The Grapes Of Wrath (1940)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBBB.  

USA, 1940.  Twentieth Century Fox.  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by , .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

One of John Ford’s best films is this dramatic and thoroughly satisfying story about a Depression-era family headed up by , who have left the poverty of Oklahoma in search of work.  Going from town to town, the family ends up working in even worse conditions than what came before, in an orange grove field in California, where they must stay until they can gather their resources well enough to escape. Fonda has never been better, and he is matched by a fierce supporting performance by  as his tough mother. Ford’s direction emphasizes the triumph over tragedy in every sequence of the film instead of wallowing in the depressing elements of the story, which is probably why it’s the very best adaptation ever of a John Steinbeck novel.

Academy Awards:  Best Supporting Actress (Jane Darwell); Best Director (John Ford)
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actor (Henry Fonda); Best Screenplay; Best Film Editing; Best Sound Recording

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