The Green Promise is a commercial for the 4-H clubs which despite the ever shrinking number of family farms there are still enough kids growing up on same to provide a spring of new members. But this film is a time capsule which shows some of the problems of rural life around 1949. A lot of those same problems exist today because the things that Mother Nature can throw at you when you make a living from the land don't change at all.
Walter Brennan plays a serious version of his later Grandpappy Amos McCoy role. He's the father of four children, the grownup Marguerite Chapman and youngsters Ted Donaldson, Connie Marshall and the youngest Natalie Wood. Brennan is old fashioned and stubborn and not willing to listen to advice about new agricultural methods. Especially when they come from smart alecky young county agent Robert Paige. Paige knows his stuff, but he's a bit too sure of himself to suit Brennan and Chapman in the romance department. Of course she comes around in every way.
The star here is young Natalie Wood and she plays the part like a young Margaret O'Brien. In fact when I tuned the film on I wasn't sure I wasn't watching Margaret O'Brien, the only clue that puzzled me was that Ted Donaldson was too old be an older brother for O'Brien. Young Natalie is sweet and engaging and I defy anyone not to empathize with her concern for her young black lambs whom she is raising as her 4-H project.
The kids from 4-H pitch in with helping hands (that is one of the four Hs after all) to save the farm from the elements and the stupidity of man which I won't go into. All in all they're wholesome All American kids and a real advertisement for the group.
And The Green Promise is also an advertisement for the 4-H clubs in the USA. It's a nice family film without great production values and Natalie Wood is exceptional.
The Green Promise
The Green Promise
Widowed Old Man Matthews, who has lived his entire life as a farmer, has moved his family of himself and his four young adult to adolescent offspring - Deborah, Phineas, Abigail and Susan - to a just purchased farm in Millwood, following the ecological demise of their last farm on which he was able to collect insurance. He has a "my way or the high way" mentality about most things in life, most specifically about running a farm, he believing his experience trumping everything else. He, however, likes to portray himself as being fair and democratic, all important family matters which are decided on by a family vote. He has these votes as he and the other family members know that Abby and Phin will always vote with him, the former to retain his favor and the latter out of fear regardless of Phin's true thoughts as their father always convinces out of coercion. Such ideas against his include Debbie believing the farm too expensive for the many deficiencies it has, and Susie wanting a few dollars to purchase two lambs to raise as something all her own, her father who characterizes her wants as selfish in light of his want to buy a tractor as oppose to renting one with less money. David Barkley, the local agricultural county agent, tries to advise Matthews about certain aspects of the farm, from dealing with the different climate compared to their former farm site, to topographical and geological issues, all that advice falling on Matthews' deaf ears. David also becomes Susie's ally as he is a supporter of and adviser for the local 4H club, the lamb project which would be a perfect fit if Susie were to become a member, which she desperately wants. David and Debbie, who have an unspoken attraction for each other, try to do whatever they can to make a go of the farm despite Matthews' actions, and before those actions irreparably damage the land and/or worse kill someone. —Huggo
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
July 19, 2021 at 10:48 PM