African-Americans have played a great role in the upbringing of American cinema, but sadly they were not given more suitable chances to show their performing talents and abilities. Blacks have always been into theater, production, art, and music. There are many legendary personalities who have nailed these fields and have paved the way for the coming talent. Such one example is the great movie, The Green Pasture which subsequently made a difference back in 1936.
On July 16, 1936, the movie “Green Pastures” was premiered in the New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The movie is an American film that depicts different stories from the Bible and visualized by the different African-American characters. It starred the amazing Rex Ingram, Eddie Rochester Anderson, and Oscar Polk. Rex Ingram in this movie played a variety of roles including the very famous “De Lawd”. Green Pastures was based on the 1928 novel “Ol’ Man Adam an’ His Chillun” which was written by Roark Bradford. This novel was also used in the prize-winning play by Marc Connelly.
Green Pasture was one of the only six feature movies in the entire Hollywood Studio era that featured an all African-American cast. But the different elements of the film were criticized by the members of Civil Rights subsequently at that time.
The movie was shot in Louisiana delta and revolved around a Black preacher, Mr. Deshee who used to readout Bible stories to his Sunday school classroom. It was just to make his students visualize God and heaven. The plot of the movie was beautifully written considering all the ups and downs of the novel from which it was adapted. The screenplay was written by Sheridan Gibney, where as produced by Jack L. Warner and directed by Marc Connelly and William Keighley. This amazing film was distributed under the banner of Warner Brothers who made great efforts to make the film a big success all around the world.
It was the racial stereotyping that became the reason for hard criticism, but the movie “Green Pasture” proved to be an extremely popular film at that time. On the release date of the movie at the New York’s Radio City Music Hall, tickets sold at the speed of around 6,000 per hour. The film occupied some of the theater for an entire year and became one of the highest-grossing all-black cast movies until the release of Carmen Jones right in the year 1954.