The Valley of the Tennessee

United States, 1945

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A moving and human story of the work of the TVA in rescuing the people of the Tennessee Valley from floods and erosion. The river’s energy was running to waste, and floods were frequent and tragic; the once-good soil was deteriorating from erosion and over-cropping; the farmers struggled on in poverty and hopelessness. The Tennessee Valley Authority was created to build dams, to control the floods, to use the water for irrigation, hydro-electricity and navigation, to restore the Valley to prosperity again. Most of the farmers, sunk in poverty and despair, proved difficult to help, but gradually the younger ones among them were won over, first to interest, and then to enthusiasm and co-operation. As a result of years of work, and increasing self help and experiment on the part of the farmers working with TVA, the great Valley of the Tennessee, larger in area that the United Kingdom, has been restored in some measure to fertility and prosperity. This film is remarkable for its treatment of larger issues through the reactions of individuals-in particular, a child, a young farmer, and an old farmer-and the economy and insight of its visuals. Script by May Sarton. Photographed by Peter Glushanok.


production company

United States. Office of War Information


Alexander Hammid



Production places
United States
Production dates

Collection metadata

ACMI Identifier




Subject categories

Agriculture, Business, Commerce & Industry → Farm life - United States

Agriculture, Business, Commerce & Industry → Soil erosion

Agriculture, Business, Commerce & Industry → Water-power

Climate, Environment, Natural Resources & Disasters → Floods

Climate, Environment, Natural Resources & Disasters → Irrigation

Climate, Environment, Natural Resources & Disasters → Natural history

Climate, Environment, Natural Resources & Disasters → Soil erosion

Climate, Environment, Natural Resources & Disasters → Water

Climate, Environment, Natural Resources & Disasters → Water conservation

Climate, Environment, Natural Resources & Disasters → Water-power

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Water

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Water-power


Documentary → Documentary films - United States

History → History

Short films

Short films → Short films - United States




Black and White


16mm film; Preservation Print (Section 5)

16mm film; Access Print (Section 1)

16mm film; Limited Access Print (Section 2)

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