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The AFI Top 100 Films: On The Waterfront (#8)

Entertainment 150On the Waterfront (1954)
Starring Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint and Lee J. Cobb
Written by Budd Schulberg
Directed by Elia Kazan

Terry Malloy (Brando) is a New Jersey dock worker whose brother is in the mob. That mob runs the Worker’s Union, and as long as you play by the rules you get the chance to work that day. Of course, playing by the rules means making sure the police and the Waterfront Crime Commission don’t ever find witnesses to the string of murders they know mob boss Johnny Friendly (Cobb) has ordered. In order to subsist, you have to simply let crime pay.

Terry was a boxer who could have fought his way out of the slums, but he took a dive on his brother’s orders so that he could win a bet. He’s also used in the murder of a popular dock worker who was thinking about flipping to the Crime Commission. When Terry falls in love with the slain worker’s sister, he’s finally jarred out of his lifetime of subservience and finds it within himself to actually stand up for what he believes is right — not just for himself, but for every other dock worker under the boot-heel of Johnny Friendly.

On the Waterfront is a story about a man coming into his own sense of morality, and what that compels him to do in the face of systemic corruption. When everyone around you has a tacit acceptance of social injustice as the way things are, it can be impossible to speak out against it. We have an earnest belief that it only takes one person to get the ball rolling, and once the process has been started momentum will take care of the rest. The death of Joey Doyle is that inciting incident, and Terry simply picks up from there to finish the job.

What’s interesting about this film to me is how the idea of standing up for social justice becomes so indelibly tied to Terry’s slow but distinct straightening towards manhood. Terry’s arc is that of the man learning to lead his own life; when he tells his brother Charley (Rod Steiger) “I coulda been a contender, instead of a bum”, the regret he’s expressing is not being tempted by his environment to be anything less than the best person he could be. Now, at long last, he’s making a different choice when faced with similar circumstances.

It takes him a while to get around to that point, and he’s coaxed every step of the way by Edie Doyle (Eva Marie Saint, in her first role) and Father Barry (Karl Marlden). They both know that there’s no difference in Terry’s case between personal redemption and social salvation, and it’s fascinating to watch them patiently lead him to the ideal that doing the right thing so you can be the kind of guy who does what’s right.

Brando embodies Terry with a nervous masculine energy that belongs specifically to him but feels universal. We all struggle to live up to our ideals, and the harder it is to fight against the current the sweeter the victory, no matter how small. The end of the movie feels like a triumph, even though it’s a small show of solidarity. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the workers have won over the mob, but it makes an important turning point in the fight.

This is heavy stuff under a paint of 50s melodrama. The performances feel locked firmly in their time, even though the script takes a specific situation to explore universal themes. It’s strange to pull back the ‘coating’ of the movie and find yourself identifying with it so strongly. Admittedly, the dated production can make the barrier to entry too steep for some, but it’s worth doing. The discovery of such a rich movie is worth taking it on its own terms.

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2014 in AFI Top 100, Movies, Reviews

 

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The AFI Top 100 Films: It’s a Wonderful Life (#11)

Entertainment 150It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore
Written by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra (screenplay) and Philip Van Doren Stern (story)
Directed by Frank Capra

Part of what makes It’s a Wonderful Life such an indelible movie is its inextricable tie to Christmas and the mood we all wish to be in during that holiday. We want to see the best in mankind, we want to believe that a community can come together to take care of one of its own when they’re in trouble, we want to believe that things turn out all right in the end. It’s a Wonderful Life indulges that desire in spades, giving us a bittersweet fable of small-town, picture-postcard America that’s at turns heartbreaking and life-affirming. It’s quite an interesting film, actually, when you think about it beyond its sentimentality.

James Stewart is George Bailey, a young man from the small town of Bedford Falls with a dream of traveling around the world. His family serves a vital function of the community; allowing the working poor to receive loans to start businesses and buy homes for themselves. Their nemesis is an old Wall St. type named Henry Potter (Barrymore), an exploitative slum lord who represents the ideal of the free market, I suppose. The only thing that stands in the way of his complete capitalist tyranny is the little Bailey Building and Loan Association.

George’s father has a stroke right when his brother graduates high school, which means he’s the only one who can run it — his brother isn’t ready and his father and uncle are both unfit now. He puts off his dream to sort out the mess, and his brother goes to college instead. When his brother returns, it’s with an enormous job offer that George knows he can’t turn down. He kills his dream of leaving Bedford Falls for the betterment of his brother, taking on the burden of running the Building and Loan by himself.

The pressure from Potter intensifies, especially after the market crash of 1929. George gives up more and more of his life, sacrificing the nest egg he had squirreled away for his honeymoon to prevent a run on the association. Meanwhile, his brother enlists during World War II, becomes a fighter pilot ace, travels the world and comes home to a hero’s welcome. On the day of the parade, George’s absent-minded uncle misplaces $8,000 of the bank’s money. Without that deposit, the Building and Loan is sunk and Potter wins.

Distraught, George berates his children and one of their teachers, yells at his wife, crashes his car and nearly commits suicide by jumping off a bridge. Here is the part of the story everyone knows — his guardian angel Clarence (Henry Travers) comes down to show him a dystopian Bedford Falls where he had never been born to show him the difference he’s made in people’s lives. Filled with joy at knowing the effect of his good works, George races through the streets of Bedford Falls towards his home, just in time for a Christmas miracle of the community’s own making. It really is one of the finest, most touching endings in cinematic history. I’m not ashamed to admit it makes me cry, every time.

What makes the ending so effective is what makes the rest of the movie so interesting and surprisingly complex. A lot of people ding this movie for its sentimentality, claiming that it gives easy answers that wouldn’t quite fly in the real world, and I disagree. What makes George Bailey such an extraordinary hero isn’t just that he tries so hard to do the right thing — it’s that sometimes he actually fails to. He’s not a saint; it’s clear that he resents his family and his community because of the choices he feels he has to make, and he doesn’t take care to find an outlet for it. The final straw simply uncovers what was already there — a man who feels trapped by responsibilities that may or may not be his, by the burden of being the difference between people’s happiness and their oppression.

It’s completely understandable that George would feel this way; he’s regularly sacrificed his happiness for other people, and he never seems to get a break. The rest of the community shows their appreciation at times, but they’re also just people — subject to mob mentality, panic and petty thoughts. Most people don’t have the emotional fortitude that Bailey possesses, and it’s rather difficult to be fair-minded about people you’ve stuck out your neck for but end up taking the easy way far too often.

This is the problem of the idealist; the world really doesn’t mold itself to your ideals all that often. And that disappointment can lead to a sort of desperation, the attachment that something good must come of your beliefs and deeds. As that disappointment continues, it poisons into resentment.

What It’s a Wonderful Life does is remind us that we do make a difference with our actions, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. If we put goodness out into the world, it really does help. Life in Bedford Falls isn’t perfect, especially for George; his Building and Loan may be saved by the end of the movie, but it’s still stressed. He still has unfulfilled dreams that he’ll likely never be able to return to. He’s still surrounded by people who are prone to panic, small-mindedness and failing their own ideals. Nothing’s changed but his perception, and a newfound appreciation for the things that have gone right.

Capra has become known for his “perfect” Americana pieces, but I think this movie doesn’t quite get its due because of it. It’s a Wonderful Life shows us the worth of the transformative mindset, what happens when we let go of the expectation that good things will happen to us because we do good things. Karmic feedback rarely takes the form that we’re looking for, and success can take on a wide variety of definitions. George struggles, but he succeeds because his community does; they never would have been able to help him when he needed it most without his life lived helping them.

What makes me so enamored with that lesson is the idea that a life well-lived matters in ways we never see, but it also cautions us to take care of our own desires. Or at least, how we deal with them when they’re unfulfilled. We must pay attention to ourselves every once in a while if we’re to continue living our ideals.

It’s a Wonderful Life is a wonderful movie. For those of us who are community-minded, it’s a gem that justifies our beliefs and reminds us of the worth of the individual. There’s a lot going on underneath the candy-coated exterior of Bedford Falls, but isn’t that always the way of a small town?

 

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The AFI Top 100 Films: All About Eve (#16)

Entertainment 150All About Eve (1950)
Starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter and Celeste Holm
Written and Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

There’s an awful lot going on in this movie, especially considering the time in which it was made. Just a quick bit of Internet research has uncovered a multitude of perspectives detailing what All About Eve has to say about homosexuality, Cold War politics, gender roles and the tense relationship between Broadway and Hollywood. The fact that I saw none of this through my first viewing, but see how all the symbolism actually tracks with these various, scatter-minded theories speaks to the strength of the writing. It’s a truly impressive film with a lot on its mind, but it’s also a whole lot of fun.

Bette Davis is fantastic here as Margo Channing, the current Grand Dame of Broadway. She occupies the office of her archetype with the expected theatricality, regally generous with her favor when her audience plays their roles and cements hers. She’s a bundle of contradictions, expectant and needy at the same time, surprisingly warm and casually cruel. Just when you think she lives on the shallow surface of her fan’s adulation, she says something that points to a deep understanding of the society she inhabits and her place in it. Margo is one of the most complex movie heroines I’ve seen in a really long time, and Davis embodies the assured magnetism of an actress at the top of her game.

Almost as hypnotic is Anne Baxter as Eve Harrington. We meet Eve as a pathetic groupie in an alley where Margo’s best friend Karen Richards (Celeste Holm) takes her in. According to Eve’s story, she’s a war widow who left her meager life in the Midwest to follow Margo’s career. More than anything, she wanted to be near her idol, so it’s a dream come true when she’s slowly collected into the star’s inner circle. Eve insinuates herself into Margo’s life more and more, eventually becoming her trusted confidant and personal assistant. Eve works with polite blandness and total efficiency, and most people can find no fault with her. They’re mystified when Margo reacts so violently to slights that look like “innocent” mistakes to the casual observer.

Of course, there’s something far deeper going on here. It’s only a matter of time before Eve’s scheme is laid bare — by the time the victims of her plans realize what’s going on, it’s far too late to do anything about it. And that’s when the movie gets to be at it’s most interesting.

As it becomes increasingly clear that her time in the spotlight is over, Margo reflects on her ascent to the top of the New York theatre scene and how she’s treated the people she met along the way. For the most part it feels like she’s so accustomed to having her way and wielding her considerable influence that she won’t go down without a bitter fight for her crown. What’s amazing is that when she realizes what the fight will cost her in the relationships of those closest to her, she gives it up. She realizes that holding on to power doesn’t mean much if you don’t have something more permanent and lasting to go with it. As awful as Margo can be (and has been) to the people around her, she has a very mature appreciation for them. It’s this support network that she retreats into when Eve officially supplants her as the toast of New York.

Bette Davis: Queen of the Side-Eye

Bitchily, of course.

Eve, on the other hand, uses people and discards their relationship as soon as she has what she wants from them. While her ambition is fulfilled, the only person by her side is a theatre critic who is using her for his own purposes. We begin the film with her crowning as the latest jewel of the theatrical community, and after we find out the number of awful things she did to get there we see just how hollow her victory is. The award she receives means nothing to her, and the party thrown in her honor is so worthless to her she skips it to pack for her imminent trip to Hollywood.

The thing that strikes me most about this film are the wonderful relationships that manage to survive the sabotage orchestrated by Eve. Margo and Karen have their strains, and their husbands and lovers have similar struggles — especially when they’re targeted by Eve’s ambition. But it manages to hold; the affection shared by these people is deeper than the business they’re engaged in. Margo realizes this and chooses to nurture it, even though it takes her a bit longer than it might have if she were a bit more centered to begin with. But the fact that she’s off-kilter is one of the things that makes her so much fun.

A few critics have tied Margo’s acquiescence to the general push for women to give up their agency and return to the homemaker role in post-war America. There’s a lot in the film to support this, too. Sociologically the film takes on a darker undertone with her willingness to fade; she realizes that her personal community won’t tolerate her strength, so she weakens herself. It’s difficult to see Margo’s turn in the latter parts of the movie as a positive thing if you view it through that lens, especially if you see it as Joseph Mankiewicz pushing a hetero-normative agenda there. Through Eve’s example and Margo’s pre-fall life, he’s outright telling you that ambition is bad and folding to your dominant partner is good. Of course that’s not a “truth” that should be tolerated. But on a purely personal level, it feels more like Margo made a choice that brings her the most happiness. Holding on to her fleeting position at all costs would simply cost too much.

The subtext of societal normalcy notwithstanding, All About Eve is a totally engaging movie buoyed by incredible performances, sharp and layered writing, and wonderful characters. The fact that it inspires such passionate and thoughtful debate six decades later cements its worthiness as one of the best American movies ever made.

 

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The AFI Top 100 Films: The African Queen (#17)

Entertainment 150The African Queen (1957)
Starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn
Written by James Agee & John Huston (screenplay) and C.S. Forester (novel)
Directed by John Huston

There’s really nothing else quite like The African Queen. Set (and filmed!) in Africa, it tells the story of a missionary’s sister Rose Sayer (Hepburn) fleeing the region after Germany deemed her brother a “hostile foreigner”. His hut is burned down and he is beaten so badly that he remains addled for the few days it takes him to die of fever. With nothing left for her at the village she worked in, she decided to leave on the only transport she could, the titular river-boat captained by hard-drinking grump-meister Charlie Allnut (Bogart).

The pair learns of a rather nasty German submarine sitting in a lake nearby, blocking off access to this part of the region. Not content with merely escaping, Rose decides to do her part for the war effort and blow it up with a home-made torpedo or two. At first Charlie isn’t having any of it, but as the pair travels down the river together they grow closer in mind and spirit. They fight over just about everything, even still, but they look past those differences towards the bond that being in such a terrible situation gives you.

It’s the bond between the characters and the wonderful chemistry between the actors who play them that gives the movie it’s charm. Bogart is really in his element here as Allnut, a crude riverboat captain who’s really only looking to do his job and drink a lot. Hepburn channels her steel spine well into Rose, the high-minded religious woman who seeks to drive Charlie to a higher purpose. And through her uncompromising yet mostly genial nature, she herds him there through the distraction of the bottle and “meager” self-preservation.

When she’s able to channel him into a place where their interests align and things flow smoothly, the effect is electric. It’s like sailing a ship into the current, or channeling base instinct towards a constructive purpose. You’re always shocked by how swiftly and efficiently things get done. That’s the magic between these two at work; you see how well they fit together because of their differences, and it makes you believe in the idea of two opposing yet complementary forces. The id and the super-ego joining to propel the individual towards impossible achievements.

They sure do have to suffer a lot to learn that, though. Not only do they have to navigate each other’s personalities, but they have to deal with the very real dangers of the river as well. Swarms of flies, the tricky rapids and currents that lead the Queen into dead spots that must then be dragged through. The scenes of Rose and Charlie dealing with the elements are incredible, shot with a realism that makes you feel terrible for them and horrified at just some of the many delights the African wilderness can inflict on unsuspecting travelers. Knowing that director John Huston and his stars also had to deal with a lot of tough conditions to film on location only adds to that reaction; Hepburn was sick with dysentery for much of the movie, and they used real leeches for a particularly awful scene.

african-queen

Not pictured: nightmare fuel.

Another interesting thing about The African Queen — and one of the things that makes it a bit more timeless than other films of its type — is it really gives you a sense of the unique geography of Africa without diving into the thorny socio-political and racial issues of the time. You don’t see too many African jungle adventures that don’t need to come with the disclaimer of “Some racist things happen in this movie, but that’s just the way people thought at the time.” It was nice to have that.

The final set-piece — when the Queen and her crew finally reach the lake where the German sub is positioned — skews things in a distinctly Hollywood direction, but it’s still quite well done. The tonal shift isn’t so jarring it negates the realism of what’s come before, and both Hepburn and Bogart are so charming they pull it off with a minimum of questioning. The African Queen represents old-school filmmaking at its finest while still offering something unique to this day. It’s a great adventure worth getting wrapped up in.

Rating: 8/10.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2013 in AFI Top 100, Movies, Reviews

 

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The AFI Top 100 Films: Psycho (#18)

Entertainment 150Psycho (1960)
Starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles and John Gavin
Written by Joseph Stefano (screenplay) and Robert Bloch (novel)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

There shouldn’t be a need to tell you that this review will be discussing spoilers for the movie Psycho, but just in case you weren’t expecting it — this review will discuss spoilers for the movie Psycho. If you haven’t seen this grand-daddy of all horror movies, you should definitely do so at your earliest convenience. The rest of the review will be here when you’re done!

I was one of those people who thought they knew the story; it’s been discussed at length in our popular culture, and I had seen the first season of Bates Motel. I assumed that the story hinged on the relationship between motel owner Norman Bates (Perkins) and his lodger Marion Crane (Leigh), with the climax being that infamous shower scene. Imagine my surprise when that scene happens a third of the way into the film; there was a lot more about Norman and his motivations to uncover.

That’s what makes Psycho so great; it sets up your expectations and then subverts them gleefully. Just when you think you have a handle on where the story is going it takes a hair-pin turn and you’re left reeling to get a handle on your new surroundings. And when you get the lay of the land, another whiplash turn, another disorienting layer with which to familiarize yourself. Alfred Hitchcock, working from a screenplay adapted by Joseph Stefano, does a masterful job with pacing here, smashing down his dominoes as soon as he’s set them up.

The initial part of the story focuses on Marion Crane, an office worker for a real estate company. One day, her boss entrusts her to deposit $40,000 to the company’s bank account. Instead she steals it, hoping to start a new life with her long-distance boyfriend, Sam (Gavin). She ditches the car she left town in, buys a new one and flees down the California coast. Forced to stop during a heavy rainstorm, she finds herself in the Bates Motel.

By now, you’re invested in her story and where it’s going. While she’s clearly not a good person (she stole a pants-load of money from her trusting employer after all), she’s our protagonist. We’re invested in seeing whether or not she succeeds; if she doesn’t, we want to know how she’ll get caught and what the consequences are. This feels like a story about her theft and what it will do for her and her lover.

Then we meet Norman Bates, the proprietor of the Bates Motel. He has a series of small conversations with Marion that reveal his character and history, including a troubled relationship with an overbearing mother. When Norman’s mother decides that he’s gotten far too close to Marion, she decides to take matters into her own hands; while the lodger is in the shower, Mother storms in and stabs her to death with a knife.

perkins-psycho

So much for Marion’s story. Her employers have noticed her absence as well as the missing money by now, however, so they’ve reached out to her sister Lila (Miles), who in turn reaches out to Sam. Together they track Marion’s steps along with a private investigator, and are eventually lead to the motel. The P.I. gets too close, so Norman’s mother kills him too. Meanwhile, Lila and Sam go to the Sheriff’s home and discover there that Norman’s mother has been dead for some time.

What?? What in the world is going on? The answer to that question leads to one of the craziest scenes in cinematic history, a terrific double-whammy of reveals that quite frankly astound. The denouement where Norman is psycho-analyzed goes on a little longer than it needs to, perhaps, but I suppose that was necessary for audiences of the time to even wrap their minds around what they had just seen. Nowadays we’ve become so familiar with abnormal psychology that Norman may seem almost pedestrian by comparison.

But there’s no doubt that Psycho had a tremendous impact on movies, almost single-handedly creating the horror genre as we know it today. Norman’s story is the template for so many slashers who’ve come in his wake — the Freddy Kreugers, the Michael Myers, the Jason Voorhies. Bates is the first of their kind, a monster preying on the unsuspecting pretty blondes of the world.

Hitchcock keeps us in suspense by constantly toying with us. He presides over all of the surprises he has in store with the supreme confidence of a master storyteller. The reveals happen exactly when they’re meant to, deployed for maximum effect, keeping us on our toes. The conversations between Norman and Marion are slow burns, setting us up with context to make the impact of the revelations meaningful while misdirecting us on what’s really going on. Anthony Perkins plays Norman with such layering that you’re quite intrigued by the obvious tension his various feelings towards his mother creates. You get a sense that he’s a bit fucked up, but the surprise is in revealing just how fucked up he is.

The rest of the cast does quite a good job, but this is really the showcase for Hitchcock and his screenwriter, Joseph Stefano. Hitchcock went through great lengths to preserve the secret of the story — it’s rumored that once he bought the rights to Robert Bloch’s original novel he bought as many copies of it as he could. He charged theatre owners to prevent audiences from walking in to the movie after it started, so that you had to see it the way he intended.

Those extraordinary measures created a sensation, and Psycho was wildly successful on its release. Its quality is what has helped it stand the test of time. I think our fascination with crazy stalkers began here; we owe an entire facet of cinematic history to Hitchcock and company.

Rating: 9/10.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2013 in AFI Top 100, Movies, Reviews

 

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The AFI Top 100 Films: The Grapes of Wrath (#21)

Entertainment 150The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Starring Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell and John Carradine
Written by Nunnally Johnson (screenplay) and John Steinbeck (novel)
Directed by John Ford

One of the things that’s slowly and steadily been removed from our cultural identity is a sense of place. The world has gotten smaller and borders have become a bit more mutable. Families move from place to place because of work or circumstances, and with the housing market the way it is it’s impossible to imagine one family owning a home that’s passed down from generation to generation. It’s strange to think that this is a relatively recent development, that losing one’s home was a much bigger deal “only” 80 years ago.

The Grapes of Wrath follows a farming family as they’re removed from their land by the bank and sent packing to California, where they hope a land of new opportunity awaits them. We identify with Tom Joad (Fonda), the eldest son, as he goes back home after a stint in prison. He’s just in time to see the last gasp of his farming community — the Dust Bowl has ruined the land and made it impossible for anyone to grow enough food to sell. They can’t make enough money to keep the land, so the bank has been steadily taking homesteads for their own ends.

Tom meets up with his family just as they’re packing up an ancient, creaking car to make the long trip out west. The trip is hard; Tom’s grandfather dies and they are forced to bury him near a river. His grandmother soon succumbs to the rigors of the journey as well. Once they arrive in California, they’re bounced from camp to camp trying to find work and finding conditions much less favorable than they’ve been lead to believe. Those with power and resources take advantage of those without, trying to squeeze as much labor as they can for as little pay as possible. Yet despite all of this, the Joads end up in a camp that’s not so bad (provided by the government) and Ma Joad (Darwell) ends the film with a pragmatic, optimistic monologue about the survival of the clan. Considering all they’ve been through, how much they’ve lost, it’s genuinely affecting. Her hope is hard-won.

There are so many memorable sequences here; the family trying to defend their homestead against a neighbor’s kid on a Caterpillar, forced to raze the houses in his community to make a living; the crazed homesteader who chose his land over his family, and slowly succumbed to mad loneliness on his own; Ma Joad feeding as many children as she could in the first migrant camp they come to. What unfolds is a story of a family that is poor but proud, and won’t be treated like dirt by those in power. They move through their worsening predicament with as much dignity as they can muster, and they bear their misfortunes with a quiet, contemplative grief.

At the same time, they’re willing to fight back against obvious injustice. They speak up when something’s not fair, and they help other people where they can. The Joad family serves as something of a model set of citizens — wherever they go, they create community just by being decent, open people. It’s impressive that the rigors of the road and the cruelty of some people they meet don’t harden them. Ma Joad becomes especially fearful, but she doesn’t let it skew her moral compass.

It’s no surprise John Ford won an Oscar for his direction, or that Jane Darwell received the Best Supporting Actress award for her role. Ford really knows how to bring out the best traits of a character — his handling of Stagecoach was similarly impressive, but several steps higher here. Darwell exemplifies his approach; she’s stoic, vulnerable, hardy and soft-hearted all at the same time. A scene where she sits in the empty house she’s lived in for so long, burning the keepsakes she can’t take with her, is mostly silent but breath-takingly effective.

The story takes these mythic themes and brings them down to an earthly, even vulgar level in a way that I simply love. The Joad clan, for all their dirtiness and lean hunger, represent some of the highest ideals of civilization. In a world that seems to be crumbling all around them, growing harsher by the minute, they’re firm enough to demand better treatment and kind enough to give it to the people they meet. What’s best is that they don’t make any fuss about it; the charity they give and receive is given automatically, in quiet moments where “thank you” and “you’re welcome” are silently spoken in the looks they give one another. One can only hope that you can manage such quiet, simple grace in similar circumstances.

I can’t compare this film to the novel it’s based on, but I hear they’re quite different especially in the back half. Thanks to the movie, the novel has earned a place on my to-be-read pile; I’ll have to see just how different it is. If you’re a fan of Steinbeck (who isn’t?), then this is a great thing to see. Even without reading this particular book, I can say it retains his sense of humanity and the things that make us great.

Rating: 9/10.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in AFI Top 100, Movies, Reviews

 

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