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The Grapes of Wrath
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The Grapes of Wrath (1940) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   48,622 votes »
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Up 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Nunnally Johnson (screen play)
John Steinbeck (based on the novel by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Grapes of Wrath on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 March 1940 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The thousands who have read the book will know why WE WILL NOT SELL ANY CHILDREN TICKETS to see this picture! See more »
Plot:
A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A masterpiece... See more (270 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Henry Fonda ... Tom Joad

Jane Darwell ... Ma Joad

John Carradine ... Casy

Charley Grapewin ... Grandpa
Dorris Bowdon ... Rosasharn
Russell Simpson ... Pa Joad
O.Z. Whitehead ... Al

John Qualen ... Muley
Eddie Quillan ... Connie
Zeffie Tilbury ... Grandma
Frank Sully ... Noah
Frank Darien ... Uncle John

Darryl Hickman ... Winfield
Shirley Mills ... Ruth Joad
Roger Imhof ... Thomas

Grant Mitchell ... Caretaker
Charles D. Brown ... Wilkie
John Arledge ... Davis

Ward Bond ... Policeman
Harry Tyler ... Bert
William Pawley ... Bill
Charles Tannen ... Joe
Selmer Jackson ... Inspection Officer (as Selmar Jackson)

Charles Middleton ... Leader
Eddy Waller ... Proprietor (as Eddie Waller)
Paul Guilfoyle ... Floyd
David Hughes ... Frank
Cliff Clark ... City Man
Joe Sawyer ... Bookkeeper (as Joseph Sawyer)

Frank Faylen ... Tim
Adrian Morris ... Agent
Hollis Jewell ... Muley's Son
Robert Homans ... Spencer
Irving Bacon ... Driver
Kitty McHugh ... Mae
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Wally Albright ... Boy Who Bragged of Eating Chicken (uncredited)
Erville Alderson ... Arkansas Storekeeper (uncredited)
Josephine Allen ... Migrant (uncredited)
Robert J. Anderson ... Hungry Boy (uncredited)
Frank Atkinson ... Migrant (uncredited)
Arthur Aylesworth ... Father (uncredited)
Trevor Bardette ... Jule - Bouncer at Dance (uncredited)
John Binns ... Migrant (uncredited)
Joe Bordeaux ... Migrant (uncredited)
Leon Brace ... Migrant (uncredited)
Henry Brahe ... Migrant (uncredited)
George P. Breakston ... Boy (uncredited)
Buster Brodie ... Migrant (uncredited)
Scotty Brown ... Migrant (uncredited)
Hal Budlong ... Migrant (uncredited)
Nora Bush ... Migrant (uncredited)
Russ Clark ... Guard (uncredited)
Shirley Coates ... Girl in Migrant Camp (uncredited)
Cal Cohen ... Migrant (uncredited)
Cecil Cook ... Migrant (uncredited)
Harry Cording ... Deputy (uncredited)
Jim Corey ... Buck Jackson - Witness at Dance (uncredited)

Gino Corrado ... Chef (uncredited)
Delmar Costello ... Migrant (uncredited)
Jane Crowley ... Migrant (uncredited)
W.H. Davis ... Migrant (uncredited)
Helen Dean ... Migrant (uncredited)
John Dilson ... Bookseller (uncredited)
Lillian Drew ... Migrant (uncredited)
Ralph Dunn ... Deputy (uncredited)
Thornton Edwards ... Motorcycle Cop (uncredited)
Billy Elmer ... Migrant (uncredited)

Pat Flaherty ... Deputy (uncredited)
James Flavin ... Guard (uncredited)
Francis Ford ... (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
Emily Gerdes ... Migrant (uncredited)
Tyler Gibson ... Migrant (uncredited)
Barney Gilmore ... Migrant (uncredited)
William Haade ... Deputy with Shotgun (uncredited)
Ben Hall ... Gas Station Attendant in Bakersfield (uncredited)
Dean Hall ... Migrant (uncredited)
Edna Hall ... Migrant (uncredited)
Sidney Hayes ... Migrant (uncredited)
Cliff Herbert ... Migrant (uncredited)
Charles Herzinger ... Migrant (uncredited)
Herbert Heywood ... Gas Station Attendant (uncredited)
Harry Holden ... Migrant (uncredited)
E.J. Kaspar ... Migrant (uncredited)
David Kirkland ... Migrant (uncredited)
Lillian Lawrence ... Migrant (uncredited)
Rex Lease ... Cop (uncredited)
Hazel Lollier ... Migrant (uncredited)

Mae Marsh ... Muley's Wife (uncredited)
Louis Mason ... Man in Camp (uncredited)
Harry Matthews ... Migrant (uncredited)
Scotty Mattraw ... Migrant (uncredited)
Walter McGrail ... Gang Leader (uncredited)
Jules Michelson ... Migrant (uncredited)
Walter Miller ... New Mexico Border Guard (uncredited)
Philip Morris ... Guard (uncredited)
Frank Newburg ... Migrant (uncredited)
Frank O'Connor ... Deputy #1 (uncredited)
L.F. O'Connor ... Migrant (uncredited)
George O'Hara ... Clerk (uncredited)
Ted Oliver ... State Policeman (uncredited)
Inez Palange ... Woman in Camp (uncredited)
Steve Pendleton ... Gas Station Attendant #2 in Needles (uncredited)
Jack Pennick ... Camp Helper (uncredited)
Walter Perry ... Migrant (uncredited)
Walton Pindon ... Migrant (uncredited)
Rose Plumer ... Migrant (uncredited)
Chauncey Pyle ... Migrant (uncredited)
Bob Reeves ... Deputy (uncredited)
Gladys Rehfeld ... Migrant (uncredited)
Waclaw Rekwart ... Migrant (uncredited)
Dick Rich ... Keene Ranch Guard (uncredited)
Gloria Roy ... Waitress (uncredited)
Peggy Ryan ... Hungry Girl (uncredited)

Robert Shaw ... Gas Station Attendant #1 in Needles (uncredited)
Lee Shumway ... Deputy (uncredited)
Georgia Simmons ... Woman (uncredited)
C.B. Steele ... Migrant (uncredited)
Al Stewart ... Migrant (uncredited)
Harry Strang ... Fred - Trucker #2 at Diner (uncredited)
Paul Sutton ... Deputy (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... Deputy / Troublemaker (uncredited)
Charles Thurston ... Migrant (uncredited)
D.H. Turner ... Migrant (uncredited)
Tom Tyler ... Deputy Handcuffing Casy (uncredited)
Pearl Varvalle ... Migrant (uncredited)
Eleanore Vogel ... Migrant (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Guard (uncredited)
Harry Wallace ... Migrant (uncredited)
John Wallace ... Migrant (uncredited)
Glen Walters ... Woman Who Gets Shot (uncredited)
Jack Walters ... Migrant (uncredited)
Frank Watson ... Migrant (uncredited)
Jim Welch ... Migrant (uncredited)
Charles West ... Migrant (uncredited)

Dan White ... Poor Man Walking with Woman in Transient Camp (uncredited)
Norman Willis ... Joe - Shot at Floyd (uncredited)
Bill Wolfe ... Square-Dance Caller (uncredited)
Bill Worth ... Migrant (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Ford 
 
Writing credits
Nunnally Johnson (screen play)

John Steinbeck (based on the novel by)

Produced by
Nunnally Johnson .... associate producer
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer
 
Original Music by
Alfred Newman (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Gregg Toland (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Robert L. Simpson (film editor) (as Robert Simpson)
 
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
Mark-Lee Kirk 
 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Gwen Wakeling (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Myrtle Ford .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Charles Gemora .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Gustaf Norin .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Ralph Dietrich .... production manager (uncredited)
Bernard McEveety .... unit manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Otto Brower .... second unit director (uncredited)
Edward O'Fearna .... assistant director (uncredited)
Wingate Smith .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Eddie Jones .... props (uncredited)
Andy Kisch .... assistant property master (uncredited)
William Sittel .... assistant property master (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
George Leverett .... sound
Edmund H. Hansen .... sound (uncredited)
Harry Kornfield .... assistant sound (uncredited)
W.P. Mathewson .... assistant boom operator (uncredited)
Jack Miller .... cableman (uncredited)
Robert Parrish .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Charles G. Clarke .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Arthur Dorien .... best boy (uncredited)
Paul Garnett .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Eddie Garvin .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Ralph Hoge .... grip (uncredited)
Lou Kunkel .... camera operator (uncredited)
Bill McLellan .... gaffer (uncredited)
Emmett Schoenbaum .... still photographer (uncredited)
Bert Shipman .... camera operator (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sam Benson .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Harry Kernell .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Josephine Perrin .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Mary Crumley .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Robert Parrish .... negative cutter (uncredited)
Jack Wells .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Alfred Newman .... musical director
Danny Borzage .... musician: accordion (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... composer: cue "Leaving the Dustbowl" (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Tom Collins .... technical director
Meta Stern .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
129 min | West Germany:108 min (cut version)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG (DVD rating) | Australia:G (original rating) | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Manitoba) | Canada:G (Nova Scotia/Quebec) | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 (DVD rating) | Portugal:M/12 (re-release) | South Korea:12 | Soviet Union:(Banned) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (certificate #5789) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Banned in the Soviet Union by Joseph Stalin in 1940 because of its showing that even the poorest Americans could afford a car.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: As Tom walks across the dance floor after saying goodbye to his mother his shadow goes to his left. When the point of view changes, the shadows are perpendicular to this, coming from behind his mother.See more »
Quotes:
Tom Joad:Sure don't look none too prosperous.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Grindhouse (2007)See more »
Soundtrack:
Going Down the Road Feeling BadSee more »

FAQ

What is an "Okie"?
Why was Tom in prison for four years?
How closely does the movie follow the book?
See more »
20 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
A masterpiece..., 4 May 2007

During most of the decade of the 30s, the United States lived under the shroud of the Great Depression, a decade of unemployment and high poverty that would changed the face of the country forever. While the entire country suffered the effects of the Depression, the inhabitants of the prairie lands had to face an extra difficulty: the Dust Bowl. The Dust Bowl was a terrible ecological disaster that destroyed many farms in the area of the Great Plains, and forced people to migrate looking for better working conditions. The difficulties and social problems that those migrants had to endure in this sad chapter of history became the inspiration for John Steinbeck's novel, "The Grapes of Wrath", a book that quickly became a classic due to its powerful depiction of the era. Soon after it's release, plans for a film adaptation began to be made, and the man who would bring the novel to the screen would be none other than John Ford.

In "The Grapes of Wrath", Henry Fonda plays Tom Joad, a young man recently paroled from prison who is traveling to his family home in Oklahoma. When he arrives, he discovers that the farm is deserted and the only person he can find is Jim Casy (John Carradine), the former preacher of his community. Together they decide to go to the house of Tom's uncle John (Frank Darien) looking for the Joads, and it's there where they find them packing their belongings as they get ready to move. The Joads explain Tom that the bank has foreclosed their farm, and that they are moving to California looking for work and a better life. While he is not supposed to leave the state by the conditions of his parole, Tom decides to join his family and convinces Jim to go with them in the long and arduous trip to California. However, things won't be as easy as they thought they would.

Adapted to the screen by Nunnally Johnson, "The Grapes of Wrath" takes on the spirit of John Steinbeck's novel and delivers a harsh, crude and very realistic portrayal of poverty during the Dust Bowl. Despite not being an exactly faithful adaptation of the novel (changes were done due to censorship), the movie remains true to that powerful and very human essence that the novel had, and it could be said that Johnson distilled the themes of the novel and made an unabashed story free of any political compromises. While this kind of stories often suffer literary embellishments, "The Grapes of Wrath" avoids stereotypes and shows humanity as it is, with all their vices and virtues. It is the excellent development of the main characters what gives that very human touch to the story, as it really shows a real understanding not only of Steinbeck's novel, but also of the real social situations that inspired the book.

In 1939, John Ford was in one of the best periods of his career, having directed "Stagecoach", "Young Mr. Lincoln" and "Drums Along the Mohawk" in less than 12 months. "The Grapes of Wrath" would also be shot the same year, being the culminating work of that extraordinary series of masterpieces. While Ford was better known for his legendary westerns and larger-than-life heroes, "The Grapes of Wrath" was in many levels a very personal movie for him, so he basically took Steinbeck's novel and completely made the story his own. Framed by Gregg Toland's wonderful cinematography, Ford brings to life the Joads' story in a way that mixes his own style with a focus so realistic that almost feels like a documentary. Without excessive sentimentalism, Ford tells in this movie a very human tale of survival, so universal that could easily be related to any group of people migrating due to poverty.

While Ford and Toland deserve a lot of the credit, the movie wouldn't be the same without the extraordinary performances of the cast. Leading the cast is Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, delivering one of his best works of acting in his portrayal of the young man. Considering his performance in Ford's "Young Mr. Lincoln", one could say that Fonda's career reached legendary status under Ford's direction. While Fonda's work is worthy of praise, two actors actually manage to overshadow him in this movie: Jane Darwell and John Carradine. As the idealist preacher Jim Casy, Carradine makes a terrific job in what's probably the story's most interesting character, completely embodying Casy's persona in an atypical role for him. Like Carradine, Jane Darwell makes a wonderful job (probably her finest) as Ma Joad, and without a doubt she truly deserved that Academy award she received for her performance.

As written above, the movie has several considerable differences with the novel (specially the second half), so fans expecting a complete translation of the book will be a bit disappointed. However, Johnson and Ford did a wonderful job in the adaptation than while considerably different beasts, both the movie and the novel carry the same spirit and the message that Steinbeck tried to give in his book. Interestingly, producer Darryl F. Zanuck also saw the film as a personal project and certainly his involvement helped the movie to get away from censorship as most as possible. While the film has indeed some flaws (most famously the sudden and unexplained disappearance of a minor character), it's hard to diminish its value due to them, as the beauty of its craft is so big that they can be easily dismissed.

With a haunting atmosphere, a beautiful visual composition, and superb performances by his actors, Ford created one of the first masterpieces of the 40s and one of the finest American movies ever made. While already a celebrated director by the time of its release, this movie consolidated Ford as a master of his craft. Despite their differences, John Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath" truly carries the spirit of Steinbeck's novel, as well as the ghost of Tom Joad. 10/10

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