Hard to believe that Erskine Caldwell's God's Little Acre was, for years, the bestselling novel ever published. This 1958 film adaptation gives little reason for that status, being a curiously inert combination of sweaty... more » Southern passion and rustic comedy. Thanks to director Anthony Mann's exacting eye for outdoor photography, the film is a pleasure to look at, and Elmer Bernstein's score makes it swell to listen to. Robert Ryan, always good at obsessives, plays a patriarch convinced gold is buried on his farm. He's aided by a gallery of future TV stars: Tina Louise (Gilligan's Island) as the lip-lickin' sexpot every living male tries to seduce; Jack Lord and Vic Morrow as her husband and brother; Buddy Hackett as a would-be politician; Michael Landon as an albino (thus giving new meaning to the term "white trash"). This gumbo has some fun flavors, but they don't quite blend. --Robert Horton« less
"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!"
God's Little Acre
Ronald E. Ortega | Graham, WA. USA | 02/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Scandalous in the 1950s, still worth a watch
T O'Brien | Chicago, Il United States | 09/13/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"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!"
How many "cheapo dvd's" are restored by UCLA film dept?
Steve | Portland OR | 03/01/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."
WHAT AN ACRE
Lester L. Carter | PHILA , PA | 04/28/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."