The Grapes of Wrath
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The adaptation of Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of dirt-poor Dust Bowl migrants by 4-time Oscar-winning director John Ford starred Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, who opens the movie returning to his Oklahoma home after serving jail time for manslaughter. En route, Tom meets family friend Casey (John Carradine), a former preacher who warns Tom that dust storms, crop failures, and new agricultural methods have financially decimated the once prosperous Oklahoma farmland. Upon returning to his family farm, Tom is greeted by his mother (Oscar-winner Jane Darwell),… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Movies will probably go on improving and broadening themselves; but in any event, The Grapes of Wrath is the most mature picture story that has ever been made, in feeling, in purpose, and in the use of the medium."
‑ Otis Ferguson, The New Republic
"It is an absorbing, tense melodrama, starkly realistic, and loaded with social and political fireworks."
‑ John C. Flinn Sr., Variety
"Powerful look at the Depression and the poor."
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"Classic John Steinbeck adaptation is still powerful."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"What really solidifies the greatness of The Grapes of Wrath is Ford's ability to blend the personal and political without causing damage to either characters or themes."
‑ Dan Jardine, Apollo Guide
"Ford's admirers have rightly tended to play this down in favor of his later and more personal westerns, but there's much to admire here in Gregg Toland's sun-beaten photography and Henry Fonda's meticulous performance."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Captures the stark plainness of the migrants, stripped to a few possessions, left with innumerable relations and little hope."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"The Grapes of Wrath is Hollywood's most distinguished offering."
‑ Franz Hoellering, The Nation
"The Grapes of Wrath is flawed, but it captures that shiver of panic that grips anyone for whom the money for the next meal is unknown."
‑ Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine
" proves that a Hollywood film can be both socially engaged and a work of lasting, entertaining art."
‑ Mark Bourne,
"The Grapes of Wrath is possibly the best picture ever made from a so-so book."
‑ Whittaker Chambers, TIME Magazine
"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."
‑ Frank S. Nugent, New York Times
"Back when they adapted serious literature for the big screen, the results were equally impressive."
‑ Wesley Lovell, Cinema Sight
"This 1940 film is one of the best literary adaptations ever (and one of the quickest too -- it was in theaters within a year of the book's publication)."
‑ , Film4
"John Ford won a direcing Oscar for this adaptation of John Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning novel, which features great cinematography by Toland and one of Henry Fonda's most iconic roles."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
More reviews for The Grapes of Wrath on Rotten Tomatoes