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Tortilla Flat

Tortilla Flat (1942)


No Reviews Yet...

Release Date: May 21, 1942 Wide



liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 363

My Rating

Movie Info

Like the John Steinbeck novel on which it is based, Tortilla Flat is not so much a movie as a series of warm-hearted anecdotes, all linked to a small California fishing village populated by poor but happy immigrants. The focus is upon Pilon (Spencer Tracy), a good-natured, charismatic freeloader, and Danny (John Garfield), a hot-headed fisherman who is dragged kicking and screaming into the world of personal responsibility when he inherits two small houses. As Pilon toys with the notion of


Drama, Romance, Classics, Comedy

John Lee Mahin, Benjamin Glazer



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All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (0) | Rotten (1)

There's something devilish about watching the gringo actors go Mexican and find themselves out in limbo in something as unreal and dumb as this harmless spoof.

December 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Tortilla Flat

Fine performers founder in completely miscast drama.
November 22, 2008
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

The book is filled with so many uneven episodes in the lives of this group of paisanos. The movie picks a handful of these episodes and invents some new ones in an effort to create a sensible story. It is not an easy thing to do. The adapter doesn't choose all of what I would consider to be the better episodes from the book, but there are just too many characters to get to know in less than a two hour time span. Danny (Garfield) is the central character in the book who ties all the friends together, but many of the episodes have very little to do with him and I didn't find him all that charming of a character. Steinbeck seems to have a little confusion about who his main protagonist is. Pilon (Tracy) is the brain and voice of the group of friends, so he is present in most every adventure and the one that I enjoyed reading about most. Spencer Tracy is one of my favorite actors, but he does a terrible job imitating a Mexican-American accent compared to the Portuguese one he used in Captains Courageous. Sweets Ramirez (Lamarr) is given a role of much more bulk in the movie compared to the book. This is mainly to create a stronger romantic plot with Danny. I am glad Hedy Lamarr got this starring female role because there are no female characters with much of a voice in the book, however Danny is still fairly forgettable. Frank Morgan as "The Pirate" was an interesting choice. He wasn't exactly what I expected the character to be, but he was still simple and touching especially when interacting with his dogs. There is not a Latino in the cast of main characters, so everyone is doing bad racial mimicry. Steinbeck has an ear for the way people speak and he did live in areas like where this story is set, but it did not translate well to the screen in the Hollywood environment of the time.
August 21, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Pilon: Love and wine are similar in that too much of one can leave a man sick.
    – Submitted by Keating T (2 years ago)
View all quotes (1)

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