The Grapes of Wrath Redux?

The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

I first encountered The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck when I visited Monterey during my stay in the Bay Area, California.

I loved the book very much and went on to devour all things Steinbeck. I never got to watch the movie though. I have a thing against black and white movies. They just feel so old and musty, I have problems understanding the accents of the actors of the time, and basically, they are just not for me.

So, I was pleasantly surprised to see a couple of news articles stating that The Grapes of Wrath may be remade into a movie and could possibly be directed by Steven Spielberg.

I guess more directors are choosing to revisit the classics after the recent The Great Gatsby…which got hammered by the critics but was loved by a lot of bloggers.

There is quite a huge difference between The Great Gatsby and The Grapes of Wrath though. The earlier Gatsby movie (starring Robert Redford) was a disaster whereas the old Grapes of Wrath movie is very well-loved. Also, it’s easier to capture a glitzy and glamorous lifestyle in color then it is to capture the austerity and grittiness of The Grapes of Wrath.

It will definitely be interesting though, and may interest youngsters to this book. What do you think? Are you interested in watching a modern take? Who do you think will suit the roles of Tom Joad and Ma Joad? I have a vague sense of foreboding about the casting. Something tells me they will try to rope in Tom Hanks or Leonardo diCaprio for Tom Joad :(. They seem to be the only choice for almost every literary adaptation these days. I really hope a fresh face is chosen though.

I do wonder if they”ll have the guts to film the controversial final scene of the book.

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  • I haven’t read this book yet! With regards to The Great Gatsby – I loved the movie, but the book not so much.

    • @Melinda: I am bad at watching movies. Just find it hard to focus for 2-3 hours straight unless I am in a cinema hall.

      I read both these books, and I liked them a lot. I think I prefer Steinbeck’s books to Fitzgerald’s though. I can relate a lot more to his themes than Fitzgerald’s glitziness.

      • To be honest, I didn’t enjoy Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as much as I thought I would ….

  • I don’t think I’ve seen the old movie either. A remake sounds terrific!

  • They will definitely need someone younger than Hanks to play Tom Joad.. Maybe Eli Roth?

    • @Amritorupa: I don’t know…I can’t think of anyone honestly. There’s this image that I have very strongly even though I haven’t seen the movie of Henry Fonda, and I just can’t see anyone from this generation of actors doing this role, and even looking the part.

  • I watched the movie several years ago. Good wholesome movie, right? But then I read the book and loved it because it was so real – the sorrow, despair, joy, sex, complicated family fights, and yes, the scene at the end of the book that wasn’t even hinted at in the movie. That final scene was so giving and made the book one of my favorite classics of all time. So, if they do remake it, I hope they are truer to the book that the first rendition.

    • @nrlymrtl: Oh, was the movie all wholesome? That’s a bit disappointing as I felt that the book was quite controversial for the time (all the commie bashing and all). I knew they didn’t feature the final breast-feeding scene but that would have been too much to expect I guess.

      Now though, it would be great if this new version (if it happens) is true to the book…ending and all.

      • There was also religious controversy too. A rousing sermon followed by energetic sex with the preacher in the bush? Yeah. Controversial – but also very human.

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