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Of Mice and Men (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 12 January 1940 (USA)
Two itinerant migrant workers, one mentally disabled and the other his carer, take jobs as ranch hands during the Great Depression to fulfill their shared dream of owning their own ranch.

Director:

Lewis Milestone

Writers:

John Steinbeck (by), Eugene Solow (screen play)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burgess Meredith ... George Milton
Betty Field ... Mae Jackson
Lon Chaney Jr. ... Lennie Small
Charles Bickford ... Slim
Roman Bohnen ... Candy
Bob Steele ... Curley Jackson
Noah Beery Jr. ... Whit
Oscar O'Shea ... Jackson
Granville Bates ... Carlson
Leigh Whipper Leigh Whipper ... Crooks
Helen Lynd ... Susie
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Storyline

George Milton and Lennie Small are migrant workers in the 1930s Depression. Lennie is mentally disabled and George looks after him. While working as hands on a Western ranch, they dream of owning their own ranch and the opportunity may be available. Their current ranch is owned by a sadistic man who has a flirtatious wife. Written by dstern1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Powerful in its grim human appeal! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 January 1940 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La fuerza bruta See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Lon Chaney Jr. had played the role of "Lennie" in the Los Angeles stage production of "Of Mice and Men," and asked director Lewis Milestone for a screen test. Milestone was planning on casting Broderick Crawford in the role, but agreed to let Chaney feed lines to actresses testing for the part of "Mae." By the end of all the tests, Milestone had changed his mind, and cast Chaney in the part without a test of his own. See more »

Goofs

When bedding down for the night at the river, George's hands change position. See more »

Quotes

Lennie: You want I should go away and leave you alone?
George Milton: Where could you go?
Lennie: Oh, I could... I could go right up in them hills and some place find a cave.
George Milton: How'd ya eat? You aint' got sense enough to find somethin' to eat.
Lennie: Oh, I'd find some things. I don't need no fancy foods like beans with ketchup! I could lay out in the sun where nobody'd hurt me.
George Milton: I been mean to ya. Ain't I?
Lennie: Well, if you don't want me you only just gotta say so. I can go right up in them hills and live by myself and I won't get no birds...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie begins before the credits are shown. George and Lennie are fleeing a mob. They board a boxcar on a moving train, and as they close the door of the boxcar we see the main title already written on the door of the boxcar. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
EXCELLENT CINEMA!
10 February 2001 | by artzauSee all my reviews

The first comment given here shows an incredible lack of understanding of Steinbeck in his California period. Our Irish friend's acrid comments show he obviously doesn't like Steinbeck and that's his privilege. Now, having said that, I must say he's wrong. This film is excellent. Just that. The cast is wonderful and the story is a classic: the destruction of innocence by cruel reality (viz: the title of the story taken from a line from a Robert Burns's poem). And, while Steinbeck was not one to let a sentimental moment pass by, e.g, Lennie's Christ-like innocence, inappropriate super-human strength which inadvertently wreaks havoc resulting in his euthanasia with the same instrument as used for Curley's dog, these scenes are never maudlin. Too, for the serious Steinbeck fan, there's more, much more. This story, and the play, created at Steinbeck's most experimental period, is fraught with symbolism. There's the "big" guy, a victim of the "little" guy's vanity. Many are not aware that Steinbeck was small (5'3") and very self-conscious about his size. The cast is outstanding: Betty Field's careless and bored character, Mae contrasts with the mighty innocence of Chaney's Lennie. There are the solid characters of Bickford's Slim, Meredith's George and Bohnen's Candy; Steele was at his best as the vain, pugnacious Curley; Veteran character actor, Noah Berry Jr. as Whit adds another element of sympathy. This is one of our American classic films. We invented and developed this genre of art and this film must stand as one of its finest examples.


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