Think of a great name in the history of the Western film genre. Quick! First name that pops into your head. Was it John Wayne? It was John Wayne, wasn't it? If so, I have a suggestion for you: forget about American Westerns. The Italians: that's who you want to talk to. Spaghetti Westerns. I just acquired a DVD pack of 20 of these babies for only $5, and while I've not yet had the chance to delve into it, the cover features Lee Van Cleef sporting a badass mustache, and you just can't argue with that kind of marketing. Have you seen Django Unchained yet? Remember the song at the very beginning? Here, you can find it through this link. That's from a 1968 film entitled Django, directed by Sergio Corbucci and starring Franco Nero (who had a cameo in Unchained). Is the film silly? Yes. Is it awesome? Hell yes!
We're getting off topic here. We mentioned John Wayne. When it comes to the American Western, he is The Man. But who is the man behind The Man? John Ford, of course: legendary director of over 100 films and a good chunk of Wayne's filmography, including my personal favorite American Western, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.
In 1940, John Ford directed what is generally considered a Very Important Film: The Grapes of Wrath, an adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel of the same name. Henry Fonda stars as Tom Joad, patriarch of a family who runs a farm in Oklahoma, until they lose it in the midst of the Great Depression. Desperate to live, they travel across America to California to try to make a new life for themselves.
Tomorrow, Thursday, the St. Matthews branch of the library is hosting a discussion on The Grapes of Wrath. Find the movie, watch it, and join with other classic film enthusiasts for what is sure to be a fulfilling discussion. The meeting is at 2:30. The library is located at 3940 Grandview Avenue. Complete details can be found at the library's event page.
Image: Internet Movie Database