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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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Fonda and other cast wow with depictions of hardships of the Dust Bowl

9/10
Author: loganjkoop from United States
28 March 2013

The film Grapes of Wrath, based off the book by John Steinbeck, depicts a family who lives in Oklahoma around the time the Dust Bowl starts. As times get worse, the family is forced to move off their farm and head west to California to find work that is rumored to be there. This film was obviously very important because it brought to life the struggles of the Midwestern people during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, which may only ever have been depicted in books or literature in times to date. The film is masterfully made. This film is in black and white but this does not take away from the experience, it actually adds to the theme by using dark shadings to symbolize the struggles and poverty and desperation. The actors do their part well, and make the audience connect with and feel the struggles they went through at the time. Many people know about the history and hardships of the people who lived in the big cities and were directly affected by the stock market crash, but what is less known, is the plight of the farmers who were wiped off their land by the severe drought that also took place during the Depression era. This movie does justice in bringing to life the struggles thousands of people faced. Through all the endeavors, one major quote from the movie sums up the feelings of many Americans at the time.

"We'll go on forever because we're the people." The strong and hard-willed matriarch of the family speaks this quote. She is the backbone of the family and she takes care of them the best that she can. She is also very wise and is interested only in the welfare of her family and keeping her family together. In this movie, one of the major life lessons that are spoken to the audience is to always keep moving forward and to never give up. I really love this quote. This was a quote that I already try to live by in my life, and seeing the quote played out in real life is fascinating. Even though this is a movie that was "Hollywoodnized," the struggles that these people went through were real. In real life when the people persevered and never gave up things eventually started to look up. This is a quote every American, especially younger audiences, should try to live by, and this is a movie that is exceptionally well done.

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Just a little piece of a big soul

10/10
Author: uziesuzie from United States
15 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film really captures the trials and tribulations of the immigrants during The Great Depression. With the inclusion of the great devastation of the Dust Bowl period, which was happening at the same time. One forcing families off of their land and the other creating economic despair. A no win situation. The long take of the Joed family entering the Transient camp from the actually family's point of view was really intense. You feel as though your right there with them. The best line in the film is in the last ten minutes of the film when Tom Joed says to his mother " A Fella ain't got a soul of his own, just a little piece of a big soul. The one big soul that belongs to everybody" This was the most beautiful part of the film besides the memorizing landscapes.

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Tragically real

Author: LaserLemon from United States
14 March 2013

The Grapes of Wrath is the film adaptation of the book which covers the story of an Oklahoma family living in the dust bowl during the Great Depression. This film plays no games when it comes to realism and does its best to render the heart wrenching plight of the Oakies as they suffered while traveling to California for work. The film is gritty and keeps to the reality of the tale as much as possible. The saddest thing though was the way that for all Tom's attempts at good, to reform, to help those in need, he is the one who causes the family to struggle the most as his very presence is a source of constant problem. This movie serves as a reminder of the struggles faced by farmed during the Great Depression and the challenge of how anyone let alone this family could possibly survive through it.

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Grapes of wraith

9/10
Author: t-covino from United States
13 March 2013

I enjoyed this movie a lot. It does a great job of portraying history and what it was like after the economic crash of United States. The main character is a very righteous man who has been through a lot and after serving a jail sentence comes home to find out his family is leaving his Oklahoma farm. They are off to California due to he dust storms and infertile farmland. On their journey they face many trials and tribulations in which the protagonist must help his family overcome in order to help them have a safe trip to California.throughout the film there is very epic scenes that are quite inspiring as well as very poetic and epic dialogue. There is a lot of substance to take from this film and it is very easy to feel for the characters in this which I think is awesome because it almost brings you back to that very same time period.

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The Geometry of Underclass Frontiersmanship in The Grapes of Wrath

Author: Jon Fougner from New Haven, CT
12 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

John Ford's "Grapes of Wrath" captures the salt-of-the-earth Dust Bowl destitution of the Steinbeck novel from which it is adapted. The Joads' trek west is every bit as entrepreneurial as that of the emerging agricultural barons for whom they toil, albeit motivated by survival rather than riches. Position is everything, whether that means fighting to stay or conniving to leave. Ford's cinematography, dialog, and plot bring land to life as another character in the film, animated by the Joads' do-or-die movements across it.

From the opening shot, the terrain is something to be contended with. A high-angle exterior shot of our protagonist Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) walking down the road photographs ground more than half-way up the celluloid. (Perhaps the geometry of this shot influenced that of the crop-duster scene in Hitchcock's "North By Northwest"). Intersecting roads and telephone wires create a rectilinear lattice confining the shot's subject, telegraphing how confined Joad's choice-set will prove. (The store he walks into is called "Cross Roads.") More high horizons— most memorably, a high-contrast night shot of the sheriffs' ominous headlights bearing down on the Joads' old house—further the impression that the distance the Joads must traverse is a wall they must drive through.

If the wealthy typically speak of nouns they own and the healthy, of verbs they do, those tethered to the plane beneath their feet for bare subsistence—the Joads—speak in prepositions. Their life is cartographic. When the Joads can occupy their land, they're "on it," and when they're evicted, they're ordered to "get off" and they're "throwed off." Now, their aim is not stillness, but control of position; seeing Tom, Grandpa exults, "They couldn't keep him in!" "You can't keep a Joad in jail!" The scene evolves into a comedic sketch in which just about everyone asks Tom if he "busted out." The family's watchword is "across": they have got to keep marching *across*, even if the grueling pace costs Grandma her life. Similarly, compass directions—those siblings of prepositions—are ever on the tip of the tongue, furnishing, for instance, a pretense for the family's escape from the farm (they had gotten a job "up north").

Plot developments will confirm our sense that the earth has heft—heft enough to kill (if their jalopy craps out in the desert, as the gas station attendant warns them), or enough to nourish (if its fruits will command five cents a bucket rather than two-and-a-half). Even minor plot details reinforce the primacy of terra firma: when burning family mementos before embarking, Ma Joad (Jane Darwell) spares a souvenir of the Louisiana Purchase. Now *that* was a deal on a plot of land.

As for Tom, he made it from prison to Oklahoma to California and now he's got too much momentum to cast anchor. Where to next? "I'll be everywhere," he tells us in his final monologue. "Wherever there's a cop beating up a guy, I'll be there." And for all his work in the dry dirt, he's finally transcended the terrestrial: "I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. . . . And when people are eating the stuff they raise, living in the houses they build, I'll be there, too."

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Steinbeck's masterpiece

8/10
Author: SuperDuperMCA (SuperDuperMCA@hotmail.com) from United States
6 March 2013

This is a great movie with an epic story that is ultra realistic to issues people faced during the time period depicted. The cinematography is astonishing especially for a 1940 film and really helps set the mood of each scene. Tom Joad's journey is a captivating adventure, the struggles him and his family face throughout the film and the hardships overcome made me appreciative all the things I'm blessed with. When originally released I can imagine this film had a strong impact on American society because during the great depression many families had gone through similar situation and could relate. Strong acting done by Henry Fonda really helps to create a strong emotional bond to the characters. John Ford definitely did not disappoint in his adaptation of Steinbeck's most powerful story, truly a thought provoking perception on American life around the time of the great depression. A must see for anyone who enjoys classic masterpieces

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good film

7/10
Author: corypom from United States
6 March 2013

The Grapes of Wrath was a good film. I had started reading the novel by John Steinbeck back in high school and never finished it. But what I remember from it, it seemed as though i would find the movie interesting which i did.

I was really captivated by the opening scene of the paved road in Oklahoma. Just with the telephone poles and everything it was a great opening scene to draw in viewers.

the story itself of a man, Tom Joad, is one to grab anyones attention. The concept of Tom Joad(an ex convict) breaking his parole to move out west to California with his family was outstanding to me because it was sort of a bad-to-the-bone thing to do and thats definitely enough to get one like myself to watch any film.

i definitely recommend this to everyone. It's just a classic and a need to see movie by everyone. i would watch it again if i got the chance!

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Timeless Words

8/10
Author: Heart Haunter (green.dolphins3@gmail.com)
4 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Tom Joad: Well, maybe it's like Casy says. A fellow ain't got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody, then... Ma Joad: Then what, Tom? Tom Joad: Then it don't matter. I'll be all around in the dark - I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look - wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build - I'll be there, too.

These timeless words seemed to be reverberating through the confines of my mental processes, through the ages. Like love at the first sight, i immediately took to them. I had heard them for the first time in The Dream Team. Search as hard as i might, i couldn't find their source at that time. But things have a way of coming back to us when we least expect them regardless of our actually needing them. But as i watched The Grapes of Wrath i found how much i needed them as they spun their familiar magic over me. I had found them at last!

For me The Grapes of Wrath is all about the performances by the Academy award winner Jane Darwell, John Carradine, and one of my favorites Henry Fonda. Its also all about the endearing relationship between Tom and Ma Joad. Its not often that a literary masterpiece has got its due on the silver screen. The Grapes of Wrath is indeed one of them. Must watch!

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Historically touching

Author: bcaulford from United States
25 February 2013

I found this film to be touching, not only because of the Joad family's unfortunate situation but because this really happened during the Great Depression and in some cases on a far worse level. It's a shame that the whole family started off with twelve members and at the end of the movie only ended up with seven or eight. I commemorate the overall spirit of the family for not giving up and working together to make ends meet and establish a life for themselves. During this time it was very bad for farmers because they were forced off their land with no other direction to go in. Many people died and starved and fought tooth and nail for even the smallest, short lasting job out there. What really makes this film touching and unique is the fact that this actually took place in history and it gave people some insight on how others were suffering and how to be kind and compassionate towards others. When the family stumbled upon the camp that was run by the Department of Agriculture it demonstrated the kindness and compassion that was needed in order for people to survive and make it through the next day. Having that ultimately unified the people into preventing a so called "riot" to take place at a local dance just as a excuse for the sheriffs to show up and ransack the place. Tom and mama's little speeches towards the end touched the heart of the audience and affirmed the idea that no matter how hard things get in life you should always keep going and do your best and never give up to live a happy and healthy life. Another thing to add regarding the form is that the camera angles were very pleasing for being an older movie because during exciting scenes, like when there was a fight or a chase taking place, the camera man did very well in following every movement and the different angles made it more exciting to watch and made the audience feel as if they were really there watching it. Overall this was a great film in my opinion because a.) I'm a sucker for historical films and b.) the plot is one that could never get old and ultimately would touch the heart of anyone watching it.

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Realistic and relatable!

8/10
Author: Taffyta from United States
22 February 2013

I've always heard of "The Grapes of Wrath" but I had never known anything about it. So it was nice to get the chance to view it and see what it was about.

I enjoyed how "simple" it was. Sometimes I get lost in story lines when there's talk of financial matters and law. It just looses me. This was simple in that were wasn't too much babble about things like that. The characters carried on with life and had real experiences that I could emotionally follow.

I did seem to miss out on characters leaving the original party, besides the one that was pointed out by the characters. I did sit here wondering why certain faces weren't around anymore. I was paying attention, but I think it's because black and white movies are hard for me to follow, since I grew up with color. If a character isn't distinct enough, I'll forget who they are and mix them up with others. That would happen in such a story as this, with so many people in it and moving around such a large group.

Those are the only two discrepancies I had with it. Other than that I did enjoy it!

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