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

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grapes of wrath

Author: StaticScreen from United States
11 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

1930's. Great Depression. Dust Bowl. Unemployment. Red Scares. The Grapes of Wrath follow the story of Tom Joad and his family to California to find jobs, after their farmland is taken when they can't pay loans after the Dust Bowl. I found this to be a good movie, and it was very entertaining. It's themes also seem relevant now due to unemployment rates climbing nowadays. I found the acting to be well done as well as camera work and all, but the ending left me a little bit confused. The movie starts off about a poor family looking for work, but then Tom has to be on the run for the rest of the movie from corrupt policemen who think he's a rebel commie. The overall message to it seems a bit scattered and almost supporting communism, in a way. At least, in the end things begin to look up for the Joads (especially Tom) and it leaves on a positive note. Maybe I should read the book instead. Oh well, it was still more enjoyable than a lot of movies I've seen.

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"I smell spare ribs. Somebody's been eatin' spare ribs. How come I ain't got none?"

Author: ARodino from United States
10 October 2011

"The Grapes of Wrath" probably could of been advertised as a documentary, had it not been for its narrative-style story-telling. The historical context of the movie's setting, characters, and conflict makes it seem like a genuine account of a farming family surviving after the Great Depression. At first, you're not sure if this will be a good movie, mostly because of the behaviors of Charley Grapewin and Zeffie Tilbury's characters, who come off as some sort of senile comic relief pair. Later on, however, you realize that the movie is shaped around the struggle this family encounters as they go West. Henry Fonda makes for an incredible lead role, mostly because of the fact that he's a criminal and the last thing you'd expect for him to act like a generic "momma's boy." It's his rebelliousness that also makes this character likable, seeing how we could of acted the same way if we were in his shoes. The dialogue is memorable, the shadows and sound effects really draw in the atmosphere of West, and the final speech(es) of the film tie everything together spectacularly. After watching this film, there's a cleansing feeling you get from seeing this film, as if all the worries of the world momentarily drained out in the past two hours.

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The Grapes of Wrath

Author: dmdmikrut74 from United States
7 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie was a very good representation of what it was like during the Great Depression. It held my interest and kept me wondering what was going to happen to the characters next. The little girls were funny and kept everyone's spirits high when they would get excited over the simplest things. The Grandfather was funny because he was old and wanted to do things his way and not leave. The night scenes were done again very well especially when in the creek. In the end when Tom was leaving was a little dragged out and when the family made it into California was a little boring and drawn out again. But all in all it was a very good movie and i would recommend it to anyone who has or hasn't read the novel.

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Possibly John Ford's greatest film

Author: sme_no_densetsu from Canada
27 July 2011

When you watch the opening credits of "The Grapes of Wrath" you'll see a veritable parade of legendary names in multiple areas of production: Fonda, Steinbeck, Toland, Newman, Ford. Living up to a lineup like that is a tall order but this film manages it.

For those unfamiliar with Steinbeck's novel, the story concerns a family of depression era farmers who are forced off their land in Oklahoma. They resolve to travel to California in order to seek work but are continually beset with hardships as their hopes are dashed time and again. The screenplay, adapted by Nunally Johnson, was rewarded with an Oscar nomination.

The cast features Henry Fonda in one of his most iconic roles, that of recently paroled Tom Joad. He instills his character with a keen sense of justice, matched with the will to fight back when driven to do so. He was nominated for an Oscar but lost out to James Stewart for his performance in "The Philadelphia Story". I expect that was mainly due to Stewart losing out the year before for "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington". Jane Darwell, on the other hand, saw her Oscar nomination turn into a win. As Ma Joad, she was an effective counterpoint to Fonda's character. A couple of other standouts in support were John Carradine as a disillusioned former preacher and John Qualen in a small role.

In terms of technique, the film is practically flawless. John Ford's direction is impeccable and the Gregg Toland cinematography is excellent. Ford took home an Oscar for his work but, strangely, Toland wasn't even nominated. For that matter, Alfred Newman's stirring score wasn't nominated either (perhaps because it's mostly based on the song "Red River Valley").

I haven't read the novel but I know that the storyline of the film deviates from the novel somewhat, particularly when it comes to the ending. Ultimately, though, the movie's grueling enough already; I can't imagine it ending as miserably as the novel supposedly does.

I haven't seen Hitchcock's "Rebecca", either, so I can't say whether or not this movie deserved the Oscar for best picture, though it certainly would have been a worthy choice. Simply put, "The Grapes of Wrath" is an essential American film.

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Real and honest people

Author: Petri Pelkonen ( from Finland
20 June 2011

It's the 1930's, time of the Great Depression.Tom Joad returns back home to Oklahoma, after doing time in prison.But he finds out he has no home.He finds his family, who tell them what has happened.They have lost their farm, and they are heading to California in search of the better life.The Grapes of Wrath (1940) is directed by John Ford, who got an Oscar from his work.The producers are Darryl F. Zanuck and Nunnally Johnson, the latter being responsible also for the screenplay.It's based on John Steinbeck's 1939 novel, which I read just before seeing this movie.The movie has taken some liberties on the story, so ít doesn't follow the book step by step.The cast is pretty amazing.Henry Fonda portrays Tom Joad brilliantly.Jane Darwell got an Oscar she deserved playing Ma Joad.Russell Simpson plays Pa Joad's role.John Carradine is amazing as the former preacher Casy.Charlie Grapewin plays Grandpa while Zeffie Tilbury is Grandma.Dorris Bowdon portrays Rose of Sharon.O.Z. Whitehead is Al.Frank Sully is Noah.Frank Darien plays Uncle John.Darryl Hickman is Winfield and Shirley Mills is Ruth Joad.John Qualen plays the part of Muley.Eddie Quillan is Connie.Ward Bond is seen as Policeman.What this movie shows us is some real and honest people.You can't hate these people.No, you care for these people, hope for the best to come in their way.But sometimes reality hits too hard on your face.

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Dust Bowl Okies Struggle in California

Author: Chris McAfee from United States
3 June 2011

Grapes of Wrath


Novel published April 1939, shooting for the film began October 4, and the film was released_____. Darryl F. Zanuck Grapes of Wrath came from the heart, Steinbeck felt it and wrote it quickly. Greg Toland shot it before he went on to work on Citizen Kane. Creates the mood of Dorothea Lang and WPA.

John Carradine G of W nominated for 7 Oscars, won Ford best director and Jane Darwell for supporting actress. Lost to Rebecca A touching attempt by film industry to honor years of hardship and sacrifice. Tom Joad is timeless and true and the film is a key warning of how society may make outlaws out of its best material.

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The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Author: Cameron Rivers (crivers123) from United States
12 May 2011

The Grapes of Wrath (1940) was a very well-made look at the experience of an Oklahoma farmer during the Dust Bowl of the 1930's. It is hard not to feel sympathy for the families who are losing their homes and farms. It was an intensely emotional scene when Muley and his family have to watch their homes be plowed to the ground. There were some scenes that it was easy to tell that there was a painted backdrop ( for example when Tom is arriving back home for the first time, he is walking through a field and there's an obvious backdrop.)The fact that the director was able to create a convincing look at the dustbowl so soon after it occurred definitely speaks for his talent.

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A respectable film

Author: kara kowalski from United States
12 May 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I did not think this film was very entertaining or eventful. However I do have respect for it's realism. They did a great job with wardrobe of the characters. They were always dirty. The use of black and white film also helped make them appear that way. These two things really portrayed the poverty and struggle of this family. They were so optimistic for what would come in California. They left their unemployed, poor lifestyle in hopes of a better life as well. Turns out everyone had that same idea. They had come to far to give up and were willing to fight for their share of work out west. Others who had come before were not fond of them coming in and taking work from them. Really, no matter where they were it was going to be difficult. I couldn't imagine a time when basic needs were such a struggle to obtain. This film does a great job at historically showing these events.

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California travels

Author: E-reilly3 from United States
11 May 2011

This classic tale of a family's struggle to make it across country I found quite interesting. Growing up in a middle class suburban house hold this is quite different from anything that I have known. I like Steinbecks use of harsh angles and lighting to add to the feeling of depression and hopelessness that is portrayed by the characters at times throughout the movie. I can see why this movie would be controvercial back in the day, however today I couldn't help but think how reserved it was. Modern movies have way more to say about the government and most of the time they are not good things. I felt that this was a pretty good movie overall and from what I can guess is an accurate portrayal of what many families had to go through.

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Good Film

Author: BenjaminBufordBlue from United States
11 May 2011

The Grapes of wrath is a good film that goes well beyond expressing the grimness of the great depression and dust bowl. Sometimes I felt like some of the Joad family members characters could have been more developed instead of spending so much time on showing how sad and depressing and hard the times were. I also thought the film got too political. It wouldn't have been so bad the politics not been so uneducated or naive, but I can't really expect anything different.

The cinematography and visuals in the film alone are enough reason to watch the film. Truly brilliant work from Gregg Toland. It is undoubtedly a good film, but The Grapes of Wrath could have been better.

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