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The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Not Rated | | Drama | 15 March 1940 (USA)
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2:24 | Trailer

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A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

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Writers:

(screen play), (based on the novel by)
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4,463 ( 242)
Top Rated Movies #202 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Rosasharn
...
...
Al
...
...
Zeffie Tilbury ...
Grandma
Frank Sully ...
Frank Darien ...
...
Winfield
Shirley Mills ...
Ruthie
Roger Imhof ...
Thomas
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Storyline

Tom Joad returns to his home after a jail sentence to find his family kicked out of their farm due to foreclosure. He catches up with them on his Uncles farm, and joins them the next day as they head for California and a new life... Hopefully. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most discussed book in years - now comes to the screen to become the most discussed picture in ages See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Highway 66  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Henry Fonda, John Ford preferred only one take and little or no rehearsal to catch the most spontaneous moment. For the key climactic final scene between Tom and Ma, Ford didn't even watch the rehearsal. When the time came to shoot, Ford led Fonda and Darwell through the silent action of the scene, preventing them from starting their lines until the two actors were completely in the moment. It was done in a single take and Fonda said on screen it was "brilliant." See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie Grandma Joad is sitting at the table eating with a full set of teeth in her mouth. Later when they stop to buy the bread Pa Joad explains to the waitress that they need to soften the bread for Grandma to eat because she has no teeth. See more »

Quotes

Tom Joad: I been thinking about us, too, about our people living like pigs and good rich land layin' fallow. Or maybe one guy with a million acres and a hundred thousand farmers starvin'. And I been wonderin' if all our folks got together and yelled...
Ma Joad: Oh, Tommy, they'd drag you out and cut you down just like they done to Casy.
Tom Joad: They'd drag me anyways. Sooner or later they'd get me for one thing if not for another. Until then...
Ma Joad: Tommy, you're not aimin' to kill nobody.
Tom Joad: No, Ma, not that. That ain't it. ...
[...]
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Connections

Featured in The 75th Annual Academy Awards (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played on guitar and Sung by Eddie Quillan
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A marvellous production of Steinbeck's epic.
5 January 1999 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Henry Fonda's portrayal of Tom Joad captures perfectly the humanity and compassion of the Steinbeck character, an ex-con who breaks his parole conditions by joining his family in their epic journey across the southern US to a "better life" in California.

This is not the usual Hollywood fare. Tragedy and betrayal beset the Joad family from the outset. But it is nonetheless an uplifting movie. Spirit, compassion and tenderness mark them out. Fonda's role is particularly understated, and we see, as in Steinbeck's masterly epic, the maternally robust figure of Ma holding the family together.

The performances all round are wonderful, and Ford's direction and sense of space under the big sky of the Midwest is breathtaking.

This film is now largely a testament to the time in which it was set, but like the war movies that were soon to follow, a story that needed telling lest we forget.


74 of 92 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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