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The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Passed | | Drama, History | 15 March 1940 (USA)
2:24 | Trailer

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



(screen play), (based on the novel by)
4,686 ( 202)
Top Rated Movies #220 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Frank Darien ...
Shirley Mills ...
Roger Imhof ...


The Joad clan, introduced to the world in John Steinbeck's iconic novel, is looking for a better life in California. After their drought-ridden farm is seized by the bank, the family -- led by just-paroled son Tom -- loads up a truck and heads West. On the road, beset by hardships, the Joads meet dozens of other families making the same trek and holding onto the same dream. Once in California, however, the Joads soon realize that the promised land isn't quite what they hoped. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


Drama | History


Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Highway 66  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Producer Darryl F. Zanuck knew that Henry Fonda was desperate for the part of Tom Joad, so he let it be known that he was going to offer the part to Tyrone Power. Fonda pleaded with Zanuck for the part, and in order to get it Zanuck talked him into signing an eight-picture deal with 20th Century-Fox. See more »


One of the cars (License plate 263 with the silver bed springs sticking out the back) evacuating the Department of Agriculture camp site leaves the camp twice, once before the Joads pack up and once after. See more »


Tom Joad: Sure don't look none too prosperous.
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Referenced in Movers & Shakers (1985) See more »


She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain
Played as dance music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The First Great Film of a Great Decade for the Cinema.
8 June 2002 | by See all my reviews

"The Grapes of Wrath" was a huge novel so it only made sense to turn it into a feature motion picture. The result is one of the greatest films ever produced. Oscar-nominee Henry Fonda, his mother Jane Darwell (Oscar-winning) and their family have had it in the Dust Bowl. Thus they decide to leave the midwest of our nation's Great Depression and go to California. The film is an intensely dramatic affair that is first-rate in all cinematic departments. John Ford won his second Best Director Oscar with this movie and the landscape of the late-1920s and early-1930s has never been captured more fully. Excellent film-making. 5 stars out of 5.

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