Film Critique of the Grapes of Wrath

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Amber Quinn
2/22/2012 History 1302
Film Critique One
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

The Grapes of Wrath was a 1940s film adapted from the novel by John Steinbeck. It graphically depicts the trials and tribulations of a mid-western American farming family, the Joads. It is set during the strife of the 1920s great depression and the seven-year drought of the mid 1930s, which devastated thousands of working families. It recreates the intensity of the socio-economic impact of the Great Depression.

This picturesque film has an honest and naturalistic structure and appearance beginning with the style of black and white film. The low-lit scenes that were perhaps provided by candlelight alone contributed to many dark and down trodden moods throughout the film. Vast landscape scenes of the wide-open spaces of the American frontier were excellently shot and molded by the films amazing cinematographer and also by the Academy Award winning director, John Ford.

The windy, dry and desolate climate portrayed in first opening scenes, early 20th century vehicles and dress provided more then sufficient evidence of the time period and then it is revealed the location to be in the state of Oklahoma. Ever present is the bewilderment cascading off a lonesome man just released from prison in search of his family. This development in plot likely becomes the first strong pluck to the viewer’s heartstrings. The Film accurately shapes the view from one family in the epic move to a new home in the 1930s drought when there was simply nowhere else to go. The notice to “get-off” was all too common in this time of the depression and it is shown magnificently in this film. Forced to become a migrant family the Joads pack up and depart from their old dried up land. Evicted from the land they thought to have owned and earned it is apparent in his body as a neighborhood character telling his own story of ‘the day a man came by’ and in frustration he shouts“…born on it,...
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