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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)
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Top Rated Movies #221 | 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
Shirley Mills ... 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 most discussed book in years - now comes to the screen to become the most discussed picture in ages 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)
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

Dorris Bowdon (Rosasharn) was married to screenwriter Nunnally Johnson. See more »

Goofs

When the Joads stop and ask for a loaf of bread and the waitress says they only have 15 cent loaves and the owner/cook tells her to let them have it she tells them to go ahead "Fred says it is okay". Later as the truck drivers leave leaving their change because she was so nice and sold 2 pieces of candy that cost 5 cents each for a penny when she saw the kids, she calls him Bert. See more »

Quotes

Tom Joad: If there was a law, they was workin' with maybe we could take it, but it ain't the law. They're workin' away our spirits, tryin' to make us cringe and crawl, takin' away our decency.
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Connections

Referenced in Five Came Back: Combat Zones (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Going Down the Road Feeling Bad
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played on guitar and Sung by Eddie Quillan
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Fine Cast & Production
26 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

This classic adaptation of "The Grapes of Wrath" features a fine cast as well as a skillful production headed by director John Ford. Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell are well-remembered for their roles, which are among the defining roles in their careers. The only limitations that it has come from the original novel, with its heartfelt but sometimes contrived story.

Besides Fonda and Darwell, the supporting cast features plenty of good supporting players, including Charley Grapewin and John Carradine. All of them make their characters come alive believably. They also fit together well and complement one another's performances, which accentuates the themes involved in the struggles of the Joad family.

For all that the Steinbeck novel is so revered, and for all that his story is an often compelling depiction of its characters, with whom many in the era could identify, it would have been better if it had not been so heavy-handed. Even given that the times were bad, more balance in the characters outside of the family, and in the Joads' experiences, would have made it an even better story. Certainly, this is barely even noticeable when compared with the stories in many present-day movies and novels, which often dispense with any attempts at plausibility.

And that does not stop this adaptation from being a worthwhile and often moving film. Ford clearly appreciated the potential in the material, and he and the cast work together to make each character count, and to give meaning to each scene.


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