The Green Promise
A stubborn farmer is raising his children alone. When his oldest daughter gets a suitor, the father nearly goes on the rampage, but he is forced to change his tune when he is injured, leaving her in charge of the farm.
The Green Promise is a 1948 American film directed by William D. Russell. The film was co-produced by Houston oilman Glenn McCarthy and leading man Robert Paige to display the concept and meaning of the 4-H Club and highlight farming issues such as soil erosion, government programs, and individual enterprise. The title refers to a scene where the local preacher gives a sermon on a story from the Book of Exodus of God’s “green promise” to lead Moses into a land of milk and honey. The preacher reminds his congregation that the fulfillment of the promise requires faith, difficult journeys and open-mindedness.
It tells the story of a farmer, Matthews, his son and three daughters. Leaving behind a failing farm, the family travel to pastures new. Help is proffered by agricultural county agent, David Barkley, who is immediately attracted to Matthews’s eldest daughter, Deborah. Needing Deborah to run his house, and fearing David may take her away, Matthews refuses David’s advice and help. He is pig-headed and sleeps through the pastor’s sermon on education, understanding and tolerance. It is Susan’s (Matthews’s youngest daughter) yearning ambition to raise lambs. Though only ten years old, she joins the 4-H club, secures a loan from the bank and buys two lambs. She cares for them like she is a mother. Barkley strongly advises Matthews against chopping down the forest atop a hill on his land. Matthews goes ahead and sells the land to a logging company. The forest gone, a great storm comes and washes the mud down the incline towards the homestead. Fearful for her beloved lambs, Susan braves the dangerous conditions to rescue the lambs. David returns and rescues both Susan and the lambs. Deborah is atop the hill trying to move rocks in order to build a dam to save their home from the torrent of water. David arrives and pulls her back just as the land falls away. Realizing how close to harm his daughters have come because of his ignorance and selfishness, Matthews apologizes to his family and welcomes David into their home. The community of 4-H members arrive to help them clean up the land following the storm damage.
Marguerite Chapman as Deborah Matthews
Walter Brennan as Mr. Matthews
Robert Paige as David Barkley
Natalie Wood as Susan Anastasia Matthews
Ted Donaldson as Phineas Matthews
Connie Marshall as Abigail Matthews
Robert Ellis as Peter “Buzz” Wexford
Jeanne LaDuke as Jessie Wexford
Irving Bacon as Julius Larkins
Milburn Stone as Rev. Jim Benton
Geraldine Wall as Mrs. Wexford