NEW 35mm PRINT! ► Asked once to name his three favourite directors, Orson Welles replied, “John Ford, John Ford, John Ford.” Magnificently photographed by Gregg Toland — who would shoot Welles’s Citizen Kane the following year — this classic adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel of misfortune and migration during the Great Depression earned the great Ford the second of his four Oscars for Best Director. Henry Fonda, in one of his most celebrated performances, plays ex-con Tom Joad, head of a clan of Oklahoma sharecroppers forced off the farm by the Dust Bowl. Joad and kin load up their old jalopy and head out on Route 66 for the promised land of California, where only crowded migrant camps and further hardships await them. Fonda’s “I’ll be there” speech about social justice is famous; there are memorable performances as well from John Carradine as an ex-preacher and Jane Darwell — who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar — as Ma Joad. Steinbeck himself called Ford’s film “a hard, straight picture that looks and feels like a documentary, no punches pulled.” “It created, via the convincingly weathered faces of familiar actors, and the richly dark, brooding camerawork of the legendary Toland, images to stand beside the classic Depression era photos of Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans” (Film Forum New York). B&W, 35mm. 128 mins.
"It is an absorbing, tense melodrama, starkly realistic, and loaded with social and political fireworks."Variety | full review
"The Grapes of Wrath is just about as good as any picture has a right to be; if it were any better, we just wouldn't believe our eyes."New York Times | full review
"Its sense of injustice, I believe, is still relevant. The banks and land agents of the 1930s have been replaced by financial pyramids so huge and so chummy with the government that Enron, for example, had to tractor itself off its own land."Chicago Sun-Times | full review