The Big Read Blog (Archive)


February 25, 2009
Washington, DC

The 81st Academy Awards are already receding into the distant past -- who knew Anne Hathaway could sing!?! -- but still it's worth noting that four film versions of Big Read titles have received Best Picture noms. A Farewell to Arms (1931-32), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Maltese Falcon (1941), and To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) all made Oscar's Best Picture short list, although none took home top flick gold.

From the Readers's Guide to The Grapes of Wrath, here's John Steinbeck's response to his first look at 20th Century-Fox's take on his novel:

"[Producer Darryl] Zanuck has a hard, straight picture in which the actors are submerged so completely that it looks and feels like a documentary film and certainly has a hard, truthful ring . . . it is a harsher thing than the book, by far. It seems unbelievable but it is true."

Learn more about Steinbeck and The Grapes of Wrath in the Reader's Guide.