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Grapes of Wrath


List Price: CDN$ 25.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin, Dorris Bowdon
  • Directors: John Ford
  • Writers: Nunnally Johnson, John Steinbeck
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck, Nunnally Johnson
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: Dec 4 2007
  • Run Time: 129 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000WMA6FA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #39,587 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)


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4.1 out of 5 stars
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Themis-Athena on July 19 2004
Format: DVD
"Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord. He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loos'd the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword, His truth is marching on." - Battle Hymn of the Republic.
In 1936, John Steinbeck wrote a series of articles about the migrant workers driven to California from the Midwestern states after losing their homes in the throes of the depression: inclement weather, failed crops, land mortgaged to the hilt and finally taken over by banks and large corporations when credit lines ran dry. Lured by promises of work aplenty, the Midwesterners packed their belongings and trekked westward to the Golden State, only to find themselves facing hunger, inhumane conditions, contempt and exploitation instead. "Dignity is all gone, and spirit has turned to sullen anger before it dies," Steinbeck described the result in one of his 1936 articles, collectively published as "The Harvest Gypsies;" and in another piece ("Starvation Under the Orange Trees," 1938) he asked: "Must the hunger become anger and the anger fury before anything will be done?"
By the time he wrote the latter article, Steinbeck had already published one novel addressing the agricultural laborers' struggle against corporate power ("In Dubious Battle," 1936). Shortly thereafter he began to work on "The Grapes of Wrath," which was published roughly a year later.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "brettf_unimelb" on July 9 2004
Format: DVD
It's striking how many reviewers here base their comments on a simplisitic comparison between the film version of "The Grapes of Wrath" and the Steinbeck novel on which it was based. For many such a comparison seems to function simply as an excuse to proclaim the inherent superiority of the Steinbeck original--and, by extension, the superiority of their own literary taste values-- when all it really does is highlight the patent silliness of trying to pit different artforms into some sort of evaluative competition. Literature and cinema are two vastly different modes of representation each with their own strengths and limitations, so the framing question shouldn't be which version of "The Grapes of Wrath" is "better"--as if there were a universal yardstick with which to measure such things--but rather how do they perform in terms of their respective mediums? On that count, I think we are extraordinarily fortunate with both the Steinbeck and Ford versions of "The Grapes of Wrath" to have two masterworks that operate consummately at the peak of their respective artforms. What each does well, it does brilliantly. As a verbal medium that unfolds slowly, literature is good at offering rich, layered descriptions of person and place and mapping complicated narrative links and Steinbeck makes the most of this in his novel. Cinema, by contrast, is an expressive medium that works best through registers of visual and aural metaphor, allegory and performance...and it's on this ground that I think the film version of "The Grapes of Wrath" more than merits its classic status.Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Josef Serf on June 29 2004
Format: DVD
This DVD restoration is probably as good as possible given that the original camera negative was lost. This is the one to get.
By the way, there is NO widescreen version of "The Grapes of Wrath." This DVD release exhibits the full frame aspect ratio of the original (1.33 to 1 ratio). Essentially, films made between 1917 and 1952 were filmed with a full frame aspect ratio. Standard televisions were proportioned 4:3 to copy the standard cinema ratio. Widescreen (Cinemascope, etc) was a gimmick introduced by Hollywood in the 1950s to compete with television. So if a film was made between 1917 and 1952 don't go looking for a widescreen version of it because there isn't any!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark J. Fowler on July 6 2004
Format: DVD
Take John Steinbeck's Pulitzer-Prize-Winning Novel. Turn it into a movie and let John Ford direct it, and get Henry Fonda to star. In 1940 you could hardly find a more certain recipe for a cinema classic.
As good as the film is, it really should be a companion-piece to Steinbeck's original masterpiece, and if you haven't read it I recommend setting aside enough time to read one of the greatest pieces of American literature ever written.
That being said, the medium of the cinema allows for a visual impact that can't be matched with the written word.
The Grapes of Wrath follows the Joad family during the great depression. That period of economic hardship hit the farmers in Oklahoma a little harder than the rest of the world, at the time of the dust bowl the "Okies" were at the end of their ropes, financially speaking.
Thousands of Okies packed up the house after being foreclosed and moved out to California - many winding up around Bakersfield, at the California end of old US Route 66. (Merle Haggard's family did so and the "Okie from Muscogee" wrote about it in songs like "California Cottonfields".)
Anyway, this is the historical context of the movie. The theme of the movie, and of Steinbeck's book, is the ability of the human spirit to remain intact in these worst of times. The Joads suffer terrible humiliations, one after another, most of them because of their desperate financial status. But as the story proceeds we see that they are fundamentally decent, hard-working people, and every time life knocks them down they get back up, brush the dirt off themselves, and keep moving forward.
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