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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 58,133 users  
Reviews: 288 user | 78 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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Top Rated Movies #189 | 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 <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The thousands who have read the book will know why WE WILL NOT SELL ANY CHILDREN TICKETS to see this picture! See more »




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Highway 66  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$800,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

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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?


Henry Fonda kept the hat he wore in the movie for the rest of his life, until before he passed away in 1982 he gave it to his old friend Jane Withers. Apparently he and Withers, when she was an 8 year old girl and he a young man, did a play together before Fonda made movies. Fonda was so nervous to go onstage that little Jane took his hand, said a little prayer to ease his nerves, and the two of them became good friends for life. 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 »


[last lines]
Ma Joad: Rich fellas come up an' they die, an' their kids ain't no good an' they die out. But we keep a'comin'. We're the people that live. They can't wipe us out; they can't lick us. We'll go on forever, Pa, 'cause we're the people.
See more »


Referenced in Hitchcock: Shadow of a Genius (1999) See more »


Red River Valley
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
Sung by Henry Fonda at the dance
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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 91 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
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explicit scene in the novel hslaw2222
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