THE GRAPES OF WRATH
1940, 20th Century Fox, 129 min, USA, Dir: John Ford

Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) returns from prison to find his family evicted from their dust-blown, Midwestern farm and packing to head for the deceptively golden promise of California prosperity. Director John Ford brings John Steinbeck’s classic novel about Depression-era poverty and the resultant migration and labor unrest to vivid life. With an incredible supporting cast that includes Jane Darwell, John Carradine and Charley Grapewin. Nominated for seven Oscars and winner of two (Ford got Best Director and Best Supporting Actress went to Darwell). "Shows half a nation with the economic rug pulled out from under it. … To those … who had gone hungry or been homeless, it would never become dated. And its sense of injustice, I believe, is still relevant. The banks and land agents of the 1930s have been replaced by financial pyramids.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.


CAGED
1950, Warner Bros., 96 min, USA, Dir: John Cromwell

Flat-out the best “women behind bars” movie ever made. Sentenced to prison for her role in a failed robbery that killed her husband, vulnerable innocent Marie Allen (Oscar-nominated Eleanor Parker) undergoes a degrading transformation in “the joint.” Parker gives the performance of her career, supported by a cell block of sensational actresses: Agnes Moorehead, Hope Emerson, Betty Garde, Jan Sterling, Lee Patrick, Jane Darwell and many more. A classic!


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