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4.0 out of 5 stars Grapes of Wrath - review by Alan Horridge, 5 Jun 2011
This review is from: The Grapes Of Wrath [DVD] [1940] (DVD)
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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