6.9/10
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26 user 8 critic

Of Human Hearts (1938)

Passed | | Drama, Western | 11 February 1938 (USA)
This is a story about family relationships, set in the time before and during the American Civil War. Ethan Wilkins is a poor and honest man who ministers to the human soul, while his son ... See full summary »

Director:

Clarence Brown

Writers:

Bradbury Foote (screen play), Honore Morrow (story "Benefits Forgot") (as Honoré Morrow)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Walter Huston ... Ethan Wilkins
James Stewart ... Jason Wilkins
Beulah Bondi ... Mary Wilkins
Guy Kibbee ... George Ames
Charles Coburn ... Dr. Charles Shingle
John Carradine ... President Lincoln
Ann Rutherford ... Annie Hawks
Charley Grapewin ... Jim Meeker
Leona Roberts ... Sister Clarke
Gene Lockhart ... Quid
Clem Bevans ... Elder Massey
Arthur Aylesworth ... Rufus Inchpin
Gene Reynolds ... Jason Wilkins - as a Child
Leatrice Joy Gilbert ... Annie Hawks - as a Child
Sterling Holloway ... Chauncey Ames
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Storyline

This is a story about family relationships, set in the time before and during the American Civil War. Ethan Wilkins is a poor and honest man who ministers to the human soul, while his son Jason yearns to be a doctor, helping people in the earthly realm. It is a rich story about striving for excellence, the tension of father-son rebellion, and the love of a mother that can never die. Written by <perrymv@sumter.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's Great $5,000 Title Contest Picture

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 February 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Benefits Forgot See more »

Filming Locations:

Agoura, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story takes place on a small town located on the Ohio River called "Pine Hill, Ohio". There is an actual town in Ohio by that name, but it is located in Carroll County, many miles north of that important waterway. See more »

Goofs

When James is told he can't have the magazines and sees they are going to Mr. Ame's son, he turns away to leave the room twice in successive shots. See more »

Quotes

Rev. Ethan Wilkins: We thank Thee, Father, for this and all Thy bounties. Teach us to avoid the pitfalls of prejudice, pride, and vanity. Make us thoughtful of the weak, the sick, the needy, and the unfortunate, and make our humble lives a reflection of Thy goodness. We ask these things in Thy name. Amen.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Cry of Freedom
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by George Frederick Root
Snippet played in the montage at the start of the Civil war
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Life In the Antebellum Midwest
2 December 2001 | by telegonusSee all my reviews

Antebellum, or pre-Civil War America, is seldom dealt with in movies. In the studio age it was largely ignored. Of Human Hearts is an exception. Set in frontier Ohio it concerns the rebellious son of a decent but inflexible minister who seeks to be a doctor and learn about the world. He get more than he bargained for after the guns fire on Fort Sumter, and the film traces his life from uneasy boyhood to uncomfortable manhood. James Stewart excels in an early lead role; and as his father Walter Huston is suitably starchy and forbidding. The backlot recreation of early small town America is wonderfully realized by director Clarence Brown and Company. There are some splendid supporting performances by, among other, Beulah Bondi, Charlie Grapewin, and especially Charles Coburn, as the village doctor who likes to drink and who becomes Stewart's mentor. As an historical footnote it's worth mentioning that the film was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in the late thirties, and is an atypical product for them, as they were poaching, as it were, on movie territory that one associates with the more folsky Fox studios of the time, and did a rather good job at it, too.


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