• Unrated, 2 hr. 9 min.
  • Drama, Classics
  • Directed By:
    John Ford
    In Theaters:
    Mar 15, 1940 Wide
    On DVD:
    Apr 6, 2004
  • Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment


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The Grapes of Wrath Reviews

Page 1 of 3
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television

Powerful look at the Depression and the poor.

Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television

April 1, 2013
Franz Hoellering
The Nation

The Grapes of Wrath is Hollywood's most distinguished offering.

Full Review Source: The Nation

January 14, 2013
Otis Ferguson
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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 Source: The New Republic

August 29, 2012
Wesley Lovell
Cinema Sight

Back when they adapted serious literature for the big screen, the results were equally impressive.

Full Review Source: Cinema Sight | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 16, 2011
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Classic John Steinbeck adaptation is still powerful.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 5/5

December 28, 2010
Chuck Bowen
Slant Magazine

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.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 4/4

November 22, 2010


This 1940 film is one of the best literary adaptations ever (and one of the quickest too -- it was in theaters within a year of the book's publication).

Full Review Source: Film4

April 27, 2009
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop 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 Source: Chicago Reader

April 27, 2009
Whittaker Chambers
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

April 27, 2009
John C. Flinn Sr.
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Variety

March 26, 2009
Dan Jardine
Apollo Guide

What really solidifies the greatness of The Grapes of Wrath is Ford's ability to blend the personal and political without causing damage to either characters or themes.

Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Original Score: 92/100

October 30, 2006
Mark Bourne

...it proves that a Hollywood film can be both socially engaged and a work of lasting, entertaining art.

Full Review Source: DVDJournal.com

April 17, 2006
Derek Adams
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Emanuel Levy

John Ford won a direcing Oscar for this adaptation of John Steinbeck's Pulitzer prize-winning novel, which features great cinematography by Toland and one of Henry Fonda's most iconic roles.

Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Original Score: A-

July 1, 2005

Empire Magazine

Cinematographer Gregg Toland perfectly captures the wide 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 common people.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 5/5

April 6, 2005
Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International

Stunning masterpiece about poverty in California is still relevant today

| Original Score: 5/5

December 2, 2004
Dan Jardine

Like a grand Biblical epic, John Ford's film is a triumph on both the political and personal levels.

Full Review Source: Cinemania | Original Score: 92/100

July 29, 2004
Jeremy Heilman

Ford delivers Steinbeck's message intact.

Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com | Original Score: 4/4

June 6, 2004
Mark Robison
Reno Gazette-Journal

Director John Ford keeps the action moving while using strikingly poignant images and staying true to the novel's political message.

| Original Score: A

May 19, 2004
Bill Chambers
Film Freak Central

A perpetual elegy

Full Review Source: Film Freak Central | Original Score: 4/4

May 13, 2004
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