The Grapes of Wrath

My wife and I watched “The Grapes of Wrath” recently and while it was a bit tedious at times, it packed some powerful and therapeutic messages for me. The adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel was about the Joads, a family from Oklahoma, traveling in the 40’s to find work. It is during the ferocious dust bowl period that made farmers’ land fallow. Those who once owned the farms were now vagrant/migrant workers. The greed and selfishness of the banks and landowners is an eerie backdrop to this realistic fiction. With our country in such financial crisis it seems it could return to this. Maybe it’s not so bad to be afraid of that.

The whole aura of the movie always gets to me emotionally because my grandpa came to Bakersfield, CA from Arkansas when my dad was just a kid. Certainly my dad was younger than Tom Joad being born in 1945. I see the Joads as “my people.” It is quite a powerful movie when you really connect with the messages. Those messages re about life, death, family, faith, hard work, government, and more.

Favorite scene: When the Joads ask to buy a loaf of bread for a dime in a diner. They are told the bread is 15 cents a loaf and not for sale anyway. This being all they had, the storekeeper lets them have it for 10 and lies about how much the candy costs so the Joad kids can have some swirl sticks. The movie is great from beginning to end, but that scene is forever etched into my mind.

Author: Damien Riley

I post film reviews both written & audio. I'm a writer & podcaster, BA/MA English from Cal State Fullerton. Based in: Victorville, CA, USA My film review site is

10 thoughts on “The Grapes of Wrath”

  1. On Sunday, September 14, 2008, I saw the film Grapes of Wrath for the first time. To be honest, although I owned the book of the same name by John Steinbeck, I had only read the last chapter. After seeing the film, I plan to fully read the book.


  2. Just sitting down with my hubby for a few hours is bliss for me. Our lives are so busy. I gave you an award. You can check it out on my blog.

  3. Wow, you dug one out of the archives there…I’ve read the book (had to in high school) but only somewhat remember it….I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen the movie though.

  4. Pingback: Topic: The Grapes of Wrath - MyBlogLog
  5. Hi, found you at myblog, looking for other bloggers who’d enjoyed Grapes. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’m a lover of Steinbeck. One of the memorable things about the novel is how we tend to acknowledge our interdependence in hard times, as in the scene you described. My favourite character is Ma Joad, the quintessential matriarch.

    jackies last blog post..The Grapes of Wrath

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