A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [VHS]
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Product Description

Elia Kazan made his directorial debut with this adaptation of Betty Smith's novel about a bright, young girl growing up in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, trying to rise above her tenement existence. Sensitively filmed by Kazan, and graced with wonderful performances by James Dunn as the wistful, alcoholic father and Dorothy McGuire as a strong-willed mother. Peggy Ann Garner won a special Oscar for her performance. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews:

  • Buy it on eBay
    On eBay you can likely find this film on DVD in Region 0 from Korea (plays anywhere in the world). I bought one and the packaging and DVD quality is first rate. All I had to do was turn off the Korean subtitles (on by default) and I was good to go. Great movie. Great quality DVD, and the DVD keepcase is in English, not Korean....more info
  • a moving cinema experience
    I recently purchased the video of the movie, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. Having seen it many times I wanted my own copy. It is a superb movie and a deeply moving cinema experience. It's unrealistic to compare a moving picture with the book it was derived from. They are both enchanting media in their own ways. One might compare an aardvark with a zither, but what's the point?...more info
  • January 2010??????????????? Must we wait so long for this masterpiece?
    This is a masterpiece of Americana. Kazan brought out superb performances from the entire cast. The entire film is meticulously produced to perfection....more info
  • wonderful movie
    This is a great movie. the actors are the best, the store line is good & you can totally feel what these people are going through in this era. ...more info
  • One of the Greatest
    If I ever was limited to watching ten movies for the rest of my life, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" would rate at or near the top. The entire movie is unforgettable and the acting is top-notch. If you've never seen it, you don't know what you're missing. And if you've never seen it, I'm jealous! I would love to see it again for the first time. This is not just a story about a little girl, so I don't want any guys to be turned off. You'll love it and you'll cry, too....more info
  • Where is the DVD?????????
    I find it hard to believe that this classic film is not available on DVD- Why do the studios feel compeled to release just about every recent TV show on DVD, yet classic films such as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn are not available. I see that the 1st season of 'Fat Actress' which just concluded on cable is now out on DVD! Someone explain this to me please..... I just don't get it. I have a running list of film titles that I am waiting and hoping to see on DVD and I can only hope that someone from the film studios read these reviews because there is a market for the older quality films that are actually good even though there is no nudity, profanity or blood baths! If anyone is out there listening, please put this enchanting film on DVD-...more info
  • A Tree Grows In Brooklyn
    A well preserved video(film) for its age. It was received quickly with a "Thankyou" noted. ...more info
  • 5 stars for the movie, 10 for the book
    I fell in love with this movie many years ago as a young girl. Francie is a sad character, yet at the same time she is fiercly ambitious and has a spirit that just can't be trampled on (an inspiring role model for young, under-priveleged girls). I never knew this movie was based on a novel until I saw it in a used book store. I bought it on the spot and have since read it at least 3 times. As much as I loved the movie, the book was hundreds times better. A must-read for anyone who loves the movie. It's been recently republished so do yourself a favor and buy it!...more info
  • I OWN THIS DVD. A WONDERFUL MOVIE
    THIS MOVIE IS EXCELLENT.IT DEALS WITH GROWING UP AND HARD TIMES I BELIEVE DURING THE DEPRESSION ERA WHEN THINGS WERE REALLY TOUGH.PEOPLE WENT HUNGRY ,AND YOU COULD COUNT YOUR BLESSING,IF YOU HAD A ROOF OVER YOU HEAD.SURVIVAL WAS DAY TO DAY,FINDING WORK AND KEEPING IT WAS, VERY DIFFICULT.MOST OF US HAVE SOME TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING THIS BECAUSE,WE DID NOT LIVE THROUGH THE DEPRESSION.HOWEVER SO MANY OF US HAVE THE SAME PROBLEMS TODAY MAKING ENDS MEET.IMAGINE IF YOU WILL,NO PUBLIC ASSISTANCE,NO FOOD STAMPS NO ASSISTANCE FOR HOUSING.NO SOCIAL SECURITY. HOW WOULD WE SURVIVE??????. NOW AS WE SEE THROUGH A LOOKING GLASS,CAN WE SEE THE DEPTHS OF THIS WONDERFUL GEM OF A MOVIE....more info
  • NOT ON REGION 1 DVD BECAUSE. . .
    Like many who have taken the time to write about A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN I too would love to have this title available on DVD. Fox had scheduled it for release and then pulled it. Why? I believe the reason is that they sub-leased this title for release in Europe and thus can not release it until the lease runs out. They are not interested in putting it out in just a Region 1 version, so will hold off until all rights revert back to them. Too bad as this is one that I would dearly like not only to have, but to share with others....more info
  • Life is a constant struggle

    This is a wonderful picture about a poor family trying to get by in pre-WW I Brooklyn. James Dunn is excellent as the good-hearted father who just can't seem to make a go of it; Dorothy McGuire is his cold, practical wife, the rock of the family; and Peggy Ann Garner is the daughter Francie who loves her father dearly. The relationship between Francie and her father is beautifully depicted and is one of the best things about the movie.

    The movie is ripe for sentimentality, but it's a credit to director Elia Kazan (his first movie) that it never stoops to that level. In fact, the movie is filled with very realistic scenes, filmed with both eyes wide open: a woman (and her baby) is stoned for being an unwed mother, and after Francie is molested Katie shoots her attacker. The last 20 minutes are a bit of a letdown, but the acting and script (by Tess Slesinger and Frank Davis) are first-rate and engrossing. This movie is one of the finest ever made based on a popular novel. Definitely worth a watch. ...more info
  • Preserves the Integrity and Flavor of the Book
    Though a bit fast-paced and somewhat similar in style to a stage play, this movie very much brings Betty Smith's characters and their plights to life and does not leave us wishing they had treated the written work with more care. My mother was born and raised as a city girl, and her descriptions of growing up in Philadelphia remind me of this portrayal of life in Brooklyn. I very much envision a reflection of many things my mother described about her childhood in this movie. For example, that some children she grew up with had never seen a cow. A parallel of this exists in the film when Francie writes about going to see cotton fields. The longing behind this is very similar to the stories my mother related to me.

    The opposites attract theory is wonderfully done in this story, and I ache for Dorothy McGuire's character, and her struggles, especially her iron will to do what is right for her family's survival. The conflict of Pipedreamer versus Realist is well balanced, so that we are not judgmental of either's actions. The interplay between the characters leads nicely to the heart wrenching loss of one and the anguish of the other over what could have been done differently. The devastating effects of alcoholism are featured in this film, but in contrast with a strong element of hope. Additionally, the reality of the numbers of children born at home and the infant mortality rate of the time period are also presented, but not stressed so overwhelmingly as to take away from the happiness of the new additions to the family and the positive direction of their future.

    Joan Blondell's portrayal of Aunt Sissy is my favorite part of this movie. She is charming, funny, steadfast, quirky, and absolutely perfect.

    What is interesting about this film in comparison to the book is that only about two-thirds of the family's story is told. I would definitely recommend reading the novel if you want to know about Francie and Neeley as far as their careers after graduation, and what happens to the rest of the family. The book also goes into much greater detail as far as the extent of the struggle with poverty and the multitudes of families who experience similar situations. For those who enjoy this movie, I also recommend I Remember Mama.

    J.H. Sweet, author of The Fairy Chronicles...more info
  • OK 20th Century Fox - Where In H@LL Is The U.S. DVD Release?
    An Elia Kazan Masterpiece yet to be released on DVD...

    OK, OK... So what? The film isn't as wonderful as the book. They never are. Because the book is lengthy and takes place from before Francie is born untll after she is 16 years old, the movie concentrates on Francie as a teenager ages 14 - 15. Also one of Katie's sisters is eliminated and her qualities and quotes from the book are giving to Sissy, somewhat toning down her character. Other characters, like Francie's school teacher, are changed to protagonists to ease the transition to film.

    However, Elia Kazan's masterpiece with Dorothy McGuire as Katie Nolan, the hard as nails mamma, Joan Blondell as the effervescent, fun loving aunt Sissy, Oscar award winning James Dunn as Johnny Nolan, the drunkard pipe-dreaming father and little Peggy Ann Garner was so wonderful as the young, sweet and sensitive Francie. Thankfully, the Academy gave her an Oscar for Most Promising Juvenile Performer in the year of our Lord 1945.

    I am no wimp by any stretch of the imagination but EVERY SINGLE time I view my "homemade/bootleg" DVD copy I bawl like a little baby...

    This film is LOOONG overdue for a U.S DVD Release. Come on 20th Century Fox/Turner or whomever owns the rights to "A Tree..." - make this film available to those who have loved this film for ages and those that have yet to appreciate this marvelous masterpiece.

    ...more info
  • How a family grows.
    I've seen well over 4,000 movies (3,245 since I started keeping a list, and at least 100 a year before that), and of them all, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn stands out in my memory as the single most effective in terms of the performances of the actors affecting the viewer.

    It's a simple story about a poor family, a timeless story that will ring true to millions of families around the world, similar in type to movies like I Remember Mama, The Human Comedy, and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, but more serious, and in my opinion even more insightful than those fine films. And it's certainly one of the top five tear-jerkers of all time, up there with films like All Mine to Give, On Borrowed Time, Old Yeller, and My Girl. But it's pleasant to watch, even joyful at times, even if you anticipate the sad part.

    Every actor in the film rose to the occasion, bringing the character's of Betty Smith's novel to life with fidelity and veracity, depth and breadth, in several cases giving the best performance of a lifetime. That's certainly the truth in the cases of Peggy Ann Garner as young Francie and James Dunn as her lovable, lovable, and lovable - and alcoholic - lovable father Johnny Nolan, both recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars for their roles in this movie, for best juvenile performer, and best supporting actor, respectively. But also I think Dorothy McGuire as Francie's mother Katie, Joan Blondell as Aunt Sissy, and Lloyd Nolan as Officer McShane each gave their finest performances ever here. (Funny little coincidence of names: Nolan played Mike Shane in several movies, here he plays McShane in a movie full of Nolans.)

    There's not much point in detailing the plot here; you should certainly see it for yourself, and it's a shame it's not on DVD yet, as of this writing. Suffice it to say one parent is an irresponsible dreamer, the other a hard provider, both giving love in different ways, and young Francie must learn to retain the best from each.

    If you've read the book by Betty Smith, this film is very faithful except they left out one incident that would have been considered inappropriate in a film in the 1940s, when young Francie was approached by a molester. The film works perfectly without that.

    Another favorite character actor has a small role: James Gleason (Here Comes Mr. Jordan, The Bishop's Wife, Suddenly), as one of Johnny's friends....more info
  • I OWN THIS DVD HIGHLY RECOMMENED I OWN THE REGION 2 UK VERSION RELEASED FEB 2005
    I LOVE THIS MOVIE I OWN THE VHS AND THE REGION 2 UK DISC AVAIALBLE SINCE FEBUARY 2005 WHEN WILL THE REGION 1 DISC BE RELEASED IN THE US? 5 STAR RATING UPDATE 0314/06.A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN CONTINUES TO BE IN THE TOP TEN SELLING VIDEOS!!!DO YOU THINK SOME STUDIO EXECUTIVES COULD COLLECTIVLY TURN ON THEIR LIGHT BULBS,AND SAY HEY THE DEMAND IS THERE,FOR A DVD RELEASE.THE MOVIE HAS BEEN AVAILBLE IN EUROPE FOR OVER A YEAR.WHY NOT RELEASE IT HERE ON REGION ONE? OH THE USA AND THE CANADIANS,CAN ONLY BUY THE VIDEO...SHOULD WE GIVE THE PUBLIC WHAT THEY WANT?...HELL NO WE HAVE TO RERELEASE RADARMEN ON MARS TOO BAD,ARE THE US EXEC. RESPONSE RIGHT. COMEONE YOU CAN DO IT..i THANK YOU STEWART L....more info
  • WHAT A GREAT MOVIE ABOUT LIFE AND HARD TIMES WHERE IS THE DVD?
    A GREAT MOVIE THAT HAS BEEN WAITING FOR UNITED STATES RELEASE FOR OVER 1 YEAR. THIS MOVIE HAS BEEN AVAILABLE,ON DVD.RELEASED OVERSEAS SINCE FEB 2005 WHEN THE US RELEASE WAS DUE TO BE RELEASED. LIKE MANY GREAT MOVIES ,THEY ARE PUT ON HOLD WHILE MANY POOR MOVIES GET 5 STAR TREATMENT. WHY NO DVD?FOR REGION 1---THE DVD IS AVAILBLE,IF YOU WANT IT NOW!!! RATHER THAN WAIT UNTIL FEB 2007,OR LATER FOR THE US RELEASE!!!YOU MAY PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON UK,OR TOWER UK.REGION 2 DISC.YOU WILL NEED A MULTI-REGION,MULTI-ZONE DVD PLAYER,THAT OUTPUTS TO AUTO NTSC...SORRY FOLKS,THEY ONLY WANT YOU TO PURCHASE THE VHS TAPE!!!!!...more info
  • One of my Favorites
    Beautifully acted, this film does a good job of portraying the emotional dynamics of the Nolan family, and is remarkably touching. Peggy Ann Garner is wonderful as Francie; Dorothy McGuire captures the essence of Katie. The only possible flaw is that it is not true to the book, which spans a much greater time period than the movie. But, for what it is, it is an excellent example of American film-making. And the book is even better....more info
  • Great!
    This is such a great movie. I am really surprised that it is not on DVD yet. As far as I can tell, Fox Movie Channel is the only network that plays it and that is not offered with our cable package. I would buy a couple of copies if it were on DVD....more info
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn video
    It's a wonderful film. I wish it would come out in DVD, but I was glad to get it in VHS. Thanks....more info
  • old-fashioned
    I just discovered the book of the same name and fell in love with the story. Naturally, I was eager to see the movie version and I was not disappointed. Good, old fashioned entertainment....more info
  • Yes, a tear jerker (A beautiful One)
    Peggy Ann Garner was a very under rated child star. She was a top notch actress. The scene where she cries after reading the note from her deceased father is the one that brought tears to my eyes. And I was 48 when I saw it for the first time. (I'm 50 now.) Of course, James Dunn is always good. And Dorothy McGuire is as lovely as usual. To make a long story short, you will not go wrong buying this film. I promise you'll love it....more info
  • Heartbreakingly dissapointing
    I read the astonishingly true book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I loved it- and understood it. I expected so much from the movie- but when it was finished, I was just dissapointed. I understand that sometimes parts of books had to be changed to make a movie. And yet... it was probably the small cast of characters, and the MANY alterations. Wherer is the cruel, evil Granpa Rommely? Why do the characters talk so FAST. They need to slow down, and relax. Where's Little Tilly, or Gussie? The movie, as I can call it, is cute. I would give it 2.5 stars. But, it shows a glossed over version of Francie's life. Francie was a child who lived in a world of brutality. She went to a school (from 6-10 anyway) where the teachers were CRUEL, and DIRTY. She wore smudged clothes, ripped, and patched. She never had enough to eat. The most refreshing aspect of the book was that she was able to find magic IN SPITE or all of this. But the movie changes a mature book into a G-Rated film.I will never hear the names Francie, Neely,Sissy and Katie, and see Peggy Ann Garner, Ted Donaldson,Joan Blondell and Dorothy McGuire. I will always see Francie as a skinny, ragged looking child, with wondering eyes, and a timid smile. I will always see Neely as a scruffy, ragged kid, with a little-boy grin on his face. I will always see Sissy as a dark-haired, full-figured ''bad girl'' sensitive beauty, and I will always see Katie as a wide-eyed, unexplainable fighter.The only acotr who captured the essence of the character is James Dunn as Johnny. Now HE deserved his Oscar. They took too much out of the book to make the movie good. Where's Aunt Evy, and Uncle Wille Flitmann? More importantly WHERE'S THE EXPLAINATION OF HOW KATIE AND JOHNNY MET. They just skipped right past that part. I have always read reviews of movies I loved- and seen one person who gives a 5-star movie (atleast 5-star to me) and gives it 2-stars for not following the book, and I feel angry. But in this case- I urge anyone who loved the movie to thoroughly read the book, then watch it again. The movie COULD HAVE BEEN SO GREAT! They should have followed Francie's life until the end of the book. They should have shown Francie and Lee, her true love. A part in the book read, after Katie had heard Francie call her ''mother'' instead of ''mama'': '' Mother! Katie remembered when she had called her mother ''mother'' instead of ''mama''. She had said ''Mother'' when she had been ready to marry Johnny. When she had called her mother ''Mother'' she had finished growing up. She had never said ''mama'' again. Now Francie.... And this is just the problem. The movie never fully ''grows up''. I hope someday, someone takes the time (though it will take a long time) to make a movie TRUE TO THE BOOK.If people loved this movie, wait until they see a movie that follows the book. They will be astonished at the difference!...more info
  • BUYERS BEWARE! BOOTLEG DVD.
    This classic film has NEVER been issued on DVD. What is on offer here is a bootleg. Don't support the theft of copyright by purchasing an expensive, illegal copy of doubtful quality...more info
  • A Classic Family Drama Staged in the 40's
    "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" is a splendid American classic whose content would appeal to both young and old alike. Although at times predictable, the movie is enjoyable and makes one yearn for those days of simplicity, struggle, deep respect for one another and family and neighbor unity. ...more info
  • Profound family story, one of top 5 tear-jerkers of all time.
    I've seen well over 4,000 movies (3,245 since I started keeping a list, and at least 100 a year before that), and of them all, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn stands out in my memory as the single most effective in terms of the performances of the actors affecting the viewer.

    It's a simple story about a poor family, a timeless story that will ring true to millions of families around the world, similar in type to movies like I Remember Mama, The Human Comedy, and Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, but more serious, and in my opinion even more insightful than those fine films. And it's certainly one of the top five tear-jerkers of all time, up there with films like All Mine to Give, On Borrowed Time, Old Yeller, and Bridge to Terabithia. But it's pleasant to watch, even joyful at times, even if you anticipate the sad part.

    Every actor in the film rose to the occasion, bringing the character's of Betty Smith's novel to life with fidelity and veracity, depth and breadth, in several cases giving the best performance of a lifetime. That's certainly the truth in the cases of Peggy Ann Garner as young Francie and James Dunn as her lovable, lovable, and lovable - and alcoholic - lovable father Johnny Nolan, both recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences with Oscars for their roles in this movie, for best juvenile performer, and best supporting actor, respectively. But also I think Dorothy McGuire as Francie's mother Katie, Joan Blondell as Aunt Sissy, and Lloyd Nolan as Officer McShane each gave their finest performances ever here. (Funny little coincidence of names: Nolan played Mike Shane in several movies, here he plays McShane in a movie full of Nolans.)

    There's not much point in detailing the plot here; you should certainly see it for yourself, and it's a shame it's not on DVD yet, as of this writing. Suffice it to say one parent is an irresponsible dreamer, the other a hard provider, both giving love in different ways, and young Francie must learn to retain the best from each. If you've read the book by Betty Smith, this film is very faithful except they left out one incident that would have been considered inappropriate in a film in the 1940s, when young Francie was approached by a molester. The film works perfectly without that.

    Another favorite character actor has a small role: James Gleason (Here Comes Mr. Jordan, The Bishop's Wife, Suddenly), as one of Johnny's friends....more info