Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Betty Smith's best selling novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn inspired an Oscar-winning 1945 film, a play and a Broadway musical; this 1974 73-minute telefilm - a pilot for a weekly series drama -- represents the fourth incarnation. Cliff Robertson plays Johnny Nolan, a bibulous waiter living in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. When Nolan dies, it is up to his widow Katie (Diane Baker) to carve out an existence for herself and her children Francie (Pamelyn Ferdin) and Neely (Michael James Wixted). Ultimately, Katie marries kindly Brooklyn cop McShane (James Olson). Nancy Malone costars as Katie's promiscuous sister Sissy. First telecast March 27, 1974, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn failed to generate high enough ratings for a regular series.
survivor, death, grief, poverty, tenement