The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

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    There are 8 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Dooley.

    • The Grapes of Wrath (1940)



      Information from IMDb

      Plot Summary
      Set in the Thirties, Oklahoma is a dustbowl.
      Tom Joad returns to his home after a jail sentence
      to find his family kicked out of their farm due to forecloseure.
      He catches up with them on his Uncles farm,
      and joins them the next day as they head for California and a new life.
      After terrible trials en route they become little more than slave labor.
      However Tom and his family refuse to knuckle under.
      Based on the John Steinbeck novel.
      Written by ethanedwards

      Full Cast
      Henry Fonda ... Tom Joad
      Jane Darwell ... Ma Joad
      John Carradine ... Casy
      Charley Grapewin ... Grandpa
      Dorris Bowdon ... Rose of Sharon
      Russell Simpson ... Pa Joad
      O.Z. Whitehead ... Al
      John Qualen ... Muley
      Eddie Quillan ... Connie
      Zeffie Tilbury ... Grandma
      Frank Sully ... Noah
      Frank Darien ... Uncle John
      Darryl Hickman ... Winfield
      Shirley Mills ... Ruth Joad
      Roger Imhof ... Thomas
      Grant Mitchell ... Caretaker
      Charles D. Brown ... Wilkie
      John Arledge ... Davis
      Ward Bond ... Policeman
      Harry Tyler ... Bert
      William Pawley ... Bill
      Charles Tannen ... Joe
      Selmer Jackson ... Inspection Officer (as Selmar Jackson)
      Charles Middleton ... Leader
      Eddy Waller ... Proprietor (as Eddie Waller)
      Paul Guilfoyle ... Floyd
      David Hughes ... Frank
      Cliff Clark ... City Man
      Joe Sawyer ... Bookkeeper (as Joseph Sawyer)
      Frank Faylen ... Tim
      Adrian Morris ... Agent
      Hollis Jewell ... Muley's Son
      Robert Homans ... Spencer
      Irving Bacon ... Driver
      Kitty McHugh ... Mae
      Leon Brace ... Migrant
      Henry Brahe ... Migrant
      Scotty Brown ... Migrant
      Cal Cohen ... Migrant
      Cecil Cook ... Migrant
      Helen Dean ... Migrant
      Billy Elmer ... Migrant
      Sidney Hayes ... Migrant
      E.J. Kaspar ... Migrant
      L.F. O'Connor ... Migrant
      Walton Pindon ... Migrant
      Wally Albright ... Boy who bragged of eating chicken (uncredited)
      Erville Alderson ... Arkansas storekeeper (uncredited)
      Josephine Allen ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Frank Atkinson ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Arthur Aylesworth ... Father (uncredited)
      Trevor Bardette ... Jule, bouncer at dance (uncredited)
      John Binns ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Joe Bordeaux ... Migrant (uncredited)
      George P. Breakston ... Boy (uncredited)
      Buster Brodie ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Hal Budlong ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Nora Bush ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Russ Clark ... Guard (uncredited)
      Shirley Coates ... Girl in migrant camp (uncredited)
      Harry Cording ... Deputy (uncredited)
      Jim Corey ... Buck Jackson, witness at dance (uncredited)
      Gino Corrado ... Chef (uncredited)
      Delmar Costello ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Jane Crowley ... Migrant (uncredited)
      W.H. Davis ... Migrant (uncredited)
      John Dilson ... Bookseller (uncredited)
      Lillian Drew ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Ralph Dunn ... Deputy (uncredited)
      Thornton Edwards ... Motorcycle cop (uncredited)
      Pat Flaherty ... Deputy (uncredited)
      James Flavin ... Guard (uncredited)
      Francis Ford ... (unconfirmed) (uncredited)
      Emily Gerdes ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Tyler Gibson ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Barney Gilmore ... Migrant (uncredited)
      William Haade ... Deputy with shotgun (uncredited)
      Ben Hall ... Gas station attendant in Bakersfield (uncredited)
      Dean Hall ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Edna Hall ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Cliff Herbert ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Charles Herzinger ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Herbert Heywood ... Gas station attendant (uncredited)
      Harry Holden ... Migrant (uncredited)
      David Kirkland ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Rex Lease ... Cop (uncredited)
      Hazel Lollier ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Mae Marsh ... Muley's wife (uncredited)
      Louis Mason ... Man in camp (uncredited)
      Harry Matthews ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Scotty Mattraw ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Walter McGrail ... Gang leader (uncredited)
      Jules Michelson ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Walter Miller ... New Mexico border guard (uncredited)
      Philip Morris ... Guard (uncredited)
      Frank Newburg ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Frank O'Connor ... Deputy #1 (uncredited)
      George O'Hara ... Clerk (uncredited)
      Ted Oliver ... State policeman (uncredited)
      Inez Palange ... Woman in camp (uncredited)
      Steve Pendleton ... Gas station attendant #2 in Needles (uncredited)
      Jack Pennick ... Camp helper (uncredited)
      Walter Perry ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Rose Plumer ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Chauncey Pyle ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Bob Reeves ... Deputy (uncredited)
      Gladys Rehfeld ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Waclaw Rekwart ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Dick Rich ... Keene Ranch guard (uncredited)
      Gloria Roy ... Waitress (uncredited)
      Peggy Ryan ... Hungry girl (uncredited)
      Robert Shaw ... Gas station attendant #1 in Needles (uncredited)
      Lee Shumway ... Deputy (uncredited)
      Georgia Simmons ... Woman (uncredited)
      C.B. Steele ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Al Stewart ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Harry Strang ... Fred, trucker #2 at diner (uncredited)
      Paul Sutton ... Deputy (uncredited)
      Harry Tenbrook ... Deputy / Troublemaker (uncredited)
      Charles Thurston ... Migrant (uncredited)
      D.H. Turner ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Tom Tyler ... Deputy handcuffing Casy (uncredited)
      Pearl Varvalle ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Eleanore Vogel ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Max Wagner ... Guard (uncredited)
      Harry Wallace ... Migrant (uncredited)
      John Wallace ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Glen Walters ... Woman who gets shot (uncredited)
      Jack Walters ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Frank Watson ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Jim Welch ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Charles West ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Dan White ... Poor man walking with woman in transient camp (uncredited)
      Norman Willis ... Joe, shot at Floyd (uncredited)
      Bill Wolfe ... Square-dance caller (uncredited)
      Bill Worth ... Migrant (uncredited)
      Darryl F. Zanuck ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

      Assistant Director
      Wingate Smith .... (uncredited)

      Writing Credits
      Nunnally Johnson (screenplay)
      John Steinbeck (novel "The Grapes of Wrath")

      Gregg Toland

      Music Department
      Alfred Newman .... musical director
      Danny Borzage .... musician: accordion (uncredited)

      Prior to filming, producer Darryl F. Zanuck sent undercover investigators
      out to the migrant camps to see if John Steinbeck had been exaggerating
      about the squalor and unfair treatment meted out there.
      He was horrified to discover that, if anything,
      Steinbeck had actually downplayed what went on in the camps.

      John Steinbeck loved the movie and said that Henry Fonda as Tom Joad made him "believe my own words".

      Henry Fonda kept the hat he wore in the movie for the rest of his life,
      until before he passed away in 1982 he gave it to his old friend Jane Withers.
      Apparently he and Withers, when she was an 8 year old girl and he a young man,
      did a play together before Fonda made movies.
      Fonda was so nervous to go onstage that little Jane took his hand,
      said a little prayer to ease his nerves, and the two of them became good friends for life.

      John Ford banned all makeup and perfume from the set on the grounds
      that it was not in keeping with the tone of the picture.

      The pro-union stance of the film led to both John Steinbeck and John Ford
      being investigated by Congress during the McCarthy "Red Scare" era for alleged pro-Communist leanings.

      John Steinbeck was particularly enamored with the performance of Henry Fonda as Tom Joad,
      feeling that he perfectly encapsulated everything he wanted to convey with this character.
      The two became good friends.
      Indeed Fonda did a reading at Steinbeck's funeral.

      While filming the Joads' car traveling down the highway,
      John Ford wanted to add a shot showing the large number of caravans heading west,
      so the film's business manager stopped actual cars making the trek
      and paid the drivers five dollars to escort the Joads' jalopy for the cameras.

      The production had a fake working title, "Highway 66", so that the shoot of the
      controversial novel would not be affected by union problems.
      Much of the dire straits portrayed in the film continued during and after the release of the movie.

      Noah Joad simply vanishes after the scene of the family swimming in the Colorado River.
      In the book, Noah tells Tom he has decided to stay by the river.
      In the film, his disappearance is never explained.

      Henry Fonda, still struggling to became a big Hollywood star,
      tried to avoid being a contract player for 20th Century-Fox
      because he wanted the ability to independently choose his own projects
      (an increasing number of stars at the time were trying to gain such independence).
      But when the much-coveted part of Tom Joad was offered to him,
      Fonda hesitantly gave in and signed a contract to work with the studio for seven years
      because he knew it would be the role of a lifetime.

      Banks and the large farming corporations that controlled most California farms
      were not keen on the original novel (it was banned in some states and in
      several counties in California, and the book was not carried in the municipal library
      of author John Steinbeck's home town of Salinas, California, until the 1990s)
      and were even less thrilled that a film was being made of it.
      The Associated Farmers of California called for a boycott of all 20th Century-Fox films
      , and Steinbeck himself received death threats.

      The film was one of the first to be voted onto the National Film Registry (1989).

      Non-US audiences saw the film with a prologue which explained about the effects of the Depression
      and the Oklahoma Dust Bowl. The studio later referred to this version as the "Cliff Notes Edition."

      Darryl F. Zanuck paid $100,000 for the rights to John Steinbeck's novel -
      a staggering amount of money at the time.
      Steinbeck only allowed the rights to be sold under the proviso that the filmmakers
      should show the material due reverence and treat the project responsibly.

      When Darryl F. Zanuck suggested to John Ford that, to create an upbeat ending,
      he use Ma Joad's "we're the people" monologue for a closing scene,
      Ford told Zanuck to direct it himself - which he did.

      John Ford was considered an odd choice for director as he was a staunch conservative
      who would here be tackling a fairly political subject -
      the treatment of the Okies. Ford surprised his critics by delivering probably his most sensitive film.

      Although John Carradine hated John Ford's bullying style of direction,
      he nevertheless made eleven films with him over a period of 28 years.
      Ford was particularly keen on Carradine's unusual look.

      Slightly more than halfway through the film, when the Joads pull over to fix a tire,
      Ma sits on the front fender while Tom crawls under the car.
      You can just barely hear him say, "Ma, get the hell off (the fender),"
      which would have been against language codes for films in the era.

      Although the script conformed to the provisions of the Production Code,
      a number of potential "problems" had to be addressed.
      The list of suggested alterations or eliminations included a warning
      "not to characterize Muley as insane", the rewording of "certain of the lines
      which have reference to Rosasharn's pregnancy" (in the book, Tom teases Rosasharn
      and Connie with the line, "Well, I see you been busy"; in the film this is changed to,
      "Well, I see I'm gonna be an uncle soon"), the removal of a "toilet gag about Grandma"
      (early in the family's journey Rosasharn leads her out of a gas-station washroom, explaining,
      "She went to sleep in there"), the elimination of "specific mention of Tulare County [California]"
      and a request not to identify a town as "Pixley" (a town in Tulare County, CA,
      notorious for its ill treatment of migrant workers).
      It was also suggested that the film not show "Tom killing the deputy in self-defense".

      Beulah Bondi was tested for the role of Ma Joad.
      Bondi, believing that she had the part,
      reportedly bought an old jalopy and moved to Bakersfield (CA) to live among the migrant workers
      in order to research the role. Bondi was reportedly extremely disappointed at losing the role.

      Producer Darryl F. Zanuck knew that Henry Fonda was desperate for the part of Tom Joad,
      so he let it be known that he was going to offer the part to Tyrone Power.
      Fonda pleaded with Zanuck for the part, and in order to get it
      Zanuck talked him into signing an eight-picture deal with 20th Century-Fox.

      In the book, John Steinbeck had the character of Casy parodying the song
      "Yes Sir, That's My Baby" by singing "Yes sir, that's my Savior/Jesus is my Savior/Jesus is my Savior now."
      The Motion Picture Production Code then in effect forbade use of the words
      "God" and "Jesus" except when used "reverently", so the script resorted to having him hum:
      "Mm-mmm, mmm, my Savior".

      Henry Fonda currently holds the record for the longest gap between acting Oscar nominations.
      His first nomination was for The Grapes of Wrath (1940) in 1940,
      his second was for On Golden Pond (1981) in 1981, 41 years later.
      He received one other Oscar nomination in the period between his two acting nominations,
      that was for producer of 12 Angry Men (1957) in 1957.

      The budget for the film was $750,000.

      Woody Guthrie was an uncredited musical consultant for the film,
      selecting "Goin' Down the Road Feelin' Dead" for use in the picture as a typical Okie song.

      John Ford treated Dorris Bowdon quite badly.
      It may have been because she was the girlfriend of screenwriter Nunnally Johnson
      and was given the part by Darryl F. Zanuck, or it may simply have been one of Ford's
      frequent unexplainable dislikes, but he hounded the young actress on every point,
      from coming on the set with her hair improperly done to taking time to have her hair fixed.
      Shortly before filming the scene of the dance at the government camp,
      Jane Darwell expressed her nervousness to Bowdon about "being such a fat old lady
      and I have to dance and say lines at the same time." When Darwell did the entire take perfectly,
      Bowdon spontaneously broke into applause, launching a tirade from Ford that made her run
      from the set crying.
      The next shooting day, Ford rather awkwardly cheered her up with a little bawdy humor,
      and the two got on well after that, although she later said,
      "I was glad I never had to work with him again."
      Yet, Bowdon in later life also expressed the duality of feelings actors often had
      for the difficult director when she related a story about how he painstakingly talked
      her through a very emotional moment that she ended up nailing in a single take.
      "He was a superb director," she said. "I never saw another director work in a way that was as skilled."

      According to Henry Fonda, John Ford preferred only one take and little or no rehearsal
      to catch the most spontaneous moment.
      For the key climactic final scene between Tom and Ma,
      Ford didn't even watch the rehearsal.
      When the time came to shoot, Ford led Fonda and Darwell through the silent action of the scene,
      preventing them from starting their lines until the two actors were completely in the moment.
      It was done in a single take and Fonda said on screen it was "brilliant."

      Far from being a leftist with an interest in social problems,
      John Ford decided to focus on the story purely through the Joad family as characters.
      "I was sympathetic to people like the Joads, and contributed a lot of money to them,
      but I was not interested in Grapes as a social study."

      John Ford unmercifully chewed out Frank Darien for overemoting in the scene where Ma
      is preparing a simple stew for the family
      in front of a crowd of starving children in the migrant camp.
      By the time Ford had finished his tirade, Darien was completely drained,
      which proved to be exactly the take Ford wanted for the scene.

      The film shot for seven weeks.

      Unusual for John Ford, he allowed Darryl F. Zanuck to supervise the editing.
      Indeed, Zanuck remains one of the very few producers to actually draw praise from the normally rather critical director.

      James Stewart was originally set to play Al, with Walter Brennan as Pa Joad.

      Darryl F. Zanuck was heavily involved in all aspects of the production,
      as he saw it as a personal project.
      In fact, so meticulous and carefully thought-through was his editing
      of Nunnally Johnson's screenplay that Johnson himself praised Zanuck for his attention to detail.

      One of two John Ford directed films to be nominated for the
      Academy Award for Best Picture in 1940.
      The other was The Long Voyage Home (1940).
      Both lost out to Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940).

      In the crucial scene between Tom and Ma, Henry Fonda had to strike a match
      whose light would illuminate Jane Darwell's sleeping face.
      Gregg Toland rigged a tiny light in Fonda's palm to achieve the effect.

      John Ford's chief source of irritation was his inability to embarrass or upset John Carradine.
      According to Dorris Bowdon, Carradine had a huge ego, considered himself a great actor,
      and was impervious to whatever Ford threw at him, although their antagonism
      often produced perfect moments of performance and character.

      2007: The American Film Institute ranked this as the #23 Greatest Movie of All Time.

      With the death of Shirley Mills (Ruthie) on March 31, 2010,
      Darryl Hickman (Winfield) is the last surviving cast member of the film.

      The truck used in the movie is a 1926 Hudson "Super Six" - the same model as in the book.

      2006: Ranked #7 on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time.

      A sequel was in the works at Fox the year after the film's release.

      It was tentatively named after the first film's fake working title, "Highway 66".

      Much of The Grapes of Wrath was shot on the Twentieth Century-Fox lot,
      but second unit director Otto Brower took a crew to Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico,
      following the route that the "Okies" had taken West.
      Additional locations included Needles, Daggett and Tehachapi, California.
      Brower and his crew filmed doubles in long shot to represent the Joad family members.
      Reportedly this same unit paid five dollars apiece to carloads of people
      actually making the trek to California to be filmed along with the Joad truck
      as part of the film's fictional caravan of migrants.

      Darryl F. Zanuck's interest in sound reportedly led him to send a sufficiently
      loaded replica of the Joad truck to Oklahoma to record the grinding and shifting of gears.
      Sound effects editor Robert Parrish insists the audio footage was never used,
      and that Zanuck, thinking it was his requested sound of the truck that he heard in the rough cut,
      approved the soundtrack and never knew the difference.

      Dorris Bowdon (Rosasharn) was married to screenwriter Nunnally Johnson.

      The first collaboration between John Ford and cinematographer Gregg Toland.

      Louise Dresser was also considered for the part of Ma Joad.

      Production began only four weeks after John Ford finished work on Drums Along the Mohawk (1939).
      Because of this, most of the pre-production work was done for him ahead of time,
      including the hiring of Gregg Toland as cinematographer,
      who along with art directors Richard Day and Mark-Lee Kirk planned much of the look
      of the film based on a vast array of research photos and documents.

      Principal photography wrapped after 43 days.

      Archived files indicate the area around Needles was used as a riverbank in the film,
      Canejo Ranch stood in for the Keene ranch, the Irvine Ranch in Tustin
      provided backdrops for a montage sequence, and Lasky Mesa,
      in the San Fernando Valley near Chatsworth, was used for the Joad farm and for Muley's farm.
      The real-life government-run Arvin Federal Government Camp near Bakersfield, California,
      was also used for some shots of the fictional government camp in the movie
      (e.g., the camp post office was used as the manager's office in the film).

      Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

      Reportedly, Darryl F. Zanuck was the one who had cricket chirps added to the soundtrack
      during the scene in which Casy and his "radical" associates are camped near the river,
      and he also is said to have insisted on the inclusion of a prominent accordion
      part in the spare musical score because he considered it the most American instrument.
      Although officially uncredited, sources list the accordion player as Danny Borzage,
      brother of director Frank Borzage and a regular bit player in Ford's stock company
      in a number of films between 1924 and 1964.

      The novel's original ending was far too controversial to be even considered for a film in 1940.
      It involved Rose-of-Sharon Rivers (Dorris Bowdon) giving birth to a stillborn baby
      and then offering her milk-filled breasts to a starving man, dying in a barn

      As Tom walks across the dance floor after saying goodbye to his mother his shadow goes to his left. When the point of view changes, the shadows are perpendicular to this, coming from behind his mother.

      One of the cars (License plate 263 with the silver bed springs sticking out the back)
      evacuating the Department of Agriculture camp site leaves the camp twice,
      once before the Joads pack up and once after.

      In the beginning of the movie Grandma Joad is sitting at the table eating
      with a full set of teeth in her mouth.
      Later when they stop to buy the bread Pa Joad explains to the waitress
      that they need to soften the bread for Grandma to eat because she has no teeth.

      When Pa Joad and Tom are talking about how they got some money to go on the trip,
      poor Uncle John carries the bed spring out the door three times.

      When the Joads pull over to fix a flat on their truck they stop in a small depression
      that leans the truck to the left.
      In the very next shot the truck is in a different spot and leaning to the right.

      Revealing mistakes
      Tom Joad's semi-retarded brother, Noah, vanishes after the swimming-in-the-river sequence.
      In the book, Noah believes he's a burden on the family and runs away.
      In the film, no explanation is given for his disappearance.

      The same shot, from slightly different angles, of the Joads'
      truck crossing the desert at night is used twice, showing a single large cactus
      in the foreground and three sets of lights in a row on a mountain in the distance.

      When Casy and Tom are walking along the road towards the Joads' old farm,
      their shadows can be seen on the painted backdrop behind them.
      Also you can hear the reverberation caused by the film stage when they speak.

      When the Joads set out from the gas station to cross the desert,
      you see them pull away from the station twice.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      20th Century Fox Studios - 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California, USA (studio)
      Arizona, USA
      Backlot, 20th Century Fox Studios - 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California, USA
      California, USA
      Canejo Ranch, California, USA ("Keene Ranch")
      Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Daggett, California, USA (second unit)
      Gallup, New Mexico, USA
      Irvine Ranch, Tustin, California, USA
      Iverson Ranch, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico, USA
      Lamont, California, USA (Weedpatch Migrant Camp)
      Lasky Mesa, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA (Joad and Graves farms)
      Los Angeles, California, USA
      McAlester, Oklahoma, USA(2nd unit)
      Needles, California, USA(River bathing, "Welcome To Needles" sign, and Carty's Camp.)
      New Mexico, USA
      Oklahoma, USA
      Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, USA
      San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Santa Rosa, New Mexico, USA(service station, diner, bridge, train sequence)
      Sayre, Oklahoma, USA (Courthouse)
      Tehachapi, California, USA (second unit)
      Topock, Arizona, USA (bridge crossing into California)
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: The Other Movies of John Ford- The Grapes Of Wrath

      The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama film directed by John Ford.
      It was based on John Steinbeck's 1939 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name.
      The screenplay was written by Nunnally Johnson and the executive producer was Darryl F. Zanuck

      The film tells the story of the Joads, an Oklahoma family, who,
      after losing their farm during the Great Depression in the 1930s,
      become migrant workers and end up in California.
      The motion picture details their arduous journey across the United States
      as they travel to California in search of work and opportunities for the family members.

      The film is widely considered as one of the greatest American films of all time.
      In 1989, this film was one of the first 25 films to be selected for preservation
      in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress
      as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

      A great moody, broody classic film.
      I think this is a great movie, with JF at his best.
      Henry Fonda is at his most superb as Tom Joad,
      and Joan Darwell, who won an Oscar
      for her portayal as Ma, was magnificent.

      A couple of Duke 'Pals' and JF's Stock company here,
      Ward Bond ,John Qualen, Jack Pennick and JF's brother Francis Ford

      Won 2 Academy Awards, for
      Best Director- John Ford,
      Best Actress in a Supporting Role- Jane Darwell

      Best Actor in a Leading Role- Henry Fonda
      Best Film Editing- Robert L. Simpson
      Best Picture
      Best Sound, Recording- Edmund H. Hansen (20th Century-Fox SSD)

      User Review

      My experience of living the movie, its so true to life
      28 November 2005 | by gene-mcdaniel (United States)
      This movie is so least to this person, who lived these things that happened in the movie. I will tell a short version of my personal life to let you know how it affected me from my own experience of growing up in the Thirties

      I think their must have been more then one car because ours was full of stuff in the back seat, clear up almost to the roof. Frankie, Bill and me (my brothers) all was on top of the stuff in the back seat, had to stay lying down was not enough room to set up. What I remember most about the trip was it was awful hot when we went through Arizona and we had not much water, the water we had was in a canvas bag, hooked to the front bumper to help keep it cool. We did not get much because dad was saving it for the car when the car got to hot. Mom told us to suck on pebbles, and we did. It was a bad time every where. No jobs or anyway to make any money.

      We were going to California because their was suppose to be some picking work their, after we got to California we saw miles of potatoes all loose piled up high my guess would be about six feet high, they had put lime or something that looked like lime it was a white powder to keep people from taking them to eat.

      We found a place to pick plums that they used to make prunes and we lived in a Quonset hut made of corrugated metal setting on a concrete slab. The public toilets were near were we stayed, Joe and his wife (Family friends)had their own Hut…this was the time that dad & Joe would sell tickets for people to watch them box each other in a ring at the recreation hall on the property. Also they joined a baseball team and played baseball, dad played left field. We got to watch them play for free.

      Seems like Frankie and I played together a lot don't think Bill did because he was still a baby his self, Doris and Dorothy (my sisters) was still crawling so Bill could not have been very old at that time. Frank & I would go pick up plums off the ground and we would bring them home, Doris and Dorothy would set in the box and eat them. You can guess what they would look like when mom and dad got home, their was no air condition back then so they would take a hose and squirt water on the tin Quonset hut to try and cool it off some, I know when we went west we looked like those grapes of wrath folks in the movie.

      That area was the first time I ever saw a frog walk, it was to hot for them to hop, when they tried to hop their bellies would touch the ground ( gravel) and would burn them, any way that's what we thought at that time. I saw the movie of Grapes of wrath a long time ago, and I remember it so well, I cried most of the time it was on because it reminded me of the hard time we all had back then, I was born in Oklahoma and it was just a terrible time in the late thirties I would love to see the movie again, its to me a history of my family, I am 71 1/2 years old now and still remember it very clearly.

      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 3 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: The Movies of John Ford- The Grapes Of Wrath (1940)

      I've loved this film since the first time I saw it when played on WTBS about 19 or so years ago. It's been on TCM twice recently and I watched it both times. Thanks for talking about it Keith ;-))
      Es Ist Verboten Mit Gefangenen In Einzelhaft Zu Sprechen..
    • Re: Classic Movies of John Ford- The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

      i remember having to read this book for english at school but have never seen the movie will one day
      " its not all black and white, but different shades of grey"
    • Re: Classic Movies of John Ford- The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

      DukePilgrim wrote:

      Bought it on DVD recently although I remember watching it years ago on TV. It is a great story and very repeatable movie.

      It is a good film, with some good acting. I just hope the central U.S. never has a climatic disaster like that again that causes all the people in this area to have to move away.

      I swear though, the drought we're having right now has to be as bad as the one they had back in the Thirties which caused the Dust Bowl. The only thing is, farmers in the central U.S. learned different methods of plowing, etc, after the Dust Bowl, which makes such droughts much less damaging to the land.
      De gustibus non est disputandum