The Grapes of Wrath

Synopsis: A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.
Genre: Drama, History
Production: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
129 min

AN OKLAHOMA PAVED HIGHWAY in daylight. At some distance,

hoofing down the highway, comes Tom Joad. He wears a new

stiff suit of clothes, ill-fitting, and a stiff new cap,

which he gradually manages to break down into something

comfortable. He comes down the left side of the road, the

better to watch the cars that pass him. As he approaches,

the scene changes to a roadside short-order RESTAURANT on

the right side of the road. From it comes the sound of a

phonograph playing a 1939 popular song. In front of the eatery

is a huge Diesel truck labeled: OKLAHOMA CITY TRANSPORT

COMPANY. The driver, a heavy man with army breeches and high-

laced boots, comes out of the restaurant, the screen door

slamming behind him. He is chewing on a toothpick. A waitress

appears at the door, behind the screen.


When you be back?


Couple a weeks. Don't do nothin' you

wouldn't want me to hear about!

We see him climbing into the cab of the truck from the right

side. Getting behind the wheel, he is releasing the handbrake

when Tom appears at the driver's seat window.


How about a lift, mister?


Can't you see that sticker?

He indicates a "No Riders" sticker on the windshield.


Sure I see it. But a good guy don't

pay no attention to what some heel

makes him stick on his truck.

After a moment of hesitation the driver releases the brake.


Scrunch down on the running board

till we get around the bend.

As Tom scrunches down on the running board the driver throws

the truck into gear and it moves.

The scene dissolves to the CAB OF THE TRUCK. It is day, and

Tom is seated beside the driver, who is surreptitiously eyeing

him, trying to confirm some suspicion--an inspection which

Tom ignores at first.


Goin' far?


(shaking his head)

Just a few miles. I'd a walked her

if my dogs wasn't pooped out.


Lookin' for a job?


No, my old man got a place, forty

acres. He's a sharecropper, but we

been there a long time.


(after a curious glance)


Cautiously, the driver's eyes drop to Tom's feet. We see

TOM'S SHOES. They are prison shoes--new, stiff and bulky.

Curiosity is in the eyes of the DRIVER as they shoot a swift

glance at Tom. TOM is looking straight ahead, with the dead-

pan look that prisoners get when they are trying to conceal

something. The DRIVER'S eyes take in Tom's hands and the

stiff coat.

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Nunnally Johnson

Nunnally Hunter Johnson was an American filmmaker who wrote, produced, and directed motion pictures. more…

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Submitted by acronimous on March 13, 2016

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    "The Grapes of Wrath" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 19 Jan. 2022. <>.

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