Our Vines Have Tender Grapes

Our Vines Have Tender Grapes

Theatrical poster
Directed by Roy Rowland
Produced by Robert Sisk
Written by George Victor Martin (original)
Dalton Trumbo
Starring Edward G. Robinson
Margaret O'Brien
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Cinematography Robert Surtees
Editing by Ralph E. Winters
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date(s) 1945
Running time 105 min.
Country United States
Language English

Our Vines Have Tender Grapes is an American drama film released in 1945, directed by Roy Rowland and starring Edward G. Robinson and Margaret O'Brien.[1][2]



The movie is based on the novel by George Victor Martin, about the Norwegian-descended residents of a small Wisconsin farming community. The screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo, his last before being blacklisted for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Told from the viewpoint of little Selma (Margaret O’Brien), the film explores grand childhood adventures: making friends, a pet calf, Christmas, a terrifying trip down a flood-swollen river, a barn fire and a ride on a circus elephant’s trunk. Its title comes from Chapter 2, Verse 15 in the Song of Solomon in the King James version of the Bible, which reads, Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.


The story is about a Norwegian immigrant in Wisconsin, Martinius Jacobson (Edward G. Robinson), a farmer, his wife Bruna (Agnes Moorehead) and their seven-year-old daughter Selma (Margaret O'Brien) who is very close with her five-year-old cousin, Arnold (Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins). Martinus simply wants to work his land and be a loving farmer to his family. The one great ambition in the life of Martinius Jacobson is to build a new barn, but tragedy strikes. How the family copes with that is the core and the charm of the film

Selma lives a carefree, joyous life, which is only temporarily clouded by the sudden death of Ingeborg Jensen (Dorothy Morris), an emotionally disturbed young woman whose stern father (Charles B. Middleton) had refused to let her attend school despite the pleas of newly arrived schoolmarm Viola Johnson (Frances Gifford).

Inspired by young Selma, the entire town of Fuller Junction come to the aid of Bjorn Bjornson (Morris Carnovsky), who has lost his livestock when lightning struck a newly erected barn. When Selma generously donates her pet calf to the impoverished farmer, the townspeople in general, and Martinius in particular, follow suit, prompting Viola to reconsider her harsh views of country life and retract her letter of resignation to the school board.[3]



  1. ^ Variety film review; July 18, 1945, page 34.
  2. ^ Harrison's Reports film review; July 21, 1945, page 114.
  3. ^ Our Vines Have Tender Grapes at Allmovie

External links

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