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The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | 15 March 1940 (USA)
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A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

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(screen play), (based on the novel by)
Top Rated Movies #220 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Tom Joad
... Ma Joad
... Jim Casy
... Grandpa
... Rosasharn
... Pa Joad
... Al
... Muley Bates
... Connie
... Grandma
... Noah
Frank Darien ... Uncle John
... Winfield
... Ruthie
Roger Imhof ... Thomas
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Storyline

The Joad clan, introduced to the world in John Steinbeck's iconic novel, is looking for a better life in California. After their drought-ridden farm is seized by the bank, the family -- led by just-paroled son Tom -- loads up a truck and heads West. On the road, beset by hardships, the Joads meet dozens of other families making the same trek and holding onto the same dream. Once in California, however, the Joads soon realize that the promised land isn't quite what they hoped. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Joads step right out of the pages of the novel that has shocked millions ! See more »

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 March 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Highway 66  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$55,000, 31 January 1940
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was one of the first to be voted onto the National Film Registry (1989). See more »

Goofs

When Pa Joad and Tom are talking about how they got some money to go on the trip, poor Uncle John carries the bed spring out the door three times. See more »

Quotes

Tom Joad: [At 1:18:50 into the movie, Tom Joad pulls off the road to change the left front tire. Jane Darwell gets out of the truck and sits on the front bumper. As Tom begins to get under the truck to jack the truck up, he says to Jane,] "Ma, will you get the hell off'a there! It's gonna be heavy enough..." That somehow passed the Board of Review censors.
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Connections

Referenced in Slums of Beverly Hills (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played as dance music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Triumph in Record Time
18 May 2002 | by See all my reviews

They say that you should wait 20 or 30 years before attempting to capture an historical event on film. That is why it was remarkable that Oliver Stone was able to capture the "feel" of Viet Nam (in "Platoon") so soon (13 years) after America's withdrawal. Usually, an honest perspective takes more time to develop.

But, when you consider that John Steinbeck and John Ford needed less than ten years to bring the 1932 "dust bowl" to life, you really have to admire their magnificent achievement.

Of course, in 1940, Ford could not film much of the graphic squalor described in the novel. For example, the film cannot show a starving hobo suckling at the breast of a young Rose of Sharon, who has milk to spare following the death of her baby. But, far from degradation, Rose of Sharon's gesture is a reflection of the goodness that resides within her, and that quality is well illustrated in the character development seen on the screen. Tom Joad may be an ex-con, but he is a good man.

One of the commentaries (below) uses this film to rant about the exploitation in today's society. That completely misses the point. Ford, who was as conservative as anyone in Hollywood, even more conservative than John Wayne, used this movie to show that Man can triumph, despite the natural and human barriers that are put in his way.

This is ultimately a movie about hope and the human spirit.


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