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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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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Classic Novel Becomes Classic Film

8/10
Author: gavin6942 from United States
3 December 2014

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

Now, I don't claim to understand the historical accuracy of this film. I don't know much about the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, or the struggles of the Oklahoma natives in the 1930s. But from what I do understand, Steinbeck told it well and John Ford probably toned it down a little to make it palatable for audiences.

Henry Fonda shines here. Although he had already broken out as the title character in "Young Mr. Lincoln" (1939), also directed by John Ford, he is said to have really launched his career on "Grapes of Wrath" following his Oscar nomination. Indeed, the best was yet to come, with "12 Angry Men" (1957) still far down the road.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

7/10
Author: Shavonna Croley from United States
13 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is tragic...the families in the story had so many hardships. It seemed impossible at time for the families survival. In all the, plot/ story content was great. Seeing what the main characters went through was some what hard to watch for me. I felt bad and guilty for watching it with popcorn in my hands. Besides the plot, the camera work was incredible.

There was one scene in particular where the camera stayed in a fixed location, it was great because there was these houses that lined right up next to each other. The houses close to us was out of focus/ blurred but the building farther away were in focused. I just thought it look like it could've been a nice photograph. Along with the fact that a lot of the scenes in this film was taken in the dark. The tonal range in these scenes almost ghostly. It felt as if nothing was left, and there wasn't. These people lost there home but as well as their humanity. Though at the end it was nice to see that they didn't give up hope.

The only thing that bothered me was the length of the film...it took too long to get to the point for me, but other than that it was pretty good.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Good Acting, Boring Story

6/10
Author: Michael Youngblood from United States
12 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Let me start off by saying I love old movies. I really, really do. They almost always keep my interest and i can appreciate the classics. "The Grapes of Wrath" however, is my exception. If it wasn't for the acting being fantastic, I would have given this film a failing grade. Any movie that bores me to the extent when I want to turn it off, I can't give it a good grade. It's not just the movie, it's the play too. I really just can't enjoy the story when it's about a subject as dry as the dust bowl.

The acting by Henry Fonda is fantastic. The classic scene at the end is one of the best performances in American cinema. Jane Darwell's performance was also just great. She was wonderful and completely deserved the Oscar for this movie. I wasn't really impressed with the rest of the acting in this movie however. I thought John Carradine painfully overacted in this film, and i'm normally a fan of his.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Trying to live the dream

8/10
Author: leonrach95 from United States
8 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Grapes of Wrath is an extremely intense movie. It kept an serious tone throughout the entire movie and it honestly never got uplifting. There was no good outcome from anything that they did. There is probably one of the most mature films I have seen come from movies of the 1940's. The story is during the time of the dust bowl where no jobs are available. The actors are truly inspiring at how they display emotions on their face. The actors take this into their own hands and make it extremely believable. The director make a powerful movie at displaying the depression and how it was to be poor. If you can handle a serious movie I highly recommend this to anyone.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Grapes of wrath review

8/10
Author: courtxanne from United States
8 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I enjoyed this movie because it has more of historical background to it in a way because it shows just how families were affected by the Great Depression back then. It also gives a sense of how different things are now than they were then and how good we have it now. Henry Fonda's character Tom was very easy to connect with because he was just someone you were easily drawn to right from the beginning. The tone in his voice when he spoke just gave you that emotion he was feeling and it just set the stage right from the top of how it was going to be especially when they were driven off their property at the very beginning.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Grapes of Wrath Review

8/10
Author: hourmatt326 from United States
8 October 2014

I enjoyed The Grapes of Wrath more then I have enjoyed John Ford's classic western types of movies. I found the story of the family a lot more interesting then I thought I was going to and in this movie you start to care about all the charters involved in the story which makes it a better movie if it can pull that off with a good story. Henry Fonda as Tom gives a great performance and really brings the story forward revolving around him. John Ford as did a great job directing and the film looks great and is really clean which for me makes the watching the movie a lot better. That is why The Grapes of Wrath gets an 8/10.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

classic narrative of the Depression dispossessed, including Exodus, with somewhat optimistic ending

10/10
Author: weezeralfalfa from United States
6 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Judging from the large number of reviews of this film, compared to most other well regarded films from this era, this must still be regarded as a classic portrayal of the plight of the rural poor during The Great Depression, dispossessed of their rented or sometimes owned land and home, forced to flee to distant overcrowded greener pastures or cities. Actually, this flight had begun around 1920, after the collapse of agriculture produce prices with the ending of WWI. Although only white Americans are depicted, African Americans were leaving southern states, especially, in large numbers during this period and subsequently. Although the Joads understandably didn't see it that way at that time, population dislocations, due to technological progress or resource exhaustion and resource discoveries is an unfortunate integral part of relatively recent history. This film dramatizes the generally greater adverse effect of such dislocations on the elderly, who have often invested near a lifetime in their dispossessed property and lifestyle, thus are more reluctant to abandon the familiar for a distant unknown, and are more likely to die trying to get there under rather primitive traveling conditions, as dramatized in this film. This particular point is more thoroughly emphasized in the subsequent film "Wild River", in which an elderly woman landowner refuses to leave her lifelong home and plantation, until forced to, even knowing it would soon be drowned by the rising waters behind a new TVA dam. In that case, the woman didn't die of traveling stress. Apparently, she simply willed herself to die, out of depression. She had no desire to start a new life in the TVA-financed alternative property awarded her, in spite of all the immediate and long-term benefits claimed by the TVA rep for the building of that dam.

Instead of looking for work in some city, as many did, the Joads hoped to land some temporary labor jobs in the oversaturated farming lands of CA. They are put off by the primitive living conditions, thuggish guards, lack of work, very low pay, and high cost of basic supplies at the several farms owned privately. Later, they discover the more humane living conditions and friendlier attitude at a federal government-sponsored farm. This is, in effect, a plug for the New Deal projects designed, at least partly, to help alleviate much of the poverty and unemployment. The implication is that well off individuals and companies were only interested in exploiting the downtrodden, not in helping them reestablish decent living conditions. As Tom Joad, Henry Fonda, in articulating his parting ambition to act as a superman, helping the downtrodden, is really articulating some of the general goals of the New Deal and the liberal political agenda. He himself, as an accused murderer on the run and parolee, isn't likely to achieve much of what he claims he wants to do. But well-healed responsive governments could help the downtrodden in their fights against exploiting capitalists. That is the main message. Of course, in reality, this is an oversimplification. By developing new technologies and discovering new resources, private individuals and companies potentially gradually improve the living standards of their workers and consumers, with a degree of competition generally a positive influence.

A few years before, Fonda had starred in "You Only Live Once", in which his character is paroled from a prison term for some youthful robberies, with the help of his acquired girlfriend. But, potential employers are put off by his status as a parolee, hence he can't keep a decent job, then is soon judged guilty of a large bank robbery he had nothing to do with.. Later, he accidentally kills a man during a prison break just before his scheduled execution, engineered by his girlfriend. They are later gunned down in an ambush near the Canadian border. Rather reminiscent of the historical Bonnie and Clyde, of the times. In all, a pessimistic comment on the refusal of society to ignore the past transgressions of people, especially poor people, in giving them a real opportunity to make amends. This film was made during the depths of the depression, whereas the present film, with its more optimistic ending, was made as the US was beginning to pull out of the depression, with the beginnings of producing materials relating to WWII.

Jane Darwell, who plays Ma Joad, played an important role in the prior "Ramona", which also included Russel Simpson(Pa Joad), and John Carridine(Casy, in the present film). The plot of this film has some strong resemblances to that of the present film. but, the victims of forced evacuation of their homes and fields are Christianized California Indians, soon after CA had been wrested by the US from Mexico. Like the Joads, they packed up their minimal belongings and traveled to some unknown destination. Unlike the other, hostile, Americans, Jane's character was friendly and accommodating to these Christianized Indians. Near the end, she gives a lengthy encouraging speech, with a gist similar to her optimistic speech at the end of the present film. Thus, Jane's character is presented as sort of equivalent to the federally-sponsored farm in the present film. In contrast to the present film, "Ramona" was filmed in 3-strip Technicolor. B&W was probably a better choice for the present film.

Another relevant film: "Sullivan's Travels"('41) explores the largely urban dispossessed during The Depression, and their prejudicial treatment by the legal and penal systems.....Of course, Ford soon followed the present film with the plight-of the-mining community tear jerker "How Green Was My Valley". Ford liked to champion the underdog, and the discriminated minorities, of which he, as an Irish Catholic, was one.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Average family during the Great Depression endures many hardships

7/10
Author: shinc-030
30 September 2014

So much for a story about fruit, The Grapes of Wrath is way much more than that! This film may start off quiet and dull, but it leads to a much more action-packed plot! Although different from the original book, the film still does include the major points and the overall themes of the story. The Grapes of Wrath is a story about a poverty stricken family, the Joads, who migrate from their home in Oklahoma to California in search of work and a better life. The main antagonist is poverty which is enhanced in the black and white color settings of the movie. Because it is in only black or white, it is clearly felt and shown the desperation and lack of hope the Joads have. On the entire journey towards California, the family endures every possible trial they could have faced. They lose family members to death and abandonment, suffer from "persecution", poverty and hunger, and have a constant breakdown from their run-down truck. However, their determination, along with Ma Joad's eventual leadership, demonstrates one of the major lessons that strength can be found in numbers and with each other. Henry Fonda, who plays Tom Joad, the protagonist-a man recently released from prison, portrays Tom the way that Tom is supposed to be received. He acts as a caring, yet strong-willed and sometimes reckless youth- which is then shown in Fonda's vibrant facial expressions and motions. All of the actors portray their roles with an enthusiasm that is then proved in the accurate representation of the characters. Although many times, there is a small form of hope throughout the book, viewers never expect that The Grapes of Wrath will have a happy ending. The film did not include the intercalary chapters from the book but enough foreshadowing is presented allowing us to know that it is a moral story with no satisfying end. Overall, this film is mind captivating forcing readers to think about life in many aspects, and reconsider decisions made. It teaches important values and how to have faith in times of hardships.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Such a beautiful, moving masterpiece

Author: I_Love_Jason_Sudeikis
8 July 2014

Wow! I don't know how to truly describe this masterpiece. It is one of those truly timeless films that will stay with you forever. Story of a family - the Joad family - trying to make it during the Depression. I don't really want to say anything to give anything away because this movie is just THAT GOOD. Henry Fonda - a personal hero of mine - plays Tom Joad and his performance should have garnered him a Best Actor Oscar. The cinematography and locations in film is all beautiful to the eye. I know this review is saying much other than the plot, but I am telling whoever reads this to PLEASE SEE IT. If you love classic films and good perfect movies in general, you will not want to miss this. I really need to read John Steinback's book.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A powerful classic!

10/10
Author: evant299 from Metropolis
1 July 2014

This movie is a powerful film. It focuses on a families journey to California in search of work during the great depression era. The movie gives an inside look at the horrible living conditions these people had to deal with. Henry Fonda gives a truly powerful performance as the ex Prisoner Tom Joad who reunites with his family to accompany them on their journey to California. This is a classic movie that won 2 awards in the 1940 Academy awards. Any film buff should watch this. It is definitely one of the best movies of all time without a doubt. Even if the plot doesn't interest you, it is still worth seeing for henry Fondas powerful. performance.

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