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The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Approved | | Drama, History | 15 March 1940 (USA)
A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

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(screen play), (based on the novel by)
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Top Rated Movies #217 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Rosasharn
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Al
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Grandma
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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 off their farm due to foreclosure. He catches up with them on his uncle's 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 | History

Certificate:

Approved | 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)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The budget for the film was $750,000. See more »

Goofs

When the Joads pull over to fix a flat on their truck they stop in a small depression that leans the truck to the left. In the very next shot the truck is in a different spot and leaning to the right. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Spoofed in VeggieTales: God Wants Me to Forgive Them!?! (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played as dance music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not the Book, But Beautiful in Its Own Right
10 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's difficult on a first viewing of "The Grapes of Wrath" not to be somewhat disappointed with it. So much of Steinbeck's beautiful novel is left out of the film, and it's hard to see his story and characters wedged into the "gee whizz" style of film-making so prevalent at the time. But once you get beyond a comparison of the movie to the book, you begin to realize that John Ford created a beautiful piece of work of his own, and the film inspires a great deal of admiration, and deserves credit for its gutsiness at tackling a story that wouldn't have gone down smoothly with film executives at the time.

Of course the most controversial parts of the book are left out (like its final image, for example), but Ford still managed to work around the constraints forced upon him to fashion a hard-biting film. Henry Fonda is perfect casting for Tom Joad--never have his otherworldly eyes been used to greater effect. And Jane Darwell is pitch-perfect as Ma Joad--she captures the tough-as-nails dignity that the character has in the novel. The whole movie is lit by expert cinematographer Gregg Toland, who uses shadow and reflection to cast a ghostly pall over everything. Indeed, much of what Ford wasn't able to include in the film as words he communicates instead through images, and isn't that what a good book-to-film adaptation should do? One of those films that feels ahead of its time.

Grade: A


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