The Grapes Of Wrath


Steinbeck's drama still works a bunch

Adapted, and politically softened, from John Steinbeck’s novel, John Ford’s saga of the Depression years still packs a punch.

Fleeing the ’30s Oklahoma dustbowl, Henry Fonda’s Tom Joad leadshis Okie farming family to the promised land of California – only to encounter hostility, violence and police brutality.

Ford picked up an Oscar, as did Jane Darwell as Ma, but Fonda certainly deserved one for a sheer presence that goes beyond acting, as did Gregg Toland for his lyrical photography.

OK, some of the ‘poetic’ dialogue gets a little self-conscious, but there’s a raw, burning sense of injustice that carries it through.

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