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 The banks and land agents of the 1930s have been replaced by financial pyramids.”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.


CALL NORTHSIDE 777
1948, 20th Century Fox, 111 min, USA, Dir: Henry Hathaway

In the late 1940s, hardhitting action director Hathaway was the pioneer of a new breed of startlingly neo-realistic, noirish crime film. Pictures like HOUSE ON 92nd STREET and KISS OF DEATH helped to cement his reputation as a genre master, and there's no better example of his straight-from-the-headlines style than in this superior suspenser, with James Stewart trying to prove that convicted killer Richard Conte is innocent. With Lee J. Cobb, Helen Walker.


LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN
1946, 20th Century Fox, 111 min, USA, Dir: John Stahl

Exhibit A in the argument that film noir isn't always black-and-white. Don't let the stunningly lush Technicolor fool you - this big-budget soap opera has the blackest of hearts and is as perverse and malignant as it got in the ’40s. Novelist Cornel Wilde falls for gorgeous Gene Tierney but has no idea of the darkness lurking behind those emerald eyes. A rare chance to see Leon Shamroy's Oscar-winning cinematography on the big screen.


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