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The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | 15 March 1940 (USA)
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 #219 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Al
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Frank Darien ...
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Shirley Mills ...
Roger Imhof ...
Thomas
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Storyline

Tom Joad returns to his home after a jail sentence to find his family kicked off their farm due to foreclosure. He catches up with them on his uncle's farm and joins them the next day as they head for California and a new life - Hopefully. Written by Colin Tinto <cst@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The thousands who have read the book will know why WE WILL NOT SELL ANY CHILDREN TICKETS to see this picture! 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)
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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

Reportedly, Darryl F. Zanuck was the one who had cricket chirps added to the soundtrack during the scene in which Casy and his "radical" associates are camped near the river, and he also is said to have insisted on the inclusion of a prominent accordion part in the spare musical score because he considered it the most American instrument. Although officially uncredited, sources list the accordion player as Danny Borzage, brother of director Frank Borzage and a regular bit player in Ford's stock company in a number of films between 1924 and 1964. 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

Ma Joad: There ain't no family now. And Winfield, what's he gonna be this way? Growin' up wild. And Ruthie too. Just like animals. Got nothing to trust.
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Connections

Featured in Stars of the Silver Screen: Henry Fonda (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Red River Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played during the opening credits and often in the score
Sung by Henry Fonda at the dance
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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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