The Grapes of Wrath. 1940. USA. Directed by John Ford. 129 min.
Screenplay by Nunnally Johnson, based on the novel by John Steinbeck. Cinematography by Gregg Toland. With Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin, Russell Simpson, John Qualen. Throughout the late 1920s and the 1930s, Ford’s films had become darker, more mature, and more in keeping with the “shadowy” style of F. W. Murnau. Here, Ford and Johnson found the proper style to tell Steinbeck’s story of the darkness of the Depression and the light of hope offered by the New Deal. Toland had been around for a decade, working for directors like Howard Hawks and Frank Borzage, but Ford proved to be his perfect match. Before his untimely death at 44, Toland also photographed a little film called Citizen Kane for a more-or-less novice director named Orson Welles.