The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Passed   |    |  Drama, History


The Grapes of Wrath (1940) Poster

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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8.1/10
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  • Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • O.Z. Whitehead in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • Henry Fonda and Dorris Bowdon in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • Jane Darwell and Russell Simpson in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

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5 January 1999 | 29055
10
| A marvellous production of Steinbeck's epic.
Henry Fonda's portrayal of Tom Joad captures perfectly the humanity and compassion of the Steinbeck character, an ex-con who breaks his parole conditions by joining his family in their epic journey across the southern US to a "better life" in California.

This is not the usual Hollywood fare. Tragedy and betrayal beset the Joad family from the outset. But it is nonetheless an uplifting movie. Spirit, compassion and tenderness mark them out. Fonda's role is particularly understated, and we see, as in Steinbeck's masterly epic, the maternally robust figure of Ma holding the family together.

The performances all round are wonderful, and Ford's direction and sense of space under the big sky of the Midwest is breathtaking.

This film is now largely a testament to the time in which it was set, but like the war movies that were soon to follow, a story that needed telling lest we forget.

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