The Grapes of Wrath (1940)



Critic Consensus: A potent drama that is as socially important today as when it was made, The Grapes of Wrath is affecting, moving, and deservedly considered an American classic.

Movie Info

The adaptation of Nobel Prize-winner John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of dirt-poor Dust Bowl migrants by 4-time Oscar-winning director John Ford starred Henry Fonda as Tom Joad, who opens the movie returning to his Oklahoma home after serving jail time for manslaughter. En route, Tom meets family friend Casey (John Carradine), a former preacher who warns Tom that dust storms, crop failures, and new agricultural methods have financially decimated the once prosperous Oklahoma … More

Rating: G
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Nunnally Johnson
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 6, 2004
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment



as Tom Joad

as Ma Joad

as Grandpa Joad

as Rosaharn

as Rosasharn

as Grandpa Joad

as Muley Graves

as Connie Rivers

as Connie Rivers

as Grandma Joad

as Uncle John

as Winfield Joad

as Ruth Joad

as Policeman

as Tim Wallace

as Accountant

as Girl in Migrant Camp

as Muley's Son

as Inspector

as Proprietor

as Townsman

as Conductor

as Committeeman

as Gang Leader

as Sheriff

as Gas Station Attendan...

as Deputy

as Deputy

as State Policeman

as Waitress

as Arkansas Storekeeper

as Fred the Truck Drive...

as Woman in Camp

as Man in Camp

as Deputy/Troublemaker

as New Mexico Border Gu...

as Deputy Driver

as Inspector

as Hungry Girl

as Boy Who Ate

as Floyd's Wife

as (unconfirmed) (uncre...
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Grapes of Wrath

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (7)

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.

Full Review… | August 29, 2012
The New Republic
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | April 27, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The Grapes of Wrath is possibly the best picture ever made from a so-so book.

Full Review… | April 27, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

It is an absorbing, tense melodrama, starkly realistic, and loaded with social and political fireworks.

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Captures the stark plainness of the migrants, stripped to a few possessions, left with innumerable relations and little hope.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Powerful look at the Depression and the poor.

Full Review… | April 1, 2013
Classic Film and Television

Audience Reviews for The Grapes of Wrath


Ford and Johnson were able to transpose Steinbeck's powerful masterpiece into a splendid film that preserves its essence (even with a different, upbeat ending) without infringing the infamous demands of the Hays Code - yet it also seems a bit rushed and lacking in sufficient information (e.g., Noah vanishing without explanation).

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer

It can be a bit slow and some scenes are unnecessary, but this is usually the case with all films this old. On the other hand, it's well made and at times very powerful. I especially love the end when Tom Joad makes an important decision with his life. Some scenes are suspenseful (well, 1940s suspenseful) and the characters are interesting for the most part. Probably John Ford's best film.

Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer


An amazing film. Just as relevant today.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

The Grapes of Wrath Quotes

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– Submitted by Filipe M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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