John Ford's adaptation of John Steinbeck's classic novel follows
the traumatic journey made by the Joads, a dispossesed Oklahoma
family who head towards California to begin a new life. When Tom
Joad (Henry Fonda) returns home after being released from prison,
he discovers the farmlands have been destroyed by dust storms.
Seeking a better future, he leaves with his mother (Jane Darwell)
and the rest of the family for California. Their journey is far
from easy, however, and there is no guarantee the 'promised land'
will provide the life they are hoping for.
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Review This Product
The Grapes of Wrath
Thu, 22 Aug 2013 | Review by: Micky B
John Steinbeck’s acclaimed Pulitzer Prizewinning novel <i>The Grapes of Wrath</i> has been made into an equally successful film by legendary director, John Ford. It won two Oscars (John Ford for Best Direction, and Jane Darwell for the Best Supporting Role as “Ma Joad.” (If the name “Jane Darwell” is unknown to you: she was also the “Feed the Birds” lady in Disney’s <i>Mary Poppins </i> some 24 years later.) The story is of the Joads, an Oklahoma family, who, after losing their farm during the Great Depression in the 1930s, become migrant workers and end up in California. While not nec-essarily a happy story, it does have a very optimistic ending. The film opens with Tom Joad (Henry Fonda), released from prison and hitchhiking his way back to his parents' family farm in Oklahoma. Tom finds an itinerant ex-preacher named Jim Casy (John Carradine) sitting under a tree by the side of the road. Casy was the preacher who baptized Tom, but now Casy has "lost the spirit" and his faith (presaging his imminent conversion to communism). Casy goes with Tom to the Joad property only to find it deserted. There, they meet Muley (John Qualen) who is hiding out. In a flashback, he describes how farmers all over the area were forced from their farms by the deed holders of the land. A local boy (Irving Bacon), hired for the purpose, is shown knocking down Muley's house with a Caterpillar tractor. Following this, Tom and Casy move on to find the Joad family at Tom's Uncle John's place. His family is happy to see Tom and explain they have made plans to head for California in search of employment, as their farm has been foreclosed on by the bank. The large Joad family of twelve leaves at daybreak, along with Casy who decides to accompany them. They pack everything into a dilapidated 1926 Hudson "Super Six" sedan adapted to serve as a truck in order to make the long journey to the promised land of California. Of course, there is far more to the story than that, but hopefully this will serve to whet your cinematic appetite for this masterpiece! As for the background music: Most of it is Alfred Newman’s variations on the well-known Western song . “Red River Valley.”
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