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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.
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!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Grapes of Wrath is a drama directed by John Ford. It was based on
John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. It
features Henry Fonda,Jane Darwell,John Carradine,Shirley Mills,John
Qualen and Eddie Quillan.The screenplay was written by Nunnally
Johnson.The film tells the story of the Joads, an Oklahoma family, who,
after losing their farm during the Great Depression in the 1930's,
become migrant workers and end up in California. The motion picture
details their arduous journey across the United States as they travel
to California in search of work and opportunities for the family
Tom Joad returns to his Oklahoma home after serving jail time for manslaughter. En route, Tom meets family friend Casey, a former preacher who warns Tom that dust storms, crop failures, and new agricultural methods have financially decimated the once prosperous Oklahoma farmland. Upon returning to his family farm, Tom is greeted by his mother, who tells him that the family is packing up for the "promised land" of California. Warned that they shouldn't expect a warm welcome in California--they've already seen the caravan of dispirited farmers, heading back home after striking out at finding work--the Joads push on all the same. Their first stop is a wretched migrant camp, full of starving children and surrounded by armed guards. Further down the road, the Joads drive into an idyllic government camp, with clean lodging, indoor plumbing, and a self-governing clientele. When Tom ultimately bids goodbye to his mother, who asks him where he'll go, he delivers the film's most famous speech: "I'll be all around...Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat...Whenever there's a cop beating a guy, I'll be there and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build. I'll be there too."
Movies will probably go on improving and broadening themselves; but in any event, The Grapes of Wrath is the most mature picture story that has ever been made, in feeling, in purpose, and in the use of the medium.A potent drama that is as socially important today as when it was made, it is affecting, moving, and deservedly considered an American classic and a great adaptation of the novel.A documentary-styled production for which Ford and cinematographer Gregg Toland demanded painstaking authenticity, it is much more than a classy, old-fashioned history lesson. With dialogue and scenes that rank among the most moving and memorable ever filmed, it's a classic among classics or simply put, one of the finest films ever made.It was often named the greatest American film, until it was dethroned by Citizen Kane.
America was still changing from an agricultural to an industrial
society back then. That causes a lot of trouble for people unskilled in
any industrial job training. As a country we're going through something
similar today in many areas. We're moving from an industrial to an
information based economy. Industry jobs are being lost to other
nations and older and poorer workers are suffering for it. It's
progress I guess, but it takes its toll.
Some factory worker who has lost his job for any number of reasons can identify to some degree with the Joads, especially if they've lost a home they owned. For the Joads it was worse because they made their living off the land for many generations, identifying with it in a way that industrial workers could not.
Henry Fonda got his first Oscar nomination for Tom Joad. To get the part which he knew he was so right for, he signed a studio contract with 20th Century Fox. That caused him many problems later on, but those are stories for another film review.
Tom Joad is a midwest country kid, a whole lot like Fonda himself. Part of the story of The Grapes of Wrath is Tom himself trying to figure out why these economic forces are crushing him and his family and the way of life he's known. In the end when he leaves the Joad family and hits the open road, he's not got all the answers, but he's asking the questions. Tom hasn't figured it out, but a lot of people with many letters after their names haven't either. He only knows that he's got to get in the fight for economic justice.
Jane Darwell was in films from the earliest silent films to Mary Poppins in 1965. This became her career part and the mother role of all time. She's what holds the Joad family together in good times and bad. That's what moms do and get little recognition for it. Except in this case by the Motion Picture Academy.
John Carradine has his career part in this also. Another John Ford favorite, Carradine plays Casy the defrocked preacher who as he tells it disgraced himself with a female parishioner. After that preaching the gospel didn't seem quite right. When Fonda meets Carradine after Fonda's been released from prison, Carradine is asking a lot of questions about what is man's place in the metaphysical scheme of things. He's developing what we would now call situational ethics. Carradine's questions are on a higher plane, but he certainly inspires Fonda to ask for some answers himself.
Starting with John Steinbeck's classic novel of the Depression and
migration of families from Texas and Oklahoma due to the dust bowl and
subsequent drought, the grapes of wrath brings the pain and suffering
of the farmers to the big screen. Huge numbers of migrants had the
misfortune of living through both the stock market crash and its
aftermath and the lack of rain which left thousands of empty farms.
Narrated by Tom Joad, a man who has just been released from prison and returns to the family farm only to find it abandoned. He meets up with a former preacher, Jim Casey, and they venture out on the road. What they find is not pretty as the banks have foreclosed on countless properties and the rumor spreads that California is a perfect destination for good, high paying jobs. Unfortunately, the employers have sent out many more fliers than people needed for the work and use the oversupply to keep wages low. In order to force a living wage, attempts are made to form unions , which results in violence between starving transients living in camps and the owners who call them reds or communists.
The book is one of the finest works of American literature and director John Ford retains the spirit of the novel using Henry Fonda as every man in the defining character, Tom Joad. John Carradine is also well cast as the doubting former preacher, Jim Casey. The mood is ominous but at the same time hopeful of a better time yet to come. We need to be reminded of our past mistakes in order to avoid repeating them, and this film is a good history lesson.
as much as a story can be excellent and a legendary and highly regarded as one of the best in history a visual experience can ruin it for you... for some of the same reasons i panned easy rider i can look at and be disappointed with the grapes of wrath... the timeless story or a displaced family in the great depression is half enhanced by the grainy look of the film half inhibited by the light flickering and dark photography... some night and indoor scenes at least in the copy i saw was impossible to see the action... the sound however was excellent... i am aware of the age of the film but i would imagine they would do a better job cleaning up this classic film... which i feel was over rated by nostalgic idiots that praise things that were already popular... the story carries much emotional weight and the acting is all very good but if you cant see or are distracted by the visual presentation on an HD monitor something is wrong... its still an essential classic i just need to try and find a cleaner copy i guess
"The Grapes of Wrath" as a film was very similar to the novel in one unfortunate way, it was very slow to develop. It is the story of the Joad family in the dust bowl of the western United States, during the Great Depression of the 1930's. The Joad's are destitute and heading west in hopes of finding a better life. Henry Fonda's portrayal of Tom Joad was the lone bright spot in this film. The plot was very slow and deliberate, by design. The film is meant to portray a struggle, and the fight against hopelessness, which it does well, unfortunately it does it at the expense of keeping the interest of the viewer. The sad, drawn out tale is, plainly put, not very interesting or fun to watch. As a documentary it would have worked by telling such a fine story, but as a film that is meant to entertain an audience it fell flat on its face. Watching this film felt like work more than entertainment, and although it may be understandable because of the subject matter, the end result is a film that is not enjoyable.
Grapes of Wrath was a warming film of family overcoming struggles
together, and making ends meet. Henry Fonda plays a compassionate
ex-con, on parole, who goes west hoping for a better life with his
family. The Joad family faces its good share of struggles. First being
kicked out of their house because of the government, then moving out of
a camp because it's going to be burned, and going form location to
location looking for work and money, to simply put food on the table.
Yet through all the struggles, the family sticks together, and somehow
makes it through. Despite Henry Fonda, Tom, leaving in the end, their
is hope for the family.
The film carries a strong message of family love and is wonderfully directed and acted. Fonda's expressions, eyes, and acting are perfect along with Jane Darwell as Mama Joad, who holds the family together and keeps the family's hope alive. It is filmed well with good use of lighting and shadows to create a masterpiece.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is great for many reasons, primarily because it was adapted
from John Steinbeck's timeless novel. Although Steinbeck's original
thoughts and emotions are written down in the text, John Ford and this
cast do a superb job of conveying these emotions and thoughts on
screen. Henry Fonda plays Tom Joad, and does so flawlessly. Each
character has their own influence on making this movie great in
different ways. At first, we see Tom fresh out of jail, naive to the
current times and angry with people and the world in general for the
state most people are in during the depression. Toward the end, Tom
realizes he can't control every situation presented him, and matures
over the course of the film by accepting things that he can't change.
Although he carries with him good intentions, the Joad's and many like
them are victims of the times.
Steinbeck's novel is a classic, and I think that John Ford does an excellent job of paying his due diligence through this movie. If you are familiar with Steinbeck you'll already know that he writes of many things simultaneously, that is, many of the things he says can be taken at face value or delved into deeply and contemplated end over end. John Ford understands this, and it shows in scenes where his characters give monologues, usually with close up shots to show the raw emotion in their faces. At the end of the movie we see Tom saying farewell to his mother before leaving the ranch. Mrs. Joad inquires, "What'll you do Tom, go off? How'll you survive- what if you get killed? I'd never see you again", to which Tom replies, "Ma I'll be everywhere helpin' out the everyman. (If I were to die) I'll be there when a cop is beatin' a poor fella for no reason, where children laugh because they're hungry, an' they know supper's ready... I'll be everywhere." It is here that we see Tom's change in his character, which is reflective of the entire country at the time. Beaten and broken, most are forced to fend for themselves in hopes of finding better days. Tom is the opposite, looking out for those he loves and complete strangers simultaneously.
This movie reflects the nation as a whole of the time, and gives us a peek into the simple will and desire of those folks to merely get by without worrying about starving or having a place to sleep at night. As Ma Joad says, "We'll keep on forever 'cause we're the people. Born on this dirt, live, die, and pass on to the youngster's here, we'll keep on going forever". See it, read it, love it.
I appreciate the movie for what it is about, but I really did not enjoy it. I found myself wanting more, maybe some action. I was bored most of the time and it seemed to lull. It could be because the issues they were dealing with don't relate with my life. It put their hardships into reality and I greatly respect the characters and what they had to go through. I don't think I would survive such an event in my life. I just couldn't get past the film. In some of the scenes the sounds were echo like and this bothered me. I did find some of the scenes interesting in retrospect. I like the scene where the children thought they broke the toilet and ran from the owner. I also like the concept of what tom said to his mother. That he was part of one big soul verses just his own. I thought it was a good concept and the actors did a nice job, but the movie just wasn't my cup of tea.
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