26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars But better read the book too!
The Grapes of Wrath is fiction based on fact, and tells the story of the Joads, turned off their land by an east coast bank, which has bought up huge tracts of farmland to turn into enormous mechanised cereal factories. Thousands of such families left Oklahoma, Arkansas and other states in the 1930s for that reason, heading west to get work in California. The novel...
Published on 26 May 2007 by Steinbeck fan
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ford's depiction of the Great Depression
Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) has just been released from jail. He returns to his Oklahoma home to find that his family have been kicked off of their farm due to foreclosure. Like nearly all of the other farmers, Tom and his large family load up their belongs and head to California to find work. Along the way they manage to find some work but it amounts to nothing more than...
Published on 12 May 2004 by Tatiana
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic transfer and a pleasant surprise.,
This review is from: The Grapes of Wrath [Blu-ray]  (Blu-ray)
Wow! I had never seen this before but it was completely engrossing and a really good watch that I highly recommend.
2 hours had gone before I knew it and I still wanted more - always the highest complement in my opinion.
This is also one of the best transfers of a film of this age I've seen.
The picture quality is outstanding, I couldn't see any damage or softness and I don't see how a better transfer could be achieved.
As for the sound, well that was a very pleasant surprise. There is a new DTS HD Mono soundtrack but from the moment it starts you would never guess it was mono. Running through an excellent HD surround system everything from dialogue to incidentals is crisp and clear.
And with some good extras as well, this is a superb buy and a perfect example of what can be done with old content when given the proper time and love on the transfer it deserves.
5.0 out of 5 stars John Fords brilliant movie version of John Steinbecks powerful novel set during ...,
John Fords brilliant movie version of John Steinbecks powerful novel set during the Great Depression with Henry Fonda as Tom Joad who heads for California with his family in search of work after their farm in Oklahoma is reduced to a dustbowl.Unfortunately when they reach California they discover that life is not much better with hard labour and starvation wages in which the poor are exploited by their masters.This is powerful ,angry stuff which reasonated with audiences who remembered the hardship of the Twenties and Thirties.Fonda is peerless as Tom Joad fighting for what he believes in but special mention must go to Jane Darwell as Ma Joad who won an Oscar for her performance.We'll go on forever,Pa,because we're the people.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ford's depiction of the Great Depression,
This review is from: Grapes of Wrath [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) has just been released from jail. He returns to his Oklahoma home to find that his family have been kicked off of their farm due to foreclosure. Like nearly all of the other farmers, Tom and his large family load up their belongs and head to California to find work. Along the way they manage to find some work but it amounts to nothing more than slave labour. The ending attempts to be hopeful but is in no way resolved.
This film was adapted from a John Steinbeck novel. It is much more optimistic than Steinbeck's account. The film also eliminates a lot of the political edge found in Steinbeck's book. It chooses to focus more on family and the importance of the family unit when going through hard times, i.e.: The Great Depression, as well as show a universal account of American society. That's not to say it differs greatly from the book, but quite the opposite because at the time of its release it was praised for being as faithful to the book as it could have.
John Ford's political stance pointed more towards conservatism. He was a member of the Republican Party. And so what is interesting when looking at The Grapes of Wrath is that is it the most popular left wing film of pre-war Hollywood. Within its socialist framework the film realistically depicts the truth of the Great Depression and the result it had on the thousands of farmers who suffered from oppression imposed by banks etc... On a wider level the Joad family are seen to be the social microcosm.
A reason for the films realism lies in Fords direction. He shot the film with a distinct documentary feel. This included location shooting, and little rehearsal to make it more spontaneous (the final scene used in the film is a read through and the actors were not aware they were being filmed). The landscape of rural America is also something that adds immense realism to the film.
This is a film that tries to attain the 'American dream' amid great adversity. Ma Joad's (Jane Darwell) speech at the end of the film takes away the desperation seen throughout the film. She talks with hope and optimism saying '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.'
Ultimately this is a realistic, socialist depiction of The Great Depression. It leaves the viewer feeling comforted, optimistic and hopeful for the Joad's. This would have also been the feeling in 1940, a year before the Great Depression officially ended.
This is a film that can give you a taste of what it may have been like to live during 1930s America. It is seminal for this reason and worthy of watching.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grapes of Wrath,
This is a film that is worth watching many times, The acting is excellent and so is the storey. Don't make them like this today.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Universal Drama,
It seems that the world has not changed much since the time when Steinebeck first wrote his novel the Grapes of Wrath. The problems of those sharecroppers from Oklahoma in the film are not much different from those of the impoverished peasantry in many parts of our contemporary world. Leaving your native lands in search of better prospects somewhere else,willingly or forcibly,is another theme in the film having validity in the present world. Thus, the film has an universal appeal. In spite of its sombre mood,trials and tribulations of the sharecroppers, the film ends on an optimistic note. The main character of the film,Tom Joad,played superbly by Henry Fonda,breaks himself loose from the miseries for a better world tomorrow.
Not to miss: haunting black and white photography of the film. As a director, this must be one of the best of John Ford.
A thought-provoking film indeed!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Steinbeck, Fonda and Ford what a team...,
This is one of the best book to film successes of all time , John Ford did a superb job directing John Steinbeck's story of fictional characters ,in a fact based drama . Henry Fonda endows the character ,Tom Joad , with the charisma and feeling needed for such a film. I'm still surprised Ford, Fonda and Steinbeck weren't dragged in front of the McCarthy witch hunt during the fifties .
5.0 out of 5 stars Very relevant to today's issues,
One of the greatest movies ever - from one of the greatest books. Issues (bankers / coprporations / poverty / migrant worker exploitation / corrupt law enforcement / man-made climate change) still haven't been solved 75 years later. Also check out Wood Guthrie's album "Dust bowl ballads", also originally published in 1940.
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE THE GREATEST CINEMA CLASSICS,
This film says it all about the American dream, built on the suffering of poor dirt farmers of Oklahoma. The acting is superb as is the cinematography, I cant imagine modern day movie stars being able to get anywhere near creating the ambience and passion of this film. Watch and remember, The events of this movie happened just 70 years ago, there are a few people still living who experienced these times. An absolute must see for anyone interested in American modern history and the history of cinema. EXEMPLARY!
5.0 out of 5 stars A wondefully nostalgic film,
If you like older type movies, you will love this one. The acting us superb, and the film gives a real insight into how many people from the State of Oklahoma had to travel along 'Route 66', all the way to California, to find work and new homes after theirs were taken away from them.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grapes of Wrath - review by Alan Horridge,
The book, The Grapes of Wrath, is a fantastic read. The descriptive passages are so well written that you can see yourself there, taste the dust and smell the (admittedly poor!) food. Turning this absolute classic into a film would have been a huge task. Doing it at the time it was done - in a fairly conservative Hollywood with a film with a blatant socialist agenda - was a colossal feat. The film, however, makes a valiant attempt to make a film worthy of the book. It doesn't quite succeed. Not surprisingly the agenda has been diluted somewhat and the reworking of the sequence of events is confusing if you've read the book beforehand. And, not surprisingly, the book ending never made it to the film (I won't spoil the ending if you've not yet read the book - but I guess to have the book ending in celluloid would have given the 1940 film censor an easy scissor decision!) I have found out subsequently that the film was one of the first 25 films to be preserved by the US National Film Registry as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant." It is - but read the book first!
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