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Ranking No. 21 on the American Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest American films, this 1940 classic is a bit dated in its noble sentimentality, but it remains a luminous example of Hollywood classicism from the peerless director of mythic Americana, John Ford. Adapted by Nunnally Johnson from John Steinbeck's classic novel, the film tells a simple story about Oklahoma farmers leaving the depression-era dustbowl for the promised land of California, but it's the story's emotional resonance and theme of human perseverance that makes the movie so richly and timelessly rewarding. It's all about the humble Joad family's cross-country trek to escape the economic devastation of their ruined farmland, beginning when Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) returns from a four-year prison term to discover that his family home is empty. He's reunited with his family just as they're setting out for the westbound journey, and thus begins an odyssey of saddening losses and strengthening hopes. As Ma Joad, Oscar-winner Jane Darwell is the embodiment of one of America's greatest social tragedies and the "Okie" spirit of pressing forward against all odds (as she says, "because we're the people"). A documentary-styled production for which Ford and cinematographer Gregg Toland demanded painstaking authenticity,The Grapes of Wrathis much more than a classy, old-fashioned history lesson. With dialogue and scenes that rank among the most moving and memorable ever filmed, it's a classic among classics--simply put, one of the finest films ever made.--Jeff Shannon
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CastHenry Fonda, John Carradine, Jane Darwell, Dorris Bowdon, Charley Grapewin
DirectorJohn Ford
Genre:  Classics
Screen WriterJohn Steinbeck, Nunnally Johnson
DVD Release Date:  April 6, 2004
Runtime:  128 minutes
Studio:  20th Century Fox
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review by . April 02, 2011
  The Grapes of Wrath is set in Oklahoma around the thirties, during the dust bowl and the great depression. The film begins with our tale's hero, Tom Joad (Henry Fonda), just being released from jail, and heading home to find his family. Once he gets there he only finds an old beat up house, and he is informed that his family is fixing to leave for California. They all have a happy reunion right before Tom and the rest of the family depart for California; However, once the Joad family …
Quick Tip by . August 10, 2010
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I would give this movie a ten if there were that many stars. Henry Fonda was a great actor and perfect in this role. (Sorry to say I missed the other movies based on Steinbeck's books and missed reading some of his classics too. B xo
review by . January 22, 2007
"Rich fellas come up an' they die, an' their kids ain't no good an' they die out. But we keep a'comin'. We're the people that live. They can't wipe us out; they can't lick us. We'll go on forever, Pa, 'cause we're the people."     The history of the Dustbowl Era is one that looms large in the minds of most of my family. The mere fact that some of us were born in Washington to people that came from Kansas and Oklahoma explains volumes about what it must've been like in those places …
review by . January 26, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Good adaptation of Steinbeck's superb novel. The Joad family were farmers in Oklahoma (referred to as Okies) during the "Dust Bowl" years when drought caused a lot of farmers to lose everything.     There are promised work in California and pack up their dilapadated truck with their family including the grandmother (I wonder if the idea for The Beverly Hillbillies came from this) and have a grueling trip there. When they arrive they are treated like "slaves," not even paid enough …
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The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
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