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with Studs Terkel
A CLASSIC FILM BASED ON THE PULITZER PRIZE WINNING NOVEL BY JOHN STEINBECK!
THE GRAPES OF WRATH
Best Director Best Supporting Actress Academy Awards
"There is a rigorous purity in [Ford's] visual style that serves the subject well. The Grapes of Wrath contains not a single shot that seems careless or routine." -Roger Ebert
"Its greatness as a picture lies in many things, not all of them readily reducible to words...The Grapes of Wrath is just about as good as any picture has a right to be; if it were any better, we just wouldn't believe our eyes." -New York Times
Recommended! "There's much to admire here in Gregg Toland's sun-beaten photography and Henry Fonda's meticulous performance" -Chicago Reader
The Grapes of Wrath (1940) is director John Ford's most famous black and white epic drama - the classic adaptation of John Steinbeck's 1940 Pulitzer Prize-winning, widely-read 1939 novel. The film takes place in the middle of the Great Depression, and the direction successfully captures the bleakness and the despair that many people and families went through, without a livelihood, or, sometimes, enough food. The Grapes of Wrath begins when Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) returns home after four years in jail for manslaughter. He expects to work on the family farm, but instead finds an abandoned house with no one around. His family has been, like many others, kicked off their land because they can no longer afford to pay the rent, due to years of bad returns from crops. After Fonda finds them, they begin on a long, painful trip to California, with hopes of finding work. However, each night on the road, they and their fellow migrants face powerful divisive pressures, and these bitter conflicts lead to numerous hardships, deceit, death, and violence. Grapes of Wrath is a masterpiece about poverty that probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actress (Jane Darwell) for her role as the archetypal mother figure, and Best Director.
Directed by John Ford, U.S.A., 1940, DVD, 128 mins.
Born in 1912, Studs Terkel graduated from the University of Chicago in 1932 and from the University of Chicago Law School in 1934. He has acted in radio soap operas, been a disk jockey, a radio commentator, a TV emcee, and traveled all over the world doing on-the-spot interviews. He is also the celebrated author of many books including Working; Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression; Talking to Myself: A Memoir of My Times; The Spectator: Talk About Movies and Plays With Those Who Made Them; Hope Dies Last: Keeping the Faith in Difficult Times and his latest book, And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey. Terkel continues to interview people, work on his books, and make public appearances. He is also a Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the Chicago Historical Society.
A Q&A will follow the screening with Studs and Michael Wilmington, lead film critic of The Chicago Tribune.