April 14th, 2011: The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Cast and Crew:   Nunnally Johnson (Screenwriter); Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Ward Bond

What It’s About: Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) returns to his family farm to find it abandoned and his family about to take a journey to California in search of work, despite many warnings that things are no better in California.

Why Watch it Today?: Black Sunday occurred today in 1935, an event where a black cloud of dust rolled across the plains at 60 mph, one of the worst dust storms of the dust bowl era.  John Steinbeck’s novel was a response to the hardships of the American small farmer during the Depression, including the effect of the Dust Bowl, and in 1940 John Ford directed (and won a Best Director Oscar) this  excellent film adaptation.

Where to Get ItPublic libraries, Netflix, or  Amazon

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2 comments on “April 14th, 2011: The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

  1. Eric K says:

    My brother points out that there’s another reason to feature this film today: http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/grapesofwrath/facts.html

    Note the date of original publication.

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