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Still The Grapes of Wrath 3

The Grapes of Wrath

John Ford / US, 1940 / 128 min.

This haunting odyssey about an Oklahoma farmer’s family was to become one of John Ford’s masterpieces. Novelist John Steinbeck’s masterful chronicle of hardship in the America of the Great Depression was powerfully adapted to film by Ford.

Poster The Grapes of Wrath

John Ford is best known for his westerns, such as the great classics Stagecoach (1939) and The Searchers (1956). He won the second of his four Oscars for The Grapes of Wrath, a chronicle of the 1930s that saw poverty-struck farmers migrating west, to California.

Steinbeck’s 1939 novel shocked audiences when it came out because it exposed the ugly reverse of the American Dream. Ford chose Henry Fonda, an actor often cast as the epitome of family values, to play the role of Tom Joad, an ordinary man who wakes up to the injustice of the system and is driven to violent resistance. Gregg Toland’s striking black and white cinematography with its contrasting light effects serves to heighten the drama. The final sentence of the film: We are the people!'

The film was recently recalled by reviewers who described the Oscar-winning Nomadland as a 'modern Grapes of Wrath’.

In June Eye focuses on actor Henry Fonda (father of Jane and Peter Fonda) by screening two films restored last year, The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford, 1940) and the early film noir You Only Live Once (Fritz Lang, 1937).

This is part of



John Ford

Production year




Original title

The Grapes of Wrath


128 min.







Part of

Restored & Unseen

At last, a chance to see that Italian classic that’s been on the list for so long? Or relish that wonderful restoration of Blue Movie, the Netherlands’ most talked-about nude film of the seventies, when the Bijlmer district was still a sexual paradise? Restored & Unseen is a biweekly programme featuring classics and recent restorations, with introductions by experts.

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Still The Grapes of Wrath 2
Still The Grapes of Wrath 4

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  • 8 June — 29 September 2024

    Albert Serra


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