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Of Mice and Men (1939) Poster

Trivia

Lon Chaney Jr. had played the role of "Lennie" in the Los Angeles stage production of "Of Mice and Men," and asked director Lewis Milestone for a screen test. Milestone was planning on casting Broderick Crawford in the role, but agreed to let Chaney feed lines to actresses testing for the part of "Mae." By the end of all the tests, Milestone had changed his mind, and cast Chaney in the part without a test of his own.
Lon Chaney Jr. wore special shoes to play Lennie. These increased his height by six inches.
One of the first films to have a pre-credits opening sequence.
The two lead roles were hotly contested parts in Hollywood in 1939. It came as a great surprise to many in the industry when director Lewis Milestone opted for two relative unknowns.
The very first screen adaptation of a John Steinbeck novel.
Lon Chaney Jr.'s role as Lennie is believed to have caused him to become typecast as hulking but sympathetic monsters at Universal Studios.
Lewis Milestone himself was once an itinerant worker.
The name "Mae" was given to Curly's wife specifically for this film version. In the original novel,the original play, and in other film and television versions she is simply known as "Curly's Wife".
The play "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck opened at the Music Box Theatre in New York on 23 November 1937 and closed in May 1938 after 277 performances. The opening night cast included Broderick Crawford (as Lenny), Wallace Ford (as George) and Will Geer (as Slim). Leigh Whipper (as Crooks) was the only member of the Broadway cast to appear in the film.
In the dinner sequence Mae, who expects to go to the movies later that evening, shows Curly a pair of theater tickets. Briefly glimpsed are the titles of the films she plans to see, Captain Fury (1939) and Zenobia (1939) both Hal Roach productions, the latter starring Oliver Hardy without Stan Laurel.
The movie was released by the production company of Hal Roach, producer of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy and "Our Gang" comedies. During one of Roach's last interviews, television talk-show host Tom Snyder complimented him on the film. Roach responded, "It could've used more laughs."
"Theater Guild on the Air" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 8, 1949 with Burgess Meredith reprising his film role.
Leona Roberts as "Aunt Clara" is in studio records/casting call lists for this movie, but was not seen in the viewed print.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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