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The Grapes of Wrath (1940)


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I could not find a thread on this film (despite it being on one incarnation of the Top 100 list), so I figured I could start one just to post, you guessed it,k an external link! Todd and I did a podcast on this film here: http://www.filmgeekradio.com/2013/01/the-thin-place-28-the-grapes-of-wrath/

SHOW NOTES:

0:00 – Intro; The Convict and the Preacher

4:00 – Surrender vs. Plucky Resolve

10:05 – Family is what is true.

13:44 – Form vs. content.

18:00 – I don’t know where the next thing is coming from…

25:00 – Mythologizing vs. Agenda driven filmmaking.

32:00 – Who is the audience?

35:00 – Being persuaded and being moved.

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  • 7 years later...

Ken, my heart sank when I found that your 2013 podcast link doesn't seem to work anymore. Any hope of unearthing it for this thread?  I just wrote the top 100 blurb for the film and was going to reward myself with taking a listen...looking forward to it if it can be found. 

Here's my blurb to fill at least some of the space of this thread that is as empty as the Oklahoma Dust Bowl country!

http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?/films/film/357-the-grapes-of-wrath/

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There was also some discussion of The Grapes of Wrath here.  I watched it for the first time in the lead-up to voting, and it knocked my socks off; one of the two favorite discoveries that made the list, along with Kid with a Bike.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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Wow, 2 good things discovered at once...the John Ford A and F thread and a whole raft of interesting-looking podcasts over there at The Thin Place.  Thanks, friends.

Interesting how I and we are just coming around to this film on A and F.  Ebert wrote a review of this a couple decades ago mentioning that some considered this the greatest American film of all time for a while...until Citizen Kane garnered so much attention with its re-release in 1958.  Funny how our collective film memory is cyclical like that.  We seem to move away from great films over the decades, and then rediscover their greatness again decades later.

Edited by Brian D
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Funny you mention Citizen Kane, since both films benefited from the marvelous touch of cinematographer Gregg Toland (as did another Top 100 film, The Best Years of Our Lives).  It's so tragic that Toland died so young, at 44, just imagining what else he could've accomplished with a full lifespan.

I actually nominated The Searchers for the Top 100 this year, before watching The Grapes of Wrath.  Much as I still esteem the former film, this one feels like a much better fit for our list, with the pungency of its social justice themes, its rich humanism, and its empathic illustration of "if one suffers, we all suffer."  (And if I recall correctly, it doesn't carry any of the racist overtones that are present in The Searchers.)  And aesthetically, Grapes feels like the greater accomplishment to me.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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20 hours ago, Andrew said:

I actually nominated The Searchers for the Top 100 this year, before watching The Grapes of Wrath.  Much as I still esteem the former film, this one feels like a much better fit for our list, with the pungency of its social justice themes, its rich humanism, and its empathic illustration of "if one suffers, we all suffer."  (And if I recall correctly, it doesn't carry any of the racist overtones that are present in The Searchers.)  And aesthetically, Grapes feels like the greater accomplishment to me.

Agreed about Grapes vs The Searchers.  Though my own Ford nomination was The Quiet Man and I appreciate much about The Searchers, I do like the direction our list has taken with Ford.

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