Our Town (1940) - Rotten Tomatoes

Our Town1940

Our Town (1940)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Our Town is given the Hollywood treatment in this adaptation directed by Sam Wood featuring an evocative score by Aaron Copland and outstanding production design by William Cameron Menzies. Frank Craven is Mr. Morgan, the narrator and our guide through the small town of Grover's Corners in the more innocent American times of 1901, 1904, and 1913. Mr. Morgan chronicles the lives of a handful of Grover's Corners citizens, centering upon Emily Webb (Martha Scott), the daughter of the local newspaper editor (Guy Kibbee), and George Gibbs (William Holden), the son of the local doctor (Thomas Mitchell). Emily and George fall in love and the film details their difficult courtship, marriage, and tragic childbirth. The film was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, losing out to Rebecca.

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William Holden
as Geogre Gibbs
Martha Scott
as Emily Webb
Beulah Bondi
as Mrs. Webb
Guy Kibbee
as Mr. Webb
Frank Craven
as Mr. Morgan, the narrator
Fay Bainter
as Mrs. Gibbs
Thomas Mitchell
as Dr. Gibbs
Stuart Erwin
as Howie Newsome
Philip Wood
as Simon Stinson
Doro Merande
as Mrs. Soames
Ruth Tobey
as Rebecca Gibbs
Douglas Gardiner
as Wally Webb
Arthur Allen
as Prof. Willet
Spencer Charters
as The Constable
Tim Davis
as Joe Crowell
Dix Davis
as Si Crowell
Dan White
as Wedding Guest
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Critic Reviews for Our Town

All Critics (7)

Our Town is the dramatic mother lode. Indisputably, this is a great motion picture.

October 28, 2019 | Full Review…

Dated, yes. But it still catches in the throat. Nostalgic, loving, happy, sad.

February 17, 2008 | Rating: 5/5

Sam Wood's film version is as experimental and stylized as Thornton Wilder's play, one of the most enduring but also misunderstood plays in American history.

December 24, 2006 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Pretty good, but did Wilder know Wood screwed up the ending?

December 12, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

today it seems quite dated in its theatrical clunkiness

February 27, 2001 | Rating: 2.5/4

Audience Reviews for Our Town

In these days of "Make America Great Again" it's eye-opening to reflect that in 1940 Thornton Wilder won a Pulitzer ruminating on exactly the same premise (perhaps proving that society will always imagine that it's best days are behind it while incapable to see ahead). The good ol' days dwelt on herein are the turn-of-the-last-century. What's good about that, you may ask? Well, for one, a dog could sleep in the middle of Main Street all day and not be disturbed, the film suggests. An all star cast of character actors fill in the slots of homey, homespun, saccharine goodness while William Holden does his best shy and awkward.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Our Town is one of the best plays that I have seen executed on stage. Evidently, we weren't ready for a good screen adaptation in 1940. Despite the best efforts by William Holden, Thornton Wilder's original vision is lost.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


What a sentimental, sappy, silly movie. You understand the ideas they're trying to convey almost half way through, but they keep beating you over the head with them anyway. This movie got on my nerves.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

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