A Wisconsin farming family takes on the struggles and rewards of rural life. Martinius Jacobson (Edward G. Robinson) is a humble Norwegian farmer, working his small farm with only the help of his wife, Bruna (Agnes Moorehead), and his young daughter, Selma (Margaret O'Brien). Selma and her cousin, Arnold (Jackie "Butch" Jenkins), witness many dramatic episodes over the course of a year, including a neighbor's barn fire, a raging flood and a brief visit from a traveling circus elephant.
farmer, daughter, editor, wife, cousin, neighbor, heartwarming, emotional, tense, wisconsin, school, farm, train station, rural life, farming, family, disaster, community, growing up, sacrifice, love, 1940s
In the present culture, where a creep boasts about how he abuses women or how he could commit murder on Main Street without repercussion, then gets elected leader of the free world, this culture may well be too bloody-minded to appreciate the innocence of "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes," but a fool like myself from a more loving time can adore it. The film addresses numerous philosophically tough questions we expect our children to embrace, even though our greedy, violent culture does not - the importance of sharing our prosperity with the less fortunate, for instance - and does so through the eyes of a poor farmer's family - poor in a material sense, but rich in valuing people over things. What we get is a portrait of how to overcome our lesser nature and unite as a community - a pretty good lesson for a nation like ours today, ripping itself apart limb from limb. The story itself is almost as charming as the adorable pairing of Margaret O'Brien and Edward G. "Papa Bear" Robinson. If, like me you've been among those asking what Make America Great Again really means, here's the model: a kinder, gentler country where people looked out for each other and carried themselves with dignity, instead of ransacking the Capitol in the name of freedom or cowering from holding those thugs' feet to the fire.
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