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Grapes of Wrath

John Ford
Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine
Running Time: 

I’ve always wanted to see The Grapes of Wrath because it’s so highly revered in the cinema world. More often than not the daunting runtime and historical backdrop gave me pause when I’d consider watching it. But now I’m thankful I finally gave the film a chance and sat down for the experience.

The story is timeless. A family, suffering from an economic downturn, the loss of their farm and the growth of the Dust Bowl, must find a new way of life. The Grapes of Wrath takes place during The Great Depression as the Joad family moves from Oklahoma to California along with thousands of other migrants.

I really love classic films, but even if you’re not a fan of black-and-white, 1940’s films, it probably won’t matter. The Grapes of Wrath has everything an audience needs. Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell are fantastic as a son and his mother, while the constant plot tension will keep you interested in the characters and their struggles. What’s even more valuable is that director John Ford captures the agony of the Joad family in every shot.

The DVD version offers some extras, such as commentary with a film scholar and a Steinbeck scholar, as well as an interesting UK prologue, but nothing else. Fortunately, the movie itself beyond justifies the rental or purchase price.

Honestly, whether or not you’re a cinephile, The Grapes of Wrath still lives up to all of its hype. Add my name to the film’s long list of fans.