23 September 2008 | Menilek
A pretty good remake of the 1939 version of this movie.
As many of you may know, this is a remake. The 1939 version starred Lon Chaney as Lenny Small and Burgess Meredith as George Milton. The 1939 version was a little better, but this 1981 version did do it justice. I say that having only known this version first and then 6 months later I saw the 1939 version, both on the America One TV Network (only available on DTV and C-Band). They show a lot of great oldies and many of them are westerns. Both versions of this movie are just the tip of the iceberg of what golden oldie films they show. But also, the two versions are very similar. Almost no revision and THAT is one reason why the 1981 version is so great. The writers had the good sense to not improve on John Steinbecks classic. With that much good sense it makes me think maybe they weren't union writers, as the guild is full of bad writers who are full of themselves and couldn't write a good script to save their lives, but union or not, this is a great classic. I give this an 8 and the original 1939 version gets a 9 (out of 10). The whole cast in both did an excellent job. WHY don't them make movies this good anymore? Why can't we have good actors like Meredith, Chaney and Blake, instead of using special effects to make up for the poor talent of lamers like Will Smith, Tomb Cruise and John Revolta! Really! I have never seen the 1992 version or the 1968 version of this movie. It is one of the most remade movies in the business, yet all the limp-wristed cuckoo nut-jobs (better known as "movie critics"), always have nothing but negative reviews for this screenplay. What do they know from good movies! They are always contrary to the people! Somebody needs to be fired, and since you can't fire the people, then fire these uber-lame critics!
Whitman Mayo did the best job of playing the part of "Crooks" in the 1981 version, but the funny thing is that in his most famous role as Grady on Sanford And Son, the son of Grady was played by actor Joe Morton, who landed the role of "Crooks" in the 1992 version of this movie. Now was that on purpose or what?
Post Script: Some of you may even remember a silly parody of this movie done by Warner Brothers as at least 3 cartoons, with Bugs Bunny thrust in the part of George in one and Foghorn Leghorn's farm dog as George in the other cartoon and with the same huge retarded dog in both cartoons as a rather insulting caricature of Lenny, always telling his friend "Which way did he go, George?" which makes it painfully obvious that both were directly based on Chaney's version of the Lenny Small character. So in case you ever wondered where WB got the idea for either cartoon, they were a parody of the movie "Of Mice And Men" (1939). Don't believe me? In fact, the Foghorn Leghorn episode was entitled "Of Rice And Hens" (1953). I couldn't find the title of the Bugs Bunny episode and the third one was a Tex Avery cartoon entitled "Of Fox And Hounds" (1940), produced by the infamous Leon Schlesinger Studios (which produced many cartoons containing bigotry).