Our Daily Bread
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKing Vidor
Written byKing Vidor (story)
Elizabeth Hill (scenario)
Joseph L. Mankiewicz (dialogue)
Produced byKing Vidor
StarringKaren Morley
Tom Keene
Barbara Pepper
CinematographyRobert H. Planck
Edited byLloyd Nosler
Music byAlfred Newman
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release dates
  • August 1, 1934 (1934-08-01) (U.S. premiere)
  • October 2, 1934 (1934-10-02) (U.S. wide)
Running time
80 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$125,000 (estimate)

Our Daily Bread is a 1934 American drama film directed by King Vidor and starring Karen Morley, Tom Keene, and John Qualen. The film is a sequel to Vidor's silent classic The Crowd (1928), using the same characters although with different actors. Vidor tried to interest Irving Thalberg of MGM in the project, but Thalberg, who had greenlighted the earlier film, rejected the idea. Vidor then produced the film himself and released it through United Artists. The film is also known as Hell's Crossroads, an American reissue title.

In 2015, the United States Library of Congress selected the film for preservation in the National Film Registry, finding it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".[1] In February 2020, the film was shown at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival, as part of a retrospective dedicated to Vidor's career.[2]


A couple, down on their luck during the Great Depression, move to a farm to try to make a go of living off the land. They have no idea what to do at first, but soon find other downtrodden people to help them. Soon they have a collective of people, some from the big city, who work together on a farm. A severe drought is killing the crops. The people then dig a ditch by hand, almost two miles long, to divert water from a creek to irrigate the crops.



Our Daily Bread was a box-office disappointment.[3] Vidor, who produced the film with his own money, said he "just about broke even."[4]

The New York Times called the film "a social document of amazing vitality and emotional impact."[4][5]



  1. ^ Mike Barnes (December 16, 2015). "'Ghostbusters,' 'Top Gun,' 'Shawshank' Enter National Film Registry". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  2. ^ "Berlinale 2020: Retrospective "King Vidor"". Berlinale. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  3. ^ Churchill, Douglas W. The Year in Hollywood: 1934 May Be Remembered as the Beginning of the Sweetness-and-Light Era; The New York Times December 30, 1934: X5. Retrieved December 16, 2013. (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b Our Daily Bread (1934) [1] Turner Classic Movies
  5. ^ Sennwald, Andre [2] The New York Times Oct. 3, 1934