John Steinbeck's classic novel brought to the silver screen. Set in the bucolic Salinas Valley of California in the 1930's, "Of Mice and Men" paints a bold, vivid picture of life in the depression era and tells the tragic tale of George (Burgess Meredith) and Lenny (Lon Chaney, Jr.), two itinerant farm hands searching for a safe haven from the cruelties of the world. Nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award in 1939, "Of Mice and Men" features a moving Oscar-nominated score from legendary composer Aaron Copland.
Truly one of the unsung triumphs of 1939, this heartfelt adaptation of John Steinbeck's morality tale of two itinerant migrant workers seems just as fresh and powerful decades after its release. Lon Chaney Jr. gives the performance of a lifetime as the sweet yet feeble-minded Lennie, who is befriended by the weary Burgess Meredith. They both would be lost without each other in a rather mixed-up world. Sensitively directed by Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front
), the film features the first pre-credit sequence in American film history. There's also a nice score by Aaron Copland. --Bill Desowitz