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A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is a 1945 film, the first film directed by Greek-American director Elia Kazan, starring James Dunn (who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor), Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, and Peggy Ann Garner.

The film is based on an American novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith first published in 1943. It relates the coming-of-age story of its main character, Francie Nolan, against a backdrop of tenement life in Brooklynmarker, New Yorkmarker, at the turn of the 20th century.

A 1974 made-for-television film, starring Cliff Robertson, Diane Baker, Pamelyn Ferdin and James Olson, was adapted from the 1945 screenplay by Tess Slesinger.


Dorothy McGuire stars as Katie Nolan, mother of earnest young teenager Francie (Peggy Ann Garner) and streetwise pre-teenage Neeley (Ted Donaldson). Katie's husband, Johnny Nolan (James Dunn), is a charming dreamer whose drinking and inability to find steady work condemn his family to poverty. Their free spirited, oft-married Aunt Sissy (Joan Blondell) is an occasional visitor. The story takes place around 1900, in a Brooklyn tenement.

Because the book is lengthy and takes place from before Francie is born till after she is 16 years old, the movie concentrates on Francie as a teenager 14 - 15.

Also one of Katie's sisters is eliminated and her qualities and quotes from the book are given to Sissy, somewhat toning down her character. Other characters, like Francie's school teacher, are changed to protagonists to ease the transition to film.


Awards and nominations

James Dunn won the 1945 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and Frank Davis and Tess Slesinger were nominated for Writing, Adapted Screenplay.

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