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With: Rex Ingram, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Myrtle Anderson, Dudley Dickerson, Edna Mae Harris, Johnny Lee, Mantan Moreland, Oscar Polk, George Randol, Ernest Whitman
Written by: Marc Connelly, based on his own play
Directed by: Marc Connelly, William Keighley
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 93
Date: 07/16/1936

The Green Pastures (1936)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Black History

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Rex Ingram plays "De Lawd," the creator of everything on Earth in Marc Connelly and William Keighley's The Green Pastures. Based, like Cabin in the Sky, on a popular stage play, this one centers around a Sunday School meeting in which a preacher does his best to explain the history of the world to his students. At first, Heaven is nothing but a big fish fry with ten-cent cigars for everyone, until "De Lawd" decides to create the Earth, and with it, Adam and Eve, Noah, Cain and Abel and Moses (all black). Eddie "Rochester" Anderson co-stars as Noah, but without his trademark sandpaper voice. It's all ridiculous, of course, but in an open-hearted, naïve sort of way it's an oddly captivating achievement.

DVD Details: Warner Home Video's DVD comes with two short films and a trailer. Actor LeVar Burton ("Roots," "Star Trek") provides a commentary track, joined by Black Cultural scholars Herb Boyd and Ed Guerrero. Released in conjunction with Cabin in the Sky and Hallelujah.

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