Based on Donald Davis and Owen Davis' stage-adaptation of Pearl S. Buck's sprawling novel, Sidney Franklin's The Good Earth is the story of a Chinese farming couple whose lives are torn apart by poverty, greed, and nature. Paul Muni stars as Wang Lung a hardworking, but poor, farmer who weds freed-slave O-Lan (Luise Rainer). They struggle to build a life together, but after finally finding success, a plague of locusts descends upon their land, bringing a true test of the couple's perseverance. For her performance, Luise Rainer won the second of back-to-back Best Actress Oscars, while cinematographer Karl Freund took home an Academy Award for his photography work. The Good Earth was the final film production of Irving Thalberg, who died before the film was completed.