Few films touch the heart so deeply as this one and fewer still present such moving performances.
Robinson is terrific as a Wisconsin farmer who takes very seriously the raising of his daughter, O'Brien. When attractive Gifford arrives in Benson Junction to teach school, a great deal of excitement ensues, particularly over the way in which handsome town newspaper editor Craig is drawn to her.
Craig is called to serve in WWII and asks Gifford to wait for him, but she cannot make such a commitment. Robinson is disraught later when O'Brien and her cousin, Jenkins, disappear. The children are found alive but soaking wet in a bathtub that has taken them on a perilous journey through the
swollen waters of a nearby stream. The event that brings the whole town together and convinces Gifford that there is a lot to be said for the "boring" small town is a tragedy: a neighbor's farm is struck by lightning and the resultant fire wipes him out. O'Brien is the first to offer help, in the
form of her prize calf; her father and the rest of the townspeople follow in quick succession.
Supporting Robinson with marvelous performances are O'Brien, who furthered her juvenile career in films mightily with this entry, as did Jenkins, one of Louis B. Mayer's favorite child actors. Moorehead is excellent and sports a mild Norwegian accent in an underplayed part, and Morris, as the
retarded neighbor who dies, displays fine talent. Released just after V-J Day, OUR VINES HAVE TENDER GRAPES was written with great care by the talented Trumbo, whom Robinson had earlier befriended (he was later criticized for this friendship by citizens siding with HUAC during the Sen. Joseph
McCarthy era, when Trumbo was part of the "Hollywood Ten").
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Few films touch the heart so deeply as this one and fewer still present such moving performances. Robinson is terrific as a Wisconsin farmer who takes very seriously the raising of his daughter, O'Brien. When attractive Gifford arrives in Benson Junction… (more)