The Grapes of Wrath

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Released 1940

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Movie Summary

Director:
John Ford
Released:
1940
Rating:
Not Available
The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 film adapted from the John Steinbeck Pullitzer-winning novel. Produced by John Ford and directed by Darryl Zanuck, the plot takes place in Great Depression-era America. Displaced from their Oklahoma farm by foreclosure, the Joad family heads west to seek migrant work in order to survive. They pin their hopes on the promised land of California. Along for the ride in the Joad's dilapidated converted sedan is traveling preacher Jim Casy (John Carradine), who is experiencing a crisis of faith. Instead of finding a land of opportunity, the Joad's journey along famous Route 66 exposes them to miserable conditions in migrant camps where cheated and ill-treated workers are little more than slave labor. Their journey also brings the Joad clan in contact with dispirited fellow fortune seekers as well as agitators willing to resort to violence to win reform. A pair of famous soliloquies by Tom (Henry Fonda) and Ma Joad (Jane Darnell) capture the spirit of this socially-conscious film that has heroically stood the test of time.moreless

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Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The message is boldly displayed, but told with characters of such sympathy and images of such beauty that audiences leave the theater feeling more pity than anger or resolve. It's ...

  • 100

    Slant Magazine Chuck Bowen

    Too many films these days trivialize poverty as an ironically, tastelessly over-produced pageant to earn kudos. The Grapes of Wrath is flawed, but it captures that shiver of panic ...

  • 100

    Empire

    Gregg Toland captures the open spaces and big skies of rural America, while the normally conservative Ford puts forward a sympathetic but radical plea for workers' rights and freed...

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Categories

Drama

Themes

Classics, Social Issues