Of Mice and Men (1981)

TV Movie  |   |  Drama  |  29 November 1981 (USA)
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A TV adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel. George and Lenny travel through the Depression-era west working at odd jobs, hoping to make enough money to buy their own farm. George must always... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Slim (as Mitch Ryan)
Cassie Yates ...
Whitman Mayo ...
Pat Corley ...
Sondra Blake ...


A TV adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel. George and Lenny travel through the Depression-era west working at odd jobs, hoping to make enough money to buy their own farm. George must always watch over his intellectually disabled friend, and keep him out of danger, both to himself and to others. After they take a new job at a ranch, Lenny gets into far more trouble than George can talk his way out of, leaving George to decide whether to help him, or leave him to his fate. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

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Release Date:

29 November 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hiiriä ja ihmisiä  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lou Ferrigno was originally supposed to play Lenny Small, but was forced to back out of the project because he had to return to work on The Incredible Hulk (1978) earlier than expected. See more »


In Crook's place, after Curly's wife leaves, a boom mic is visible at the top of the screen. See more »


Version of Of Mice and Men (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Horrible Adaptation
21 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While this movie could well deserve a 1 rating, I know that there are worse films out there. That faint praise, however, is more of a comment on how bad "Plan 9 From Outer Space" actually was compared to this film.

My primary objections to this film aren't the wooden acting, though that would be sufficient to not recommend the film, but the script. Steinbeck wrote a novel that was designed to be staged. Each "act," it's hard to call them chapters, contains everything necessary to set the scene, place the actors on stage, feed them informative and insightful dialog, and interest the observer/reader. It was an admirable piece of writing that should, by design, be easily translated to stage or film.

Yet, in the first 40 minutes of this film, the director chose to add scenes, such as one with Aunt Clara, one where George tries to abandon Lennie, one between Curley and his wife, and the one where Lennie lifts the back of a wagon. None of these scenes are supported by the text of the book. When staged, they succeed only in destroying the meaning of Steinbeck's awesome novel. If abusing a piece of literature were a capital crime, Solow and Badiyi would be the first against the wall.

Now, the acting. At best, Blake is a mediocre actor. In this, which is arguably his worst work, he is wooden, condescending, and emotionally crippled. You are supposed to like George and sympathize with his ability to put up with the ever failing Lennie, but I found myself liking Curley almost as much.

Quaid, on the other hand, tries, but fails, to bring life to the character of Lennie. Had they actually used the words Steinbeck wrote, it is possible he may have been successful. It was a game effort, but it failed miserably, nonetheless.

Granted, this was a television adaptation and suffered from a lack of budget and time. All the more reason for the creators to not delve off into laughable visits with Aunt Clara or create other unnecessary, and unsupported, scenes. Steinbeck wrote a concise and accurate script which he designed to read like a play and, hence, brought to stage or screen. Somehow, those responsible for this train wreck failed to understand this, even though the ability to do this should be in their job description.

Watch any other version of this movie, if you get the chance. While I have issues with all of them, they are all significantly better films and are closer to the original text of the book.


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