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"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" screened Nov. 30 at BYU film archive series

The Brigham Young University Motion Picture Archive Film Series will continue Friday, Nov. 30, with a screening of the 1945 feature film “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” at 7 p.m. in the Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium.

Auditorium doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Children and adults ages eight and older are welcome. BYU dress standards apply.

The film, based on Betty Smith’s popular 1943 novel about the struggles of the Nolan family in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, was the first feature film directed by noted theatre director Elia Kazan. In later years, Kazan said of the film that “every picture that is successful has one little miracle in it, and we had ours — Peggy Ann Garner.”

Garner plays the role of 13-year-old Francie, who dreams of becoming a writer in spite of her family’s meager existence in their Brooklyn tenement. Garner received a special Academy Award as the “most outstanding child performer of 1945” for the role. James Dunn earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as her loving but alcoholic father.

“This is a five-hankie picture,” said BYU’s Motion Picture Archive curator, James D’Arc, who will host and provide commentary at the screening. “It is truly a family film with an abundance of heart-tugging emotion, done in a credible fashion. It is one of those few films whose characters, especially Francie, will remain with you for a long, long time.”

The film series is co-sponsored by L. Tom Perry Special Collections, the Friends of the Harold B. Lee Library and Dennis and Linda Gibson. The films shown in the series come from the permanent collection in the LeeLibrary’s Motion Picture Archive.

For more information and a complete schedule, visit or call James D’Arc at (801) 422-6371.

Writer: Marissa Ballantyne

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