes the movie, and it is wonderfully acted by James Dunn as the somewhat unsteady but thoroughly endearing father, and Peggy Ann Garner (in one of the finest child performances you will see) as the loyal, intelligent daughter.

Dorothy McGuire plays the important but thankless role of Katie, the stern, dour, yet sincere mother, the kind of role that few actresses can handle well. Katie's relationship with her sister (Joan Blondell) is another of the strengths of the movie. Blondell's flamboyant but sensitive portrayal of Sissy wins all the scenes that she is in, yet McGuire is also essential to making them work and to bringing out the themes implied.

The adaptation to the screen is pretty well-conceived. Naturally, much of the depth is going to be lost when you distill a worthwhile novel into a two-hour movie, but the screenplay highlights some very good material, and if it encourages anyone to read the book, so much the better.


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