The Good Earth (1937)
Chinese silver dollar coins
The 1937 MGM film "The Good Earth" shows several Chinese silver dollars of different types.
1911 revolution which toppled the Manchu rulers and resulted in the Republic of China.
Wang owns a small plot of land somewhere in northern China.
His father has made an arrangement for Wang to marry O-Lan, a kitchen worker.
He goes to the town to marry the woman.
2. Wang and O-Lan marry
Wang brings her back to the farm.
She proves to be a hard worker and later delivers a baby boy, which makes Wang proud and happy.
4. Baby with rice
The baby plays with rice and then Wang's hands are shown handling the family money which is in
the form of Chinese silver dollars of several different types.
5. China Sun Yat Sen dollar
A Sun Yat Sen silver dollar appears, these were made in 1934, the 23rd year of the Republic of China.
An obvious anachronism as the film scene is set before 1912 when the Republic was founded.
6. Szechuan Province dollar obverse
The Szechuan Province dollars were made from 1901 to 1909.
7. Chihli Province Pei Yang Arsenal dollar reverse
The Chihli Province Pei Yang Arsenal dollars were made from 1896 to 1908.
This one is dated 1898 (Year 24 of the Emperor).
8. Szechuan Province dollar reverse
The reverse of the above Szechuan dollar appears.
9. China Empire "dragon" dollar in the bag
The China Empire dragon dollars were only made in 1911, the last year of the empire.
and a daughter.
10. Offer for the land
Wang is offered a small amount of money for his land but refuses to sell.
11. On the train
The family lives in a camp and Wang works at menial jobs while O-Lan and the children beg.
12. Town riot
During a riot, O-Lan is trapped in a wealthy man's house and later finds a hoard of jewelry stones.
He uses the money from the stones to return to his farm.
After several years he becomes wealthy again and his sons are grown and assisting with the
13. Sons counting money
Piles of silver dollars are shown on the table.
14. Business meeting
Wang, with his wealth, decides to marry a second "trophy" wife, Lotus, a singer from a nightclub.
He asks O-Lan for her pearls to pay for the new wife.
and orders the son to leave.
16. Showing the threat
A huge swarm of locusts (grasshoppers) is going to arrive, and Wang's older son, who has
graduated from an agricultural college, suggests that they can be fought using fire.
17. Fire against locusts
The locusts finally leave and Wang has some of his crops left.
18. Wang returns O-Lan's pearls
Wang returns O-Lan's pearls and she passes on.
19. The end
Paul Muni as Wang
Luise Rainer as O-Lan
Tilly Losch as Lotus
Walter Connolly as Uncle
Charley Grapewin as Old Father
Writers: Talbot Jennings, Tess Slesinger, Pearl Buck (novel)