Elia Kazan's first directorial assignment in films proved to be one of the most endearing, honest family dramas of the era and is still timeless enough to be watched and savored decades later. Set in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn in the first years of the 20th century, this film
memorably captures the local ambiance, and the struggle of the urban poor, as it focuses on the drama of one Irish family. Matriarch McGuire worries about every penny because her husband, amiable loser Dunn, can't ever seem to earn enough to support her and their children (Donaldson and Garner).
Protagonist Garner wants to write and dreams of a better life elsewhere. In the tenement the...