Movie Review The movie
The Grapes of Wrath
(produced in 1940), directed by John Ford and based on the book by John Steinbeck, was set in the year 1936. This was during the
Great Depression, an economic crisis beginning with the stock market crash of October,
1929. In 1936, the Joad family lived in Oklahoma and had worked as sharecroppers for a very long time. Once they were kicked off the the farm they were at, they began to travel west in search of work picking fruit in California. The family met many hardships along their path and
The Grapes of Wrath explains them.
They stayed at two camps along the way, the first one forcing its residents to work at a very small wage, not letting the people leave. One night, Tom (played by
Henry Fonda) left the camp and was seen, but not caught,by the police, making them look for him. The second camp was run by the government, had no police, had running water, and camp dances every Saturday night. One night, two police officers from the other camp came looking for Tom and he knew he had to leave so his family was safe.
The rest of the Joads left the camp in search of work.
A scene that was not important to the plot but interesting and funny occurred shortly after the Joads had arrived at the second camp. As I have previously stated, this camp had running water. One day, Ruthie (played by Shirley Mills) and Winfield
(played by Darryl Hickman) were playing and went into the bathrooms. Ruthie was explaining the concept of sinks and showers when Winfield decided to pull the string that flushes the toilet. Because they had never used running water before, the two children thought that they broke it. This scene made me laugh and got the point across
that, in Oklahoma, they had very little modern things (running water, for example) and the children had no experience at all with them.
The character Tom Joad was one of my favorites in the movie. In the beginning of the film, he was sentenced to prison for manslaughter but only had to serve four years and then was paroled. He then left with his family, helping them with everything he could. He disobeyed the rules one time and accidentally got him and his family into trouble. He took…