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 <email@example.com>
Darryl F. Zanuck paid $100,000 for the rights to John Steinbeck's novel - a staggering amount of money at the time. Steinbeck only allowed the rights to be sold under the proviso that the filmmakers should show the material due reverence and treat the project responsibly. 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 »
[the family is leaving the farm, heading for California]
Ain't you gonna look back, Ma? Give the ol' place a last look?
We're going' to California, ain't we? All right then let's go to California.
That don't sound like you, Ma. You never was like that before.
I never had my house pushed over before. Never had my family stuck out on the road. Never had to lose everything I had in life.
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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.
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