The Grapes of Wrath
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An oklahoma family moves to california during the dustbowl period of the 1930s. Studio: Tcfhe Release Date: 06/19/2008 Starring: Henry Fonda John Carradine Run time: 128 minutes

Ranking No. 21 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American films, this 1940 classic is a bit dated in its noble sentimentality, but it remains a luminous example of Hollywood classicism from the peerless director of mythic Americana, John Ford. Adapted by Nunnally Johnson from John Steinbeck's classic novel, the film tells a simple story about Oklahoma farmers leaving the depression-era dustbowl for the promised land of California, but it's the story's emotional resonance and theme of human perseverance that makes the movie so richly and timelessly rewarding. It's all about the humble Joad family's cross-country trek to escape the economic devastation of their ruined farmland, beginning when Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) returns from a four-year prison term to discover that his family home is empty. He's reunited with his family just as they're setting out for the westbound journey, and thus begins an odyssey of saddening losses and strengthening hopes. As Ma Joad, Oscar-winner Jane Darwell is the embodiment of one of America's greatest social tragedies and the "Okie" spirit of pressing forward against all odds (as she says, "because we're the people"). A documentary-styled production for which Ford and cinematographer Gregg Toland demanded painstaking authenticity, The Grapes of Wrath is much more than a classy, old-fashioned history lesson. With dialogue and scenes that rank among the most moving and memorable ever filmed, it's a classic among classics--simply put, one of the finest films ever made. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews:

  • A Classic Adaptation of Steinbeck's Novel
    Director John Ford has done a masterful job of bringing John Steinbeck's timeless novel to life in this movie. Starring Henry Fonda, Ford's film brings the struggle of the 1930s migrant working family to life.

    Fonda stars as Tom Joad, a young man who's just been paroled from prision after serving four years for manslaughter. Upon arriving home, he meets Casey (John Carradine), a former preacher turned drifter. The two then head for the Joad homestead. Once there, Tom discovers that his family is gone. However, Muley Graves (John Qualen) has been hiding out in the Joad home. After he is discovered by Tom, Muley tells of the numerous land corporations and banks who have been taking possession of the local farms. Tom's father's farm has been repossessed, and the family has went to Uncle John's (Frank Darien) home.

    Tom and Casey head to uncle John's house, where they find the rest of the family, including Pa (Russell Simpson), Ma (Jane Darwell), Rose-of-Sharon (Dorris Bowden), her husband Connie Rivers (Eddie Quillan), and Grandma and Grandpa Joad. The government agent comes to inform John that his land is being taken over, and the family packs their truck and begins the journey to California.

    Along the way, the family is faced with many different trials and tribulations, including the deaths of grandma and grandpa Joad as well as Connie deciding to leave. They are forced to live in campgrounds designed specifically for refugee migrant workers, while Pa, Tom, and Uncle John try to find work.

    Eventually, the men find jobs as fruit pickers, but they barely make enough money to buy food. There are run-ins with townspeople who don't want "Okies" stealing any more jobs. All through these troubled times, Ma does her best to keep the family together. Will the Joad family survive?

    This movie, like the novel, has become a classic. The movie was nominated for numerous academy awards, and Jane Darwell won for best actress, while John Ford won for best director. The portrayal of life on the plains during the dustbowl years is done with great accuracy. Numerous families lost their farms and land during this terrible time and headed west to find new lives, and their struggle is portrayed excellently by the Joad family. The acting is excellent and the story is moving. There are many acts of kindness during the film, such as the scene where the diner waitress agrees to sell the Joads a loaf of bread and then sells the young Joad children candy for a penny. The scene where Ma Joad shares her meager food with the hungry children at the worker camp is moving, too.

    I give this movie my highest recommendation. The acting and story are great, and the historical aspect of the time period is handled perfectly. Watch this classic movie and see what the lives of the migrant farmer families of the dustbowl years were like....more info
  • The Curtis Chambers Depression Era Movie Review:
    I recently re-watched this well known movie classic. Made in 1940 and starring a young Henry Fonda, it is perhaps the most famous movie about the Great Depression in America. When I saw the film as a kid, the movie seemed sort of a quaint joke or curiosity. How could something like that ever happen in this country? Today it doesn't seem so funny...

    This movie is definitely not a pick me upper, but not every movie can be a comedy or a mindless action spectacle. The plot concerns a family of Oklahoma sharecroppers who are evicted from their farm. Jobless, with no prospects and little money, the large family piles into a dilapidated truck and heads off to California in search of work. A ex-preacher turned homeless wanderer, played wonderfully by John Carradine, accompanies them. Along the way Grandma and Grandfather die, and one of the brothers deserts his pregnant wife. The family is close to starving. They take what jobs they can picking fruit. Finally, they land on a Government run New Deal farm and life improves a bit. Henry Fonda, the oldest son, becomes and a political activist and leaves the family.

    There is also a theme in the movie in which anyone associated with capitalism is depicted as fascist and quite brutal. Cops in uniform work for the land owners and will not hesitate to kill the farm workers if they get out of line. The land owners try to take advantage of the very poor farmers plight by paying poverty level wages. The only one sympathetic to their plight is the government run New Deal farm. So the movie is in theme almost like Animal Farm in reverse. This time the Capitalists, rather than the Socialists, are the bad guys. Very interesting.

    So why watch this movie now? Well, the themes are apropos, unfortunately. Families being evicted from homes, joblessness, and lives in turmoil has again become common. Henry Fonda is a marvelous actor and this is one of his finest performances. And the specter of watching children that are hungry and growing up in such difficult circumstances in America is heartbreaking.

    When I first saw this film, I assumed the Depression could never happen again. Never say never.

    [...]...more info
  • The Grapes Of Wrath
    This is one of the greatest film classics of all time.definitely a must see for all film students, actors, directors, cinephotogrphers...more info
  • Fast Shipping. Item exactly as described.
    Reliable seller, I have done business with this seller before and would highly recommend. Fast shipping and the items are always exactly as described....more info
  • Grapes Of Wrath
    I have heard about this movie for years, finally watched it - wow, gives a good idea what the depression was like here in Oklahoma. Great Movie!...more info
  • Thumbs Both Up & Down
    The Grapes Of Wrath is an interesting, beautifully-filmed, powerful movie, but a story so marred by obvious leftist bias that it takes away from the presentation.

    With the fabulous black-and-white contrasts here, I wish John Ford had directed a bunch of film noirs because this sure has the feel of one. This is just great photography and camera angles. Henry Fonda is the lead character and does a fine job as usual but Jane Darwell steals the show as the matriarch of the family. John Carradine almost does the same with his ex-preacher role. The scenes of the family all piled on this old jalopy is one that will stay with you.

    It's no wonder it's still such a favorite with the liberal/secular population. We get the typical Hollywood fallen preacher role in which the man has lost his faith and then admits he doesn't have a clue. Later, he gives some of his theology which no Oklahoma preacher would ever believe in. For example, he has no idea what grace is.

    Then we have another modern-day Hollywood staple: everyone in authority is portrayed as a ruthless, sadistic thug, from the cops to the leaders of the camps. The only one who is shown to be compassionate is the kindly gentleman who espouses all the virtues of socialism and communism, which Fonda then praises to the hilt the rest of the movie, along with an incredibly stupid monologue on New Age religion.

    ...more info
  • Great old classic!
    Nothing to say that others haven't said I am sure, but I think this was a great copy at a great price. I am not a professional but I have not a single negative to say whatever - just a great old classic and at a great price!...more info
  • "I'll be there every time a cop is beatin' a guy up..."
    Directed by John Ford and adapted from the famous novel by John Steinbeck, "The Grapes of Wrath" is a gloomy masterpiece that challenges many of the assumptions we have about capitalism. Indeed, had Franklin Delano Roosevelt not come to power, social revolution would have been a very real possibility during the 1920's.

    The reason this film is not as celebrated as, say, "Citizen Kane" or other of the AFI films is because it exposes poverty in America for what it is: as bad as anywhere else. We see the Joad family, a family that could be ours' very easily with a few alterations in time and space, suffering unimaginably.

    Tom Joad, played flawlessly by Henry Fonda in a sort of Zen simplicity of growing realization, is the youngest man in the Joad clan. Having served 4 years for murder (justified homicide), he returns to the home in California which no longer exists. The suffering of his parents and two younger siblings is so grievous that he no longer thinks about drinking, dancing so much--his mind is on something much bigger. The powers that be.

    Every frame of this film is smothered with misery, heat, and oppression. Perhaps now more than ever we should understand Joad's character and remember his words at the end of the movie to his saintly mother: "I'll be all around in the dark - I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build - I'll be there, too."
    ...more info
  • Deserves Its Reputation.
    Well, I have always been told this movie was a classic but this is the first time I have ever sat down to watch it. I was taken aback by just how compelling it was. I must say that its reputation is well-deserved. Yes, Henry Fonda is outstanding, but John Carradine's Jim Casey was the most unforgettable character. This is allegory at its finest and its practice may be something that the average is incapable of nowadays. The Grapes of Wrath is considered Steinbeck's most important novel, but, even if it wasn't, the plot fits the big screen in the manner of building size saran wrap. All of the emotion the author intended us to feel is conveyed by this magnificent John Ford production. Its qualities, like those of Gone with the Wind and Casablanca, are truly timeless. The people onscreen are people as opposed to ideological constructs. Here is humanity and that is why this film continues to resonate. This is one of those movies that most kids would never consent to watch, but, if they did, there is no question they would appreciate it. Bravo!...more info
  • Great movie
    If anyone has not seen this movie, please do, it is great. So is the book, by the way. ...more info
  • "Mine eyes have seen the glory..."
    Once in a while there comes a film that completely moves you. THE GRAPES OF WRATH is one of those films. The movie has three major components that make it an excellent film, a story based on the classic novel by John Steinbeck, the magnificent cinematography, and the historical significance in terms of American history. The film undoubtedly defines the unending relevance of the American dream and manifest destiny, and John Ford depicts those themes with the Joad family's cross-country trek from Oklahoma to California seeking better opportunities further west after losing their land.

    John Ford shows how far the American Dream has come. The film is a reflection of the workingman and American society during the Great Depression as well of the results of the New Deal - the revitalization of the American landscape. However, the film is about one family and their perseverance to survive in an ever-changing society, but always keeping the past in mind. Ford shows the Joad's unfortunate circumstance from a family who owned their own land to a nomadic family who became migrant workers; their story represents more than a thousand families' experiences.

    The film has its defining moments. In one of the scenes mother Joad (Jane Darwell) is preparing to leave her homestead in Oklahoma and discards a few mementos she has collected over the years from a newspaper article and a postcard depicting the Statue of Liberty, but she happens to keep what looks like a porcelain dog that commemorates the St. Louis Expo of 1904. Another defining moment is the last few minutes of the film. It is one of the most legendary and empowering scenes in American film history, which shows Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) making his most moving soliloquy.

    THE GRAPES OF WRATH will tug at the heartstrings. Although some may refer the film as out-dated, the story is a part of American history, and it brings an understanding and realization of the hardships that those who owned and lived on farms from the Midwest and dust bowl states experienced during the late 1920s and 1930s in order to continue to live the American dream. It is not a film that should be missed in one's lifetime.
    ...more info
  • Depressing,Pointless and ends on unrealistic Hopelessness!
    I just watched Grapes Of Wrath last night,and I think it is highly overrated!

    Watching the Joad family suffer through one miserable experience after another and especially to end on with such a tone of hopelessness was not a good film experience.

    I just see no redeeming quality in this film.If our country was so hopeless as portrayed in this film,then I would not have enjoyed the childhood that I did,being born in 1950!

    I gave it two stars only for the stark portrayal of the inhumanity of corporate farms/corporate greed,and how migrant workers are treated to this day!

    A film full of misery and injustice,for lovers of 'downers' only....more info
  • The government supplied farm and the Joads struggle shows who a welfare system is in place for, and how manipulated it is today.
    To quote the editorial review, "Ranking No. 21 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American films, this 1940 classic is a bit dated in its noble sentimentality".
    Now in 2007 it drops to 23rd place on AFIs list and a point i find that people don't bring up is the welfare system and how in that respect it is more important today than ever in showing why and for who a welfare system is in place for and how terribly flawed and manipulated it is today.
    I know this movie is a classic and won oscars and was directed by one of the great directors John Ford. Most know the story, or had to read it in high school, and it makes most best lists. It is a history lesson and teaches unionization, and it is all these things.
    The thing that stuck with me the most was the end and what a safe haven the agricultural farm put in place by the government was for the Joads. It safed there lives. There were dances and they could eat and help pay there way by helping in the camp. However the Joads did not want a hand out and even though if work came after all they had been through, starvation, losing family members, treated like pigs, they deserved the right to stay in that safe camp, nobody would criticize them for not jumping at the first job that came along that might turn out to be another nothing.
    As soon as 20 days of work came up they packed everything they owned into that car that might not even make their destination and they left the government camp, and happily. All they wanted to do was work and they basically were taken advantage of and walked on and not allowed to do the one thing they wanted.
    In 2007 we have totally healthy and able bodied people in there early twenties collecting social security, or waiting for the end of the month for the welfare check to come in. Perhaps have more and more children because that check at the end of the month will be fatter. I knew a kid when i was in the national guard that unknowingly to the government stayed with his girlfriend on welfare rent free while he worked, he actually said he loved the ghetto and he d stay there forever. I actually liked him barring the last ignorant statement but he was young and i'm guessing didn't have the best influences to think like that. The Joads didn't have money to eat but you can bet most now a day that are able bodied and can work and choose not to will get there cigarettes. Say you get involved with drugs mess yourself up and you can't work well then you can get disability.
    So with everything this movie is, in this day and age that is the message that rang loudest to me. I also realize there are many like the Joads today that fall upon hard times and a government assisted program is a safe haven to them also, and i am not judging all, but talking about the one's that are manipulating and taking advantage.
    Perhaps before you are allowed to go on housing or welfare maybe it should be mandatory to watch The Grapes of Wrath and the Joads struggle....more info
  • Unsure
    The recording is exactly what I needed, but I am unsure if this is a legal copy of a copyrighted work....more info
  • John Ford's John Steinbeck Masterpiece.
    This is a great movie. John Ford makes an unforgettable movie out of a great book. John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath (Centennial Edition), about a man returning home from prison and dealing with his world around him.

    One of the best movies I've ever seen. THe commentary on this disc is expecially fulfilling, and the extras are definitely worthy of this releases.

    Must Have....more info
  • Enriching film for all ages
    In an emotionally stunning and perpetually twisting depression-era tale of survival and perseverance, this classic film adapted from historic author John Steinbeck delves into the lives of the tired and weary Joad family as they make their way from their recently relinquished farm in Oklahoma to the promising orange fields of California. As we watch their journey unfold, we witness just how emotionally and psychically demanding their campaign for a better life becomes while the lives of those around them are simultaneously affected at a similar cost.

    The film stars legendary screen actor Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, a recently paroled convict coming home only to find that his once promising dream of re-acquaintance and celebration are marred by an open and desolate field of depression. Banks have been ordered to collect any salvageable assets during this economic hardship, thus using landowners and the companies that employ them to drive sharecroppers from their leased properties. I viewed the film in an edited form in my Modern American History class, starting at Scene 4 and watching up to a scene in which we witness the death of Grandma Joad (played dramatically by Zeffie Tilbury). Award-winning actress Jane Darwell and John Carradine as Casy stand out as the more memorable of this immediate cast of tireless crusaders in a time of drought and migration.
    I feel Nunnally Johnson did a great job in adapting this film from Steinbeck's version, which I had read in high school a few years previous. Few moderate changes were made, notably the death of a pregnant Ruthie (Shirley Mills), but I believe the film had the advantage of being given the added impact of a 1939 release (a time when the Great Depression and Dust Bowl Migration was still a fresh memory for many). Also we see various themes portrayed in the film. The social stigma of sharecroppers and their plight, the tense rivalry of workers for jobs, even the ignorance of truck drivers at a diner pop up in the film to build on the story. In the end, this movie serves as a constant reminder of a period in history when so many people lost everything they had worked their whole lives for, only to find they could still hold onto their dreams...for this is the only thing that truly matters.
    ...more info
  • Excellent
    This was an excellent purchase. I have made several purchases from and bought several items through Moviemars on the Amazon site. I find that their shipping is cared for and they take pride in their company. I will continue to purchase through Amazon and Moviemars. I truly think both companies are so wonderful and this is truly my favorie website to visit, I am on the site everyday looking for the next purchase to make. There are many purchases to come.

    Thanks Amazon and moviemars for being there!...more info
  • Life Gives You Grapes...Make A Movie
    This movie is a classic! There is great picture transition quality on this dvd and also nice sound. Having read the book, I would say the book is MUCH better and I felt the movie was an edited version of the book. That aside the movie is still a great stand-alone and you should enjoy it even if you haven't read the book. Also to get the special features, flip the disc over and insert it in your dvd player- they're there. All in all I am very pleased. I actually recieved the movie 3 days before I was supposed to...WELL DONE AMAZON.
    The only reason I give the movie four stars is because the book held so much more for me in the way of character development and sympathy for them although Mother Joad, Granpa, and Casy were terrific in the movie. Muley is wonderful in both the book and the movie (that ol' graveyard ghost - you got to love him), but I'd have to say Henry Fonda didn't do it for me as Tom Joad. It could have been because Hollywood is Hollywood even way back when but, as an example, when Tom (Henry) first sees Mother Joad after getting home from McAllister and the camera gets a pretty-boy close up of his face and it just seems to beam of joyous rapture I felt a slight need to chuckle. I suppose that was how Hollywood sold its stars back then. The last critique about the movie I have was that the ending was totally watered down and was not the much anticipated ending I thought would be offered since I felt it very symbolic to the whole moral of the story anyway. Other than that, I think the movie is worth it.

    ...and you shouldn't worry about hidden socialist or communist messages in the movie. I had read a professional review about the movie from another web source and the reviewer had mentioned that the movie made more of a political statement than the book. What? The only resemblance to any socialistic or communistic ideas I encountered were in the book and that (socialist) was how the authorities treated/policed the migrants and (communist) how Tom tells someone "Damn right, I'm Bolshevisky!" referring to Bolshevik and the Bolshevik revolution in Russia and how the migrants were left with no other choice but to form their own communities if you will. So, for me, I just ignored those pretenses and enjoyed the movie.

    I hope you will too....more info
  • Unionism, The Triumph Of The Individual In The Face Of Adversity @ The American Birth Of The Counterculture
    Indeed as most reviewers note this film and story and cinematography is one of those unparalleled for overall brilliance in the portrayal of what is considered the plight of the common man in the throes of the dust bowl and depression popularized in modern music by Pete Seeger,Bruce Springsteen, Jack Kerouac in literature and the artistic expression of most anything labelled left-leaning from fashion to art.
    This movie has a sublime power because it easily juxtaposes and makes one take sides between the family and the individual,love and hate, exploitation and fairness, Capitalism or benevolent Federalism all renderd in classic black and white nuanced beauty.
    The film remains a tearjerker depicting Tom Joad and his family portrait of the the working poor and the disenfranchised farmer kicked off his land by carpetbaggers and bankers.Despite themes of exploitation and abuse it is possible to see the makings of an American epic and country in formation and development in which the movie pays it's homage.
    A needed movie to be viewed by all on this DVD with wonderful transfers and stills, extras include newsflashes,commentary on the film, making this a worthy purchase of a history making movie that depicts a side of American history of a forgotten people living faithfully in the pursuit of security and family values amidst rapid change and industrialization changing the face of the USA and the world forever. ...more info
  • Fonda Makes the Film
    John Ford plays it straight in this film adaptation of Steinbeck's novel about the Odyssey of a displaced Oklahoma clan to California in search of work during the Great Depression. Steinbeck's knowledge of California and his work as a journalist gave him a wealth of material for his novel, and several of his most unforgettable scenes are faithfully recreated in the film.

    The prejudice of the native Californians against the Okies, the exploitation of the migrant workers, the cruel disappointments of the Okies, and the nobility of their struggle to survive so vividly captured by Steinbeck are successfully realized in Ford's film.

    Ford makes his actors act. Lots of close ups on eyes, silhouetted against dark and dreary backgrounds. These are real actors, with a background in the theater, who know their craft.

    Because the film is so faithful to the book, one may as well just read the book, which is Steinbeck's best and deserves its place in the pantheon of great American novels. But the film does have two advantages. First, it is made only a year or two after the Depression, so the mood and times are well captured in some of the backgrounds and in the faces of the actors. Second, and most importantly, there is Henry Fonda. Fonda's ability to portray the rage of Tom Joad that lurks beneath the surface and to articulate in spare words and expressions the unfairness of the treatment of the Okies is extraordinary. This is one of the great pieces of acting in the history of American film.

    The progressive spirit of the film and the, I think, justified bashing of the rich given the history of the times may be a bit jarring to the modern viewer. But I found that element of the film to be fascinating.

    Ford's ending is a bit more uplifting and hopeful than Steinbeck's, with its famous scene of a new mother nursing a struggling Okie. Can't put that kind of stuff on the screen in 1940. Ford ends with the message that the Okies are survivors and that the poor and meek shall inherit the Earth. It's not exactly what ended up happening, though the lot of the poor in America has certainly improved, and the kind of prejudice portrayed in the film is now universally reviled.

    An excellent job by Ford and an even better job by Fonda. ...more info
    This review was written for John Steinbeck's book of the same name. The main points here also apply to the movie. Take advantage of both media to get a real feel for this classic of the 1930's.

    Oddly, I first read John Steinbeck's classic tale of the 1930's depression, Grapes of Wrath, as a result of listening to Woody Guthrie's also classic Dustbowl Ballads. In that album Woody sings/narrates the trials and tribulations of the Joad family as they get the hell out of drought-stricken Oklahoma and headed for the land of milk and honey in California. After listening to that rendition I wanted to get the full story and Steinbeck did not fail me. His tightly-woven story stands as a very strong exposition of the plight of rural America as they tried to make sense of a vengeful God, unrelenting Nature and the down-side of the American dream. For those who have seem Walker Evans's and other photographers pictures of the Okies, Arkies, etc. of the period this is the story behind those forlorn, if stoic, faces.

    The story line is actually very simple. The land in Oklahoma was played out, the banks nevertheless were pressing for payment or threatening foreclosure and for the Joads, as for others, time had run out. In classic American tradition they pulled up stakes and headed west to get a new start. With great hopes and no few illusions they set out as a family for the sunny and plentiful California of their dreams. Their struggle along the way is a modern day version of the struggles of the old Westward heading wagon trains-including the causalities. But, that is not the least of it. Apparently they had not read Frederick Jackson Turner's thesis that the frontier was gone- the land was taken. The bulk of the story centers of what happened when they get to the golden land-and it is not pretty. Day labor, work camps, strike action, murder, and mayhem-you know, California, the real California of the day. Not the Chamber of Commerce version. In short, as Woody sang, no hope if you aint got the do re mi.

    Grapes of Wrath was made into a starkly beautiful film starring a young Henry Fonda as Tom Joad. On a day when you are not depressed it is a film you want to see, if only for the photography. So here is the list. Listen to Woody sing the tale. Watch Henry Fonda to act it out. And by all means read Steinbeck. He had an ear for the 1930's struggle of the Okies and their ilk as they hit California. What happened to those people later and their influence on California culture and those who didn't make it are chronicled by others like Howard Fast and Nelson Algren. But for this period your man is Steinbeck.

    ...more info
  • An Important Film to Watch - Then Read the Book
    We all know the Depression was awful. There were people starving, families collapsing. It's hard to really get a sense of just how powerful it was, though. John Steinbeck's articles and books on the topic led to this award winning (AFI #21) movie by John Ford. What's ironic is that some people felt the movie was too extremist about the conditions - but research has shown that it actually was tame compared to situations that really went on.

    We begin with a family in Oklahoma who is literally kicked out of their home, with nowhere to go. Flyers are being passed around about a ton of work being available in California. So they pile their entire household of goods and head out. Unfortunately, so does pretty much every starving person - and California is innundated with workers. The Okies are treated poorly, given dirt poor wages and run out of town.

    It's amazing that the books are banned in schools - especially in the midwest! I definitely recommend watching this movie as an important history lesson about what our ancestors struggled through - and a reminder not to let this happen again. Once you get started with the movie, pick up the books to get an even more full story....more info
  • Steinbeck's Story Faithfully Filmed
    I don't recall how old I was when I first saw the film version of "The Grapes of Wrath," John Steinbeck's novel of the desperate plight of the "Okies" during the Dust Bowl era -- I know I'd read the book after graduating high school and before entering college -- but on second viewing, I was impressed by how closely the film followed the book. Certainly, a fully realized cinematic treatment would have overtaxed Hollywood budgets and the average moviegoer of 1940, and the novel's final scene would never have been okayed by the censors, but the overall emotional pull of the film is about as close to that of the book in a way that few literature-as-film productions ever are. (Of recent note in this respect are Peter Jackson's fine films of J. R. R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy --although I still haven't forgiven him for leaving out Tom Bombadil.) Of course, the genius lay in the casting of Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, though to be honest, none of the casting choices were faulty. I'm teaching the novel for the first time for a literature class this semester, and I would be quite comfortable allowing non-readers to substitute viewing this film in place of reading the entire book. I can think of no better tribute to a first-rate movie than that. ...more info
  • would have loved to see it, but my disk is bad
    right about the time they arrive in california, the picture pixates and i just end up fast forwarding it for the next 10 minutes, ruined the whole movie for me. ...more info
  • Could have done better following the actual story line
    This would have received 5 stars if not for one thing: It didnt follow the actual story line close enough. There are certain instances where the actual written word is difficult to follow in motion picture, but that isnt the case here. The scene where grandma dies was different, the story about Rose of Sharon was different.
    Other than that, the acting was GREAT and the overall experience was good. I recommened this movie, it will be great if you have never read the book, but may be a bit of a disappointment if you have. Final word here. Read the book anyway!!...more info