Behind the Scenes of The Grapes of Wrath

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Director John Ford said, “I’d read [The Grapes of Wrath] – it was a good story—and Darryl Zanuck had a good script on it. The whole thing appealed to me – being about simple people – and the story was similar to the famine in Ireland, when they threw people off the land and left them wandering on the roads to survive.”

Director John Ford and Henry Fonda worked on nine films together. They did three films in succession – Young Mr. Lincoln, Drums Along the Mohawk, and The Grapes of Wrath.

According to Fonda, Ford had an interesting way of choosing his cast. He said, “He cast actors if they were good [card] players.”

The actors didn’t wear make so as to match the cold, hard feeling of the story.

“Jane Darwell and I had become friends. She was so warm and helpful to a young actress. She would tell me things, and warn me about things with John [Ford]. She knew his temperament. I loved her very much,” said Dorris Bowdon

Producer Darryl F. Zanuck wanted the truck to sound authentic in the film, so he had a replica of the truck made. Weight was then added to it, and it was taken to Oklahoma with a six-man crew to record the bumps and gear-shifting as it drove.

Above Zanuck and his wife, Virginia Fox, attend the premiere at Los Angeles' Star Theatre.