Tortilla Flat

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Movie Info

This adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel traces the lives of two fishermen who are struggling on the coast of California. Pilon tries his best to avoid responsibility, preferring to launch schemes in the intent of striking it rich. Danny, meanwhile, does hit a streak of good luck.


Hedy Lamarr
as Dolores 'Sweets' Ramirez
John Garfield
as Danny Alvarez
Frank Morgan
as The Pirate
Sheldon Leonard
as Tito Ralph
John Qualen
as Jose Maria Corcoran
Donald Meek
as Paul D. Cummings
Connie Gilchrist
as Mrs. Torrelli
Allen Jenkins
as Portagee Joe
Henry O'Neill
as Father Ramon
Mercedes Ruffino
as Mrs. Marellis
Nina Campana
as Senora Teresina Cortez
Arthur Space
as Mr. Brown
Harry Burns
as Torrelli
Louis Jean Heydt
as Young Doctor
Willie Fung
as Chin Kee
Roque Ybarra
as Alfredo
Tim Ryan
as Rupert Hogan
Charles Judels
as Joe Machado
Yvette Dugay
as Little Girl
Harry Strang
as Fireman
Walter Sande
as Fireman
Jack Carr
as Owner
Bob O'Connor
as Cannery Worker
George Magrill
as Cannery Worker
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Critic Reviews for Tortilla Flat

All Critics (1) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for Tortilla Flat

  • Nov 22, 2008
    Fine performers founder in completely miscast drama.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Mar 04, 2008
    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.
    Byron B Super Reviewer

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