Critic Reviews

95

Metascore

Based on 11 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
The message is boldly displayed, but told with characters of such sympathy and images of such beauty that audiences leave the theater feeling more pity than anger or resolve. It's a message movie, but not a recruiting poster.
100
Gregg Toland captures the open spaces and big skies of rural America, while the normally conservative Ford puts forward a sympathetic but radical plea for workers' rights and freedom for the people.
100
Too many films these days trivialize poverty as an ironically, tastelessly over-produced pageant to earn kudos. The Grapes of Wrath is flawed, but it captures that shiver of panic that grips anyone for whom the money for the next meal is unknown. The film remains a vital document of the perversion and torment of the fantasy most commonly known as the American Dream.
100
It is an absorbing, tense melodrama, starkly realistic, and loaded with social and political fireworks.
100
In the vast library where the celluloid literature of the screen is stored there is one small, uncrowded shelf devoted to the cinema's masterworks, to those films which by dignity of theme and excellence of treatment seem to be of enduring artistry, seem destined to be recalled not merely at the end of their particular year but whenever great motion pictures are mentioned. To that shelf of screen classics Twentieth Century-Fox yesterday added its version of John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
100
The Grapes of Wrath is possibly the best picture ever made from a so-so book. It is certainly the best picture Darryl F. Zanuck has produced or Nunnally Johnson scripted. It would be the best John Ford had directed if he had not already made "The Informer."
100
The word that comes in most handily for The Grapes of Wrath is magnificent. Movies will probably go on improving and broadening themselves; but in any event, The Grapes of Wrath is the most mature picture story that has ever been made, in feeling, in purpose, and in the use of the medium. You can drag out classics (it is often safer not to go back and see them) and you can roll off names in different tongues and times. But this is a best that has no very near comparison to date.
100
Ford's visualization of Steinbeck's novel is so emotionally gripping that viewers have little time to collect themselves from one powerful scene to the next.
100
Ford's film, shot by Gregg Toland with magnificent, lyrical simplicity, captures the stark plainness of the migrants, stripped to a few possessions, left with innumerable relations and little hope.
90
Ford's admirers have rightly tended to play this down in favor of his later and more personal westerns, but there's much to admire here in Gregg Toland's sun-beaten photography and Henry Fonda's meticulous performance as Steinbeck's dashboard saint, Tom Joad.

More Critic Reviews

See all external reviews for The Grapes of Wrath (1940) »

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Reviews | User Ratings | External Reviews


Recently Viewed