The Grapes of WrathDirector: John Ford
The adaptation of Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of dirt-poor Dust Bowl migrants by 4-time Oscar-winning director John Ford starred Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, who opens the movie returning to his Oklahoma home after serving jail time for manslaughter. En route, Tom meets family friend Casey (John Carradine), 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 (Oscar-winner Jane Darwell), 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."
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- 20th Century Fox
- Region Code:
- [Full Frame]
- [DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
- Sales rank:
Cast & Crew
|Richard Day||Art Director|
|Roger Heman||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Mark-Lee Kirk||Art Director|
|George Leverett||Sound/Sound Designer|
|Thomas K. Little||Set Decoration/Design|
|Alfred Newman||Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Edward O'Fearna||Asst. Director|
|Robert L. Simpson||Editor|
|John Steinbeck||Source Author|
|Gwen Wakeling||Costumes/Costume Designer|
|Darryl F. Zanuck||Producer|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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One of the few times in history a film has captured and indeed surpassed the impact of the source novel. A hard, close look at the 'dustbowl' time period of the Great Depression, Ford's film is stark, gripping, and unforgetable.
In 1984, I taught The Grapes of Wrath as a student teacher. I loved it then, but I never had another chance to re-read it until recently. I marvelled at it again and wanted to see this movie. To me, the added features of this DVD makes it a great purchase. Besides the original movie, it has another full movie version with voice overs from a Steinbeck expert and a John Ford (director) expert. Every single part of the movie stays the same, and they take you into the making of it, the background of the times, the politics of it, and the personalities involved in it. I was absolutely glued to the screen. This is definitely for anyone who loves the book, is interested in the time period, and who admires the contribution Steinbeck made to raising awareness of this difficult time in American history.
This is one of Henry Fonda's strongest acting roles. The film starts as Fonda, just released from prison is returning home to Oklahoma only to find his family no longer able to support themselves as small time dirt farmers, the victims of larger conglamorates which are squeezing them to abandon their land and homes. The plot is fueled by their desperation and a flyer promising high pay in California as migrant grape pickers. It is a story so deep in the consciousness of Americans, concerning exploited workers, beginning here and continuing through the remaining part of the century, reminding us of the plight of immigrant workers in most states in the U.S. Only these Oklahoma farmers are not really immigrants but Americans who have already survived the earlier years of American settlement. It is a story not of simply what we do to others but of what we do to our own. An unforgetable commentary on how the rich exploit the poor that resulted in the beginning of the labor movement in the U.S. It reminds us of how our unions were born out of the necessity of poor people to survive inhuman conditions that favored the rich as they consistently took advantage and systematically exploited the poor. The quiet strength of Henry Fonda and his fierce independence depicts all that we love in the American character. Throughout this film in one brutal scene after another Fonda shows courage, humor, intelligence and determination to fight back against those that would destroy his family and the famlies around him. The other performers give brillant cameo performances. In all. this is an remarkable film drawing out our emotions and sympathy for these particular down to earth poor people and the downtrodden everywhere. Unfortunately, the rich continue to exploit all of us and this film makes us painfully aware that we are still up against the same struggle today when we consider how large corporations like banks, insurance companies and oil giants pretend to act in our interest while they rob us blind. See this film. It's a treat and an eye opener.
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