Comfortable and Furious

Memorable Movie Scenes: Part 11

Movie: The Grapes Of Wrath

Charles Dickens saw it clearly.

”It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…”

In 1933 a group of businessmen unhappy with FDR’s policies enlisted the aid of retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler (twice awarded the Medal of Honor, and later author of War is a Racket, calling his service in Central America as a ”gangster for capitalism.”) in an effort to overthrow the US Government and install a fascist dictator more symmetric to their version of capitalism.  Democracy was not on their minds.

About the same time in Germany, Hitler and his National Socialist shared this discard for Democracy.

Had a Secret Service agent driving the presidential limo obeyed Trump’s orders and driven that megalomaniac to the Capital to join his fellow traitors in sacking the symbol of our Republic, Democracy may have died on live television. 

At the end of Grapes of Wrath, grandpa Joad has died on the road after being evicted from his farm, the farm he was born on, worked on, buried his kin on, and hoped to die on.  ”A paper with numbers on it” proved him wrong.

 Preacher Casy (played by John Carradine in Grapes of Wrath) had been murdered by a capitalist goon squad while agitating for worker’s rights.  They were looking for you Tom Joad with murder in their eyes

”That Casy (Tom Joad told his Ma). He might have been a preacher but he seen things clear. He was like a lantern. He helped me to see things clear.”

Near the end of John Ford’s movie adaptation of John Steinbeck’s , Tom says goodbye to his Ma just before he leaves, possibly for good

“I’ll be all around in the dark. I’ll be everywhere. Wherever you can look, wherever there’s a fight, so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready, and when the people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build, I’ll be there, too.

As the family moves on again, they discuss the fear and difficulties they have had in keeping most of the family together. Ma Joad concludes the film, saying:

”I ain’t never gonna be scared no more. I was, though. For a while it looked as though we was beat. Good and beat. Looked like we didn’t have nobody in the whole wide world but enemies. Like nobody was friendly no more. Made me feel kinda bad and scared too, like we was lost and nobody cared…. Rich fellas come up and they die, and their kids ain’t no good and they die out, but we keep a-coming. We’re the people that live. They can’t wipe us out, they can’t lick us. We’ll go on forever, Pa, cos we’re the people.



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