Director Elia Kazan was one of Hollywood’s most influential directors and became noted for drawing out incredible dramatic performances, directing 21 actors to Oscar nominations, including 9 wins. He was responsible for introducing the world to Marlon Brando and James Dean.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was his directorial debut and tells the story of Francie Nolan and her poor Irish-American family living in the Williamsburg neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York, in the early 20th century. Francie has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and dreams of attending a better school which will give her a brighter future but her alcoholic father struggles to find work and with another baby on the way it looks like Francie may have to give up school altogether.
Peggy Ann Garner received the Academy Juvenile Award for her performance as Francie Nolan and James Dunn received the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Francie’s father in this gripping drama that has been recognised as one of the most culturally and historically significant American films of the 20th century.