"The Grapes of Wrath" Free Screening
April 6, 2014
As part of the Third Annual Greater St. Louis Humanities Festival, Cinema St. Louis and the St. Louis Public Library present a free screening of John Ford’s classic film “The Grapes of Wrath” (1940). The film will be introduced and discussed by Gaylyn Studlar, the David May distinguished professor in the humanities and director of the Film and Media Studies Program at Washington University. Studlar is co-editor of the anthology “John Ford Made Westerns.”
The theme of the 2014 Humanities Festival is “Migration and Mobility,” topics that are prominently addressed in Ford’s adaptation of John Steinbeck’s novel, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. Steinbeck won both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for the work, and Ford’s film received seven Oscar nominations, winning for Best Directing and Best Actress (for Jane Darwell’s moving performance as Ma Joad).
The story of the Joad family’s forced expulsion from their Oklahoma farm and migration to California – an exodus necessitated by both the Dust Bowl and the Depression – “The Grapes of Wrath” chronicles the Joads’ travails as they make their journey westward. In addition to Darwell, the film stars Henry Fonda (in an iconic role as Tom Joad) and John Carradine (as former preacher Jim Casy).
Cliff Froehlich, executive director of Cinema St. Louis and former film critic for the Riverfront Times, has contributed an essay that discusses the contemporary relevance of Steinbeck’s book and Ford’s film. You can download a PDF version here.
The event is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Free parking is available at a lot at Olive and 15th streets. A parking token is required for exit; tokens are available at the issue desks at both library entrances. Street parking is free on Sunday.