The Green Pastures (film)

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The Green Pastures
Poster of the movie The Green Pastures.jpg
Directed by Marc Connelly
William Keighley
Produced by Jack L. Warner
Screenplay by Sheridan Gibney
Based on The Green Pastures &
Ol' Man Adam an' His Chillun
1930 play & 1928 novel
by Marc Connelly & Roark Bradford
Starring Rex Ingram
Oscar Polk
Eddie Anderson
Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Cinematography Hal Mohr
Edited by George Amy
Distributed by Warner Bros
Release date
  • July 16, 1936 (1936-07-16)
Running time
93 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $800,000 (estimated)
Box office $3,750,000 (estimated by 1939)

The Green Pastures is a 1936 American film depicting stories from the Bible as visualized by African-American characters. It starred Rex Ingram (in several roles, including "De Lawd"), Oscar Polk, and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson. It was based on the 1928 novel Ol' Man Adam an' His Chillun by Roark Bradford and the 1930 Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Marc Connelly.

The Green Pastures was one of only six feature films in the Hollywood Studio era to feature an all-African American cast, though elements of it were criticised by civil rights activists at the time and subsequently.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

God tests the human race in this reenactment of Bible stories set in the world of black American folklore.



In spite of criticisms about its racial stereotyping, The Green Pastures proved to be an enormously popular film. On its opening day at New York's Radio City Music Hall, tickets sold at a rate of 6,000 per hour. The film was held over for an entire year's run at some theaters. It remained the highest grossing all-black cast film until the release of Carmen Jones in 1954.


  1. ^ G. S. Morris, "Thank God for Uncle Tom – Race and Religion Collide in The Green Pastures", Bright Lights, Issue 59, February 2008.

External links[edit]