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The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama  |  15 March 1940 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 57,126 users  
Reviews: 288 user | 76 critic

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



(screen play), (based on the novel by)
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Title: The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

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Top 250 Movies #188 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Russell Simpson ...
Eddie Quillan ...
Zeffie Tilbury ...
Frank Sully ...
Frank Darien ...
Shirley Mills ...
Roger Imhof ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Joads step right out of the pages of the novel that has shocked millions ! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Highway 66  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Beulah Bondi was tested for the role of Ma Joad. Bondi, believing that she had the part, reportedly bought an old jalopy and moved to Bakersfield (CA) to live among the migrant workers in order to research the role. Bondi was reportedly extremely disappointed at losing the role. See more »


When the Joads set out from the gas station to cross the desert, you see them pull away from the station twice. See more »


Casy: You don' know what you're a-doin'.
See more »


Referenced in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) See more »


Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
Played on guitar and Sung by Eddie Quillan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A Triumph in Record Time
18 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

They say that you should wait 20 or 30 years before attempting to capture an historical event on film. That is why it was remarkable that Oliver Stone was able to capture the "feel" of Viet Nam (in "Platoon") so soon (13 years) after America's withdrawal. Usually, an honest perspective takes more time to develop.

But, when you consider that John Steinbeck and John Ford needed less than ten years to bring the 1932 "dust bowl" to life, you really have to admire their magnificent achievement.

Of course, in 1940, Ford could not film much of the graphic squalor described in the novel. For example, the film cannot show a starving hobo suckling at the breast of a young Rose of Sharon, who has milk to spare following the death of her baby. But, far from degradation, Rose of Sharon's gesture is a reflection of the goodness that resides within her, and that quality is well illustrated in the character development seen on the screen. Tom Joad may be an ex-con, but he is a good man.

One of the commentaries (below) uses this film to rant about the exploitation in today's society. That completely misses the point. Ford, who was as conservative as anyone in Hollywood, even more conservative than John Wayne, used this movie to show that Man can triumph, despite the natural and human barriers that are put in his way.

This is ultimately a movie about hope and the human spirit.

55 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why was it called 'The Grapes of Wrath'? Fffianist
Can Grapes be remade? bobloblaw917
John McCain and Republicans must hate this movie dwatts09
I'm SOOOOO Bored jacobu-1
Disappointed with the adaption LadyRiddler
explicit scene in the novel hslaw2222
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