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.