Selina nicknames her son, Dirk, “So big” because she is always asking him “How big is my son?” and he stretches out his baby arms to show her. She would work with Wellman two more times in THE GREAT MAN”S LADY which I have not seen and in LADY OF BURLESQUE, a decent murder mystery. As in The Purchase Price, Wellman’s film again stresses the coldness of life on a country farm, with scenes of Selina shivering in the mornings as Roelf lights the clumsy old-fashioned stove for her. Suddenly Dirk is grown-up, played by Hardie Albright (another actor who also features in The Purchase Price), and Selina is an old woman with white hair, though still as beautiful as ever. Just leave us a message here and we will work on getting you verified. Copyright © Fandango. It sounds from your comments as if maybe I come across as being a bit harder on the film than I wanted to be – I do think it is well worth watching and I enjoyed it, even watching online, but there’s no getting away from the fact that the narrative jumps are rather awkward. We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future. In any case, while I am of course most familiar with Edna Ferber’s work (she allowed her “serious” SHOWBOAT to be turned into a musical by Kern and Hammerstein and she also wrote the Academy Award winning CIMMERON) I never knew that SO BIG! Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), View themotionpictures’s profile on Facebook. Barbara Stanwyck in So Big! is not available on DVD or even VHS, though I would suspect it might turn up in the Warner Archive series in future. SO BIG ( 1932 ) On September 2, 2015 September 2, 2015 By In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood “I want you to realize that this whole thing called life is just a grand adventure. I’d heard very little praise for it, and I’d even seen it be referred to as one of the worst films in her filmography. Keep checking Rotten Tomatoes for updates! In film after film, the heavens open when his characters are finding the world against them.”. is not quite as entertaining as The Purchase Price. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! This book was filmed three times, first as a silent with Colleen Moore and then again in the 1950s starring Jane Wyman, but this middle version is the only one I’ve seen. One can see why writers, directors and actors are attracted to award-winning books, but too often something happens between the first reading of the source material and the final editing that results in a lackluster final product.… (*Cary Grant does not actually endorse this blog, but I'd like to think he does.). They just showed it on TCM this week and I DVR’d it. Coming Soon. When Simeon dies, Selina is alone and has no way to support herself. I wonder to myself if we shall eventually get movies of this type here in the US (unemployment is reaching depression levels in some parts of the US). Thanks very much for commenting, Frederick, and sharing this fascinating story – it seems amazing that Ferber had a clause about TV put in a film contract in 1931, and also that she got away with including the same clause in the contract for ‘Giant’! Get the freshest reviews, news, and more delivered right to your inbox! (1931) Review, with Barbara Stanwyck | Pre-Code.Com. Her aunts sold the estate and put her in a boarding school. Change ). Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango. is a film directed by William A. Wellman with Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent, Dickie Moore, Bette Davis .... Year: 1932. After a few minutes, Stanwyck takes over the role of Selina as a young woman, still clinging to her father and trying to make a home for him although by now she knows exactly what he is. Actually, from what research I did, apparently there’s only one scene difference between the book and the adaptation. It’s got a pretty slow pace and too many time-period jumps, making it very clear that it is an incredibly condensed version of what was a more fleshed-out story in Furber’s novel. When Selina offers to teach him better English at evening classes, it is inevitable that they will fall in love – much to the dismay of young Roelf, who has a crush on Selina. I love this nice, quiet little movie, I sure wish it were longer, it has so much going for it. The two hop around to different hotels rather than living in a stable home, staying in luxurious places when Simeon is winning big and living in less favorable conditions when he’s not. I look forward to reading your thoughts if you do get around to reevaluating it! At first the film appears to be mocking the family putting her up, as there are close-ups of the father, Klass Poole (Alan Hale), eating messily and the farcical clumsiness of everything around the delicate Selina is comically stressed. I know it is sometimes shown on TCM in the US. A fascinating review. “As Selina stands by the window weeping, torrential rain pours down outside – a very characteristic Wellman touch. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. I’m glad that at least it is possible for the film to be shown on television now, after all these years – though it isn’t ever shown in the UK, sadly for me. Judy, I have not seen this but with Stanwyck in it, I will have to add it to the ever growing list. If I do come across it I will let you know. She has an incredible sense of determination and an ability to remain hopeful even in the worst of times, which is completely admirable. Just confirm how you got your ticket. I haven’t yet read the novel, but I can only assume that it includes a greater depth of detail than this adaptation, and reviews from those who have read the source novel seem to confirm this. So Big! Synopsis: Selina lived well until her father Simeon died. So Big! However, Bette Davis and George Brent do the best they can with the brief scenes they are given, and Stanwyck is wonderful throughout. I have to remind myself that this sort of film was not that common in the 1930s before I begin to lament art was truer then. However, within a few minutes, the real poignancy of the family’s life is coming across, as the worn-out mother, Maartje (Dorothy Peterson), who looks 50, confesses that she is “nearly 31” – while her oldest child, Roelf  (Dick Winslow) is already working full time on the farm at the age of 12, and has to try to educate himself by reading the dictionary propped up in front of his plate as he eats his meals. Don't have an account? For me, one of the most successful sequences of the whole film is a church social where the men bid at auction for packed lunches in baskets prepared by the women of the congregation. The opening of the film, set in the 1880s, shows the heroine, Selina Peake, as a child, leading a lonely life with her gambler father, who lodges in luxury hotels when he is winning, and dingy bed-and-breakfasts when he is losing. Sidney Poitier’s 7 Most Memorable Performances, All Harry Potter Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer, Everything You Need to Know About the Snyder Cut of. Hi Kay, I’m afraid I saw this at Youtube a long while back and it was taken down soon afterwards. Barbara Stanwyck convinces in the difficult trajectory of good daughter, teacher and finally in the skin of mother courage.

Verified reviews are considered more trustworthy by fellow moviegoers. I have never had opportunity to see this film, but am hoping that (as you suggest in your final paragraph) Warner Archives does this, and in fact it would seem this is an ideal candidate. I love this flick. It also doesn’t help things that all the characters speak to each other in English with heavy Dutch accents. Instead, in a sublimely improbable plot twist, she falls for the adult Roelf, now a famous sculptor – who is played by Stanwyck’s co-star from The Purchase Price, George Brent. The percentage of users who rated this 3.5 stars or higher. (1931) Review, with Barbara Stanwyck | Pre-Code.Com. Thanks very much for the encouragement, Sam – must admit though that I have a lot of Wellman homework still to do!

You're almost there! Clare, there was a remake in 1953, directed by Robert Wise, with Jane Wyman and Sterling Hayden. The problem really with this part of the film is that it is just too short and so much is piled in. Don’t worry, it won’t take long. ), who also wrote the source works for Show Boat, Cimarron and Giant, among others. Coming Soon. My library unfortunately does not have a copy, so it’ll be a while until I get around to it myself. I look forward to the next! So Big!
Though this is a Stanwyck film and Stanwyck films are never a waste of time, I went into this film with a bit of skepticism. By opting to have your ticket verified for this movie, you are allowing us to check the email address associated with your Rotten Tomatoes account against an email address associated with a Fandango ticket purchase for the same movie. I’m also interested in reading the book before watching it again. I haven’t seen that version and looks as if it isn’t available on DVD either, but have just checked and the good news is that it is being shown on TCM on March 26, at 9.30am ET, so you should be able to get to see it. As Selina stands by the window weeping, torrential rain pours down outside – a very characteristic Wellman touch. The trick is to act in it and look out at the same time. As an adult she wants to be a teacher in farming country. I have been looking for this movie for almost a year now, and it would just make my day to finally be able to see this!


Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Edna Ferber, this is an even bleaker portrayal of rural life than the one given in The Purchase Price, portraying a back-breaking existence which makes the people living on farms old and exhausted before their time – although there is still a lot of humour mixed up with the melodramatic elements. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. The cupboard will never be painted. I would love to see this made again.

Actually Selina relocates to High Prairie it’s near Chicago not Penn. Winner of the 1924 Pulitzer Prize, So Big is widely regarded as Edna Ferber's crowning achievement. In this film, Chicago truck farmer Selena sacrifices everything for her son Dirk, dreaming that the boy will become a successful architect. Bette Davis is a standout from the supporting cast. It looks as if Selina is going to be publicly humiliated because her basket, of jelly sandwiches, is so small – but handsome farmer Pervus De Jong (Earle Foxe) impulsively bids a small fortune for it and then they share the sandwiches. Sadly, So Big! She can thrill when she touches the farm alone after her husband’s death and exposes herself, frail and aging, to concerns about her son’s future.

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