A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
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For a debut film that beats out the career peaks from so many other directors, I guess I stumble a bit when I hear it being called 'piss-poor'. Even for Dorothy McGuire's quiet and subtle performance alone, this film is clearly good. I found this more moving and true-to-life than On the Waterfront, though not by much. It really grabs you by the soul.
It's not one of my favorite films, but I can't imagine finding a film like this "piss-poor." It's solid filmmaking, with memorable characters and some genuinely moving moments.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #34 in IMDb's 1940s Top 50
This movie ranks #306 in Eureka!'s The Masters of Cinema Series
This movie ranks #555 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
This movie ranks #697 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
This movie ranks #915 in The New York Times's Book of Movies