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The Grapes of Wrath
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Grapes of Wrath More at IMDbPro »

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Fabulously Acted Out! But Not as Good as the book!

Author: (robocoptng986127@aol.com) from U.S.A
19 November 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

[MIGHT CONTAIN A SPOILER OR TWO] I recently watched this movie and I found I liked it. Henry Fonda was good as Tom Joad. Jane Darwell was good as Ma Joad. Charley Grapewin was good as Grandpa. Everyone was good!

Although I thought the movie just wasn't as good as the book. But I always say, "The book is better when it's made into a movie." When you watch the movie, you can see things better. And the

movie ended differently than the book. I think we all know what happened at the end of the book: Rose of Sharon's baby was born, but it sadly never had a chance. I suppose that wasn't in the movie because it would be too dramatic and the film is dramatic enough. You could kind of get a view into the workings of the Joads' troubles. The whole country was in the Great Depression, but I don't see what was so great about it. Also, it wasn't Hoover's fault! It was Coolidge! Candy only cost a nickel. Today we say "only a penny". But back in the '30s, that was alot of money. A guy would be lucky to have that ammount back then. And the cars didn't have any of them newfangled things we have today (CD players, TVs, seat recliners, A/C). So I'd say those days were better than today, except for

the Depression. Anyway, about the movie. I hated those cops and deputies who kept picking on the Joads and when they arrested Casy. Those were tough times! In conclusion, I do wish the movie had ended the way the book had, and that Henry Fonda had gotten the Academy Award instead.

Also, Henry hosted a shotty All in the Family special where they showed clips from the show. It was shotty because Carroll O'Connor and Jean Stapleton "would perform the theme song live"! Except they did it really fast. What a disrespect! But anyway, read the book or watch the movie, or do both!! You'll be glad you did. --

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good Movie

Author: Kristin (Kristin-James Dean) from TN
3 July 2001

During the school year my teachers showed us the Grapes of Wrath about 5 times within a week! And of course a bunch of 13 year olds are going to get tired of it. But not me. I think Henry Fonda was a great actor. He played Tom Joad great. Seeing The Grapes of Wrath made me want to see more of his movies. This is a really good movie.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

good movie as an okie i understand it

Author: wally1301-2 from oklahoma city
19 April 2001

growing up in oklahoma in the 1930s just rt 66 i saw a lot of cars and trucks just like movie. we had a farm so we had food to eat, the joads were a good subject of the problems of the 1930s. it should be required viewing for todays i want it all world.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

A poignant movie

9/10
Author: DynaMike from Quebec, Canada
30 May 2000

It's a classic. Henry Fonda is at his best and so is John Ford. They work very well together and show us what a great movie is all about. The movie is great, even if it have no special effects and a not so punching story. It's all about the acting and the way it goes trough your heart. It's a very poignant movie.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Amazing movie

10/10
Author: dave fitz (dfitz77@aol.com) from somerset, nj
7 May 2000

The Grapes of Wrath was the very best film of John Ford's long and legendary career. He was one of the top directors Hollywood has had. Henry Fonda gives one of the all-time best acting performances as Tom Joad, a role that made him a big star.

This movie is an amazing accomplishment, probably my favorite movie ever. The story, the acting, Ford's direction all flawless. The Grapes of Wrath would have to be considered among the very best films ever made.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Superb sociological, psychological and historical dissection of the American dustbowl during the 1930s.

10/10
Author: MovieMan-26 from Westfield, New Jersey
3 August 1998

John Ford's brilliant depiction of American life in the West during the Great Depression is a rare example of the movie being as good as the book ( "The Great Gatsby" and " A Tale of Two Cities" are among the few others), and that's saying something. Author Steinbeck always attempted to be a contributing part to movie adaptations of his work, and apparently was satisfied with Ford's rendition.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

classic example of John Ford's work

5/10
Author: Nicole Emmons from United States
7 May 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Grapes of Wrath is a book to movie adaption. John Ford is famous for his westerns and his beautiful extremely wide angled shots of the western landscape. Ford infuses his love for wide angled shots in Grapes of Wrath and shows off the barren landscape of the dust bowl during the Great Depression. Ford's use of these wide shots gives the viewer a great idea into depth of field and is very easy to make the viewer feel like they are part of the scene. Character development is on point, we as an audience can become attached to these characters because we understand what they are going through. John Ford was the best director to capture the Joad family's journey across desert from Oklahoma to California in search of a better life.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

We all got little pieces of the one big soul that belongs to everybody ...

10/10
Author: ElMaruecan82 from France
13 November 2012

Watching John Ford's 1940 masterpiece "The Grapes of Wrath" spares dozens of historical readings about the Great Depression. Through the absorbing realistically-handled journey of the Joad Family, sharecroppers from Oklahoma, the movie is a tacit homage to all the farmers who were kicked out of their own land after half a century, and by an enemy even more redoubtable because he was invisible. Call it corporations, banks, politics, it's impossible to point a finger on a responsible person, let alone a gun, all the 'Okies' are left with is a bitter resignation mixed with the hopes for brighter futures in California, the promised land.

Through its documentary value, "The Grapes of Wrath" works as the perfect contradiction to all the supporters of Capitalism as the core of American ideals. It's a film about the little people, those who had faith and lost it. The central character is Tom Joad, an ex-convict, released after four years. Joad was imprisoned for homicide but doesn't carry any regret, the 'victim' had it coming: he pulled a knife. Joad is the kind of more-or-less decent individual victim of unfortunate circumstances but learns to deal with them rather than whining. The second representative character is Casey, an ex-preacher played by John Carradine. The preacher lost the spirit, and it hardly surprises that it's Communism he embraces at the end.

An ex-convict, an ex-preacher, ex-farmers, the gallery consists of a bunch of people who 'used to be', and seem incapable to conjugate the life in the future. In a world where farmers are forced to leave the land they walked on and died on, what positive can ever be presaged? The fear ends up killing Grandpa Joad, and the grandmother doesn't outlive him for long. But one person doesn't fear future; it's Ma Joad, and Jane Darnell embodies the pioneer spirit, temerity despite exhaustion, with her droopy but magnificently scintillating eyes. When they live the farm, she doesn't give a last look for they're going to California, and she has no time to mourn the past. She's not braver than the others: the night before, she meditated on her own sadness, alone, but as the heart of the Joadses, it's her duty to exude the happiness the Family is looking forward.

The power of "The Grapes of Wrath" is to vehicle its powerful and inspirational message through characters rather than facts. Ma Joad, through her eyes, smiles and spirit, incarnates the ferocious and so womanly attachment to practical stuff like eating, living, being clean, she's the unwounded soul of that crisis-stricken America. On the other hand, men are more inclined to think, to translate the facts into abstract notions, and ultimately to fight. Tom Joad is no more eager to become an agitator than anyone else, but the odyssey of the road 66, opened his eyes on the new face of America. Either facing the disdain or the support of fellow citizens, he understands that the salvation cannot come from the individual but from solidarity. His "We all got little pieces of the one big soul that belongs to everybody" almost sounds like a spiritual protest slogan.

It's even ironic that a right-wing conservative directed "The Grapes of Wrath", but the whole socialist and communist undertones were less taboo at that time. The film was adapted from the Pullitzer-prize winning novel of John Steinbeck, released in 1939, at the dawn of a worldwide conflict that put the Red Scare into perspective. Naturally, the farmer's contribution to the war efforts leaded them to a more prosperous state, from which their descendants benefited. But as a slice of the American life during the 30's, the film encapsulates all the desperation, the fears and the hopes of a population that stopped to believe in its own ideals. And now that the world is stricken by another crisis, with the financial system, and the most pervert side of Capitalism as responsible, it's time to look at "The Grapes of Wrath" with a new eye for the film is still relevant today, maybe more than when it was praised as one of the greatest American films of all-time.

And cinematically speaking, it's also a gripping adaptation that conveys the oppressive feeling of this era through a very powerful black-and-cinematography. There's indeed a magnificent contrast between the shadowy photography of the earlier scenes and the sunnier ones when they arrive in the campground in California. At one part, Casey makes a poignant preach implying that he found a new faith, his face hides in the shadow while his eyes are clearly seen, as to suggest a new lucidity, as if the use of lights allowed him to shine within his own words. The same goes for Henry Fonda during his memorable "I'll be there" speech, although the lines seem less spontaneous or more cinematic. And this is not to blame on the script but rather on Fonda who magnificently played a character full of anger and hopes, always distant but never unnoticeable, that's Fonda's charisma, subtle but irreplaceable, Fonda who should have won the Oscar for Best Actor.

The film was nominated for several other Oscars, it lost the Best Picture to Alfred Hitchcock's "Rebecca" but won a Best Supporting Actress for Jane Darnell and Best Director for John Ford. The two awards are much deserved for Darnell is the heart of the film, and fittingly concludes it with her immortal "We're the people", you sure are, Ma … and John Ford who works each shot with an admirable craftsmanship. Many of them show all the Joadses in one frame as to continually sustain the idea of their unshakable unity, which is the kind of values that the film stands for: unity and solidarity.

Quite odd from an American film to celebrate these ideals, but this is what makes it such an endearing, timeless, and universal classic.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

The movie that takes every viewer back in time to the great depression

10/10
Author: Koundinya from India
7 June 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I'm flummoxed as to which among the two is the better than the other- John Steinbeck's literature masterpiece or John Ford's motion picture masterpiece. A panache indeed.

There hasn't been and will not be a better representation of the lives of the people at the time of The Great Depression than this piece of literature adapted as a movie. Only a genius can add life to the characters, make them walk, talk, cry and pray, and bring to the screen what pain and struggle in the throes of poverty really would be.

Tom Joad is out from a penitentiary on a parole. He heads back home only to find no one there. With the help of a former priest who is an now an apostate, go to his uncle John's place just to catch his family members when there about to leave to California. They realize en route that the pamphlets regarding requirement of workers in orchards had been circulating for an awful long time and that the wages weren't as exaggerated as they were in the pamphlets. They lose their ailing grandfather and after the obsequies, they finally reach California. They find tens of thousands of immigrants and somehow manage to get employment and accommodation in an orchard. Meanwhile, Tom kills a man who opens fire on the former priest and kills him. Tom flees the place when all his family members except his mom are asleep. He promises his mom that he would return. The Joads leave the town the next morning to find a better place to habitat.

Jane Darwell is the quintessential mother and matriarch of the Joads. She was rightly awarded the 'Best Actress in a Supporting Role' Oscar.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Heartbreaking!

10/10
Author: (sylviastel@aol.com) from United States
20 February 2012

Henry Fonda perhaps give one of the best performances of his career in this film. He delivers one of the best performances in film history. He deserved to win an Oscar for this performance. Jane Darwell delivered a fantastic performance as Ma Joad, the matriarch of the family. Each scene was done perfectly with lighting, acting raw and brilliant, natural, etc. The film is the story of an Oklahoma family who like thousands of families who battled the Dust Bowl, the drought, the poverty, the starvation, the history, etc. This film is a classic based on John Steinbeck's classic novel. The Joads migrate west to California for the California dream of prosperity and better living but they're like thousands of others. It's heartbreaking and dramatic but inspirational about a family's surviving.

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