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Of Mice & Men 39


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Product Details

  • Actors: Lon Chaney Jr., Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, Charles Bickford, Roman Bohnen
  • Directors: Lewis Milestone
  • Writers: Eugene Solow, John Steinbeck
  • Producers: Lewis Milestone, Frank Ross
  • Format: Black & White, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All RegionsAll Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: eOne Films
  • Release Date: Oct. 1 2002
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305081832
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #37,132 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

Product Description

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.

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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

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cory D. Slipman on April 11 2003
Format: DVD
Of Mice and Men unfortunately gets lost among other great films of 1939 such as Gone With the Wind, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights and The Wizard of Oz. However this poignant portrayal of the Depression era West stands tall in its moral values and simplicity.
George and Lennie are itinerant farm workers hoboing there way through the west. The sharp minded leader George played superbly by Burgess Meredith has been looking after the dim witted beast of burden Lennie for years. He has crafted a scenario where they will accumulate enough money to buy a place of their own. He promises Lennie, who has a patholgic affinity for stroking soft things, that he will be able to tend the soft furry rabbits. Lennie makes George repeat their plans time and time again never tiring of the story.
They find work on a barley farm but soon the uncontrollable Lennie gets into trouble and their plans get altered.
Lon Chaney Jr. was obnoxiously fantastic as the mentally challenged Lenny. Burgess Meredith once again proves that he is one of the greatest character actors to ever have appeared on the American screen.
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Format: VHS Tape
The America of the 1930s was a hodgepodge of geography, but the terrain that most movie audiences could relate to was either Tara from GONE WITH THE WIND or the bitter dust bowls of the parched west. Director Lewis Milestone perfectly caught this sense of dry dust mingled with human walls of self-constructed isolation in the filmed version of John Steinbeck's OF MICE AND MEN. America was still caught in the tail end of a decade long depression that seemed quite capable of extending itself for yet another. Since America was not yet involved in Europe's troubles, it was natural for Hollywood to focus on internal matters that reflected the dust that seemed to settle everywhere. Lenny Small (Lon Chaney, Jr) and George Milton (Burgess Meredith) symbolized the alienation between man and an uncaring society. Bindlestiffs like them existed only as punching bags for anyone with a grudge to settle. The only solution for forced isolation was to painfully build an enduring relation with someone who cared. As Lenny tells George incessantly about how 'I got you and you got me,' the viewers could see that maybe he was right.
Lenny and George are two tramps who seek only a place to call their own. To George, land is physical; it will provide security against the uncertainties of a dust bowl existence. To Lenny, land is internal; it is more of a time than a place. It represents a time to pet rabbits and feel the closeness engendered by the proximity of those rabbits to George. Both are fleeing from the rape charges shouted out by a woman in the previous town against the hulking, dim-witted Lenny. All Lenny wanted was to pet a pretty thing. Both escape to find work on a ranch, but the loneliness that plagued them as a pair on the road they learn afflicts others too.
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Format: VHS Tape
OF MICE AND MEN might have been written for the stage: it naturally falls into scene divisions, with a lot of its drama presented in dialogue. Director Lewis Milestone, in making this film, broke that almost inevitable mold, rehandled the material and made it move in the flow-eddy-flow style of the screen and yet kept the essentials of events and characters true to their author's conception, which was, in itself the director's triumph. The story about two unfortunate men who dreamed a dream of having a home of their own, with a garden to eat from, working for themselves with no boss to rout them out of bed in the morning, the privilege of loafing or going to the circus without anyone's permission......Just "bindle stiffs", migratory farm workers tramping from job to job, this dream meant heaven-on-earth to them, but things happened, those fatal things that can't be called anyone's fault, and their plans went astray. As the painfully pathetic Lennie, Lon Chaney, Jr. had the role of his career (his WOLFMAN is decidedly a close second). Milestone soft-peddled Lennie to a considerable degree, and toned down a lot of Steinbeck's violence, to say nothing of his profanity. The unique Burgess Merideth is fine as George while the underrated Betty Field does commendable work as the flirtatious Mae. Steinbeck's tragedy was theatrical but Milestone and Eugene Solow's script gave it dignity, inevitability and an unusual strain of excitement.
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Format: DVD
The greatest year ever for the movies was undoubtedly 1939. Of Mice and Men was a member of the class of '39 and was also one of the ten films to be nominated for best picture that year. Competing against Gone With the Wind it had little chance of winning, but merely to be nominated that year was an achievement. Of Mice and Men is one of the great films and one of the best adaptations of a novel. Only The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden can compete with it as an adaptation of Steinbeck. The film is not as well known as it ought to be, which is a pity as it has a deeply felt story and some superb performances. It really shows the hardships of being a poor farmhand in depression era America and includes many details which give the setting authenticity. Burgess Meredith is wonderful as George while Lon Chaney Junior is a revelation as Lennie. Chaney is probably best known for his horror roles as The Wolf Man, but these roles don't really show his acting ability. Only in his brief role in High Noon does he show the acting ability that is so clearly evident from his performance in Of Mice and Men. George and Lennie's friendship and interdependence forms the heart of the film, but the film is also about loneliness. This is especially shown with regard to two characters, Crooks played by Leigh Whipper, who is excluded from the rest of the workers because of the colour of his skin, and Mae played by Betty Field, whose jealous husband wont allow her to talk to anyone. Field had a great acting talent and her film roles are very distinctive. Here she shows the loneliness and desperation for human contact of a woman who has married the wrong man. It is her search for some warmth that leads her to Lennie and this has unforeseen consequences for everyone.Read more ›
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