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*Grapes of Wrath Question for the experts* ANSWERED!


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There's a wonderful camp scene where a father is talking about his two son dying from starvation. It's a terrific little performance. It's his only scene. I don't know who the actor is. I looked up the credits on IMDB hoping to find out.  Every time I see this scene I find it very moving. Another example of the quality of talent during the golden age of Hollywood.

Anyone know who this wonderful actor is???439529348_V1221_20200717_201733(02).thumb.jpg.fafecce72083ee88d2b807deae300dd0.jpg

Above was my original post.  Ray Faiola has identified the actor as Louis Mason. Thanks so much Ray. I knew someone on this board would have the cinematic expertise to figure out who he was.

I looked Louis Mason up on IMDB and saw that he had 91  credits ending with the 1954 version of A STAR IS BORN where he played a doorman. Mostly uncredited during his career he was used several times by John Ford starting with JUDGE PRIEST in 1934. He even worked with Wheeler and Woolsey in KENTUCKY KERNELS (1934).

BTW - Louis Mason's credit for THE GRAPES OF WRATH  is simply "Man in Camp"

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0556823/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

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I’ve seen the film quite a few times but it wasn’t until tonight’s airing that I also noticed this man’s incredible performance. There are so many great actors who never got their big break and he appears to have followed suit. Incidentally, am I the only one who gets hungry watching TGOW? Craving bread, candy sticks, hamburger and some gruel. 

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3 hours ago, vidorisking said:

I’ve seen the film quite a few times but it wasn’t until tonight’s airing that I also noticed this man’s incredible performance. There are so many great actors who never got their big break and he appears to have followed suit. Incidentally, am I the only one who gets hungry watching TGOW? Craving bread, candy sticks, hamburger and some gruel. 

they overcharge for burgers at that company store.

:)

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Soooo MANY great moments in this movie. Just moments really.

Jane Darwell's face framed in the glow of that mirror as she puts the earrings up to her ears is the most haunting of all. So much can be read in her face in that shot. Heartbreaking.

The scene in the diner with Russell Simpson and the kids.

Also love the dance toward the end where Henry Fonda dances with Jane Darwell.

As I write this I realize I could go on and on... Just a powerful film. My favorite John Ford picture.

 

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9 hours ago, vidorisking said:

I’ve seen the film quite a few times but it wasn’t until tonight’s airing that I also noticed this man’s incredible performance. There are so many great actors who never got their big break and he appears to have followed suit.

Absolutely true. I was thinking this exact thing in the diner scene with the two truck drivers. Journeyman actors who could be counted on to deliver a single line to great affect. Hollywood is full of them hoping to be the next... (pick the actor of the era!)

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3 hours ago, yanceycravat said:

Absolutely true. I was thinking this exact thing in the diner scene with the two truck drivers. Journeyman actors who could be counted on to deliver a single line to great affect. Hollywood is full of them hoping to be the next... (pick the actor of the era!)

John Ford was the master for making every actor and actress in his films important and memorable.

My favorite moment in TGOW is actually a little humorous and cute; it's the scene where the two Joad youngsters flush the toilets in the campground and then run when they think they broke them.

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Just now, sagebrush said:

John Ford was the master for making every actor and actress in his films important and memorable.

My favorite moment in TGOW is actually a little humorous and cute; it's the scene where the two Joad youngsters flush the toilets in the campground and then run when they think they broke them.

Yes and yes!

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24 minutes ago, NipkowDisc said:

Tobacco Road is a little bit more homey and folksy though.

And somewhat less preachy in the leftist message... 

THE GRAPES OF WRATH is probably HENRY FONDA's best performance... hmm.

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2 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

And somewhat less preachy in the leftist message... 

Ah, so condemning brutality, exploitation, tyranny, and viciousness is left.  I had always thought it was human.  Oh, it's the wages.  That's what does it.

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27 minutes ago, Dargo said:

So, has anyone figured out who that character actor is?

I started doing a little research myself yesterday in this regard, and for awhile thought it might be Arthur Aylesworth who's credited with playing a character simply named "father"...

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0043849/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t41

(...but now I'm not so sure that it is him)

You may be right. I just looked at the scene again. I thought I knew who Arthur Aylesworth was by his voice. I'm going to see if I can find other performances.

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On 7/18/2020 at 6:58 PM, Dargo said:

So, has anyone figured out who that character actor is?

I started doing a little research myself yesterday in this regard, and for awhile thought it might be Arthur Aylesworth who's credited with playing a character simply named "father"...

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0043849/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t41

(...but now I'm not so sure that it is him)

I found Arthur Aylesworth's Find A Grave information with a picture located here. It doesn't look like it's the same guy.

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On 7/18/2020 at 4:44 PM, slaytonf said:

Ah, so condemning brutality, exploitation, tyranny, and viciousness is left.  I had always thought it was human.  Oh, it's the wages.  That's what does it.

I grew up in Oklahoma.  Some of my ancestors came to the area in 1829 as part of the pre-Trail of Tears Cherokee Removal, when it was still a part of Arkansaw Territory, before Congress created Indian Territory and then started the forced removal in the 1830s and later.  Some other ancestors came on the actual Trail of Tears, and others later.  All were mixed race European/Native Americans.  All that to say that I have deeper roots in the state than many, as the first Land Run that brought most non-Native Americans into the state was in 1889.  

Socialism was very prominent in the state in the  couple of decades after statehood.  The Socialist Party in Oklahoma had more members than New York's, even though New York had 7 times the population at that time.  You'd never have guessed that given how conservative it is today.   Most of the party members were agricultural workers rising up against the tenant farmer system then in place.  The socialism practiced there was pretty much an outgrowth of Christian evangelicalism (you know, the part of Christianity about helping your neighbors, the poor, the downtrodden, etc. - the kind of people Jesus helped).  It was closely tied to the concepts found in the Sermon on the Mount.

The point of all of that is that what Steinbeck wrote in The Grapes of Wrath is pretty accurate from a political point of view.   Even though socialism died out in the state as an organized political movement (due to the Green Corn Rebellion, and the rise of the tyranny of the Soviet revolution), many people (especially farm folk) still carried those views during the Great Depression when TGOW was set.   

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/socialist-revolution-oklahoma-crushed-green-corn-rebellion-180973073/

It's been quite some time since I read or watched TGOW, but I think where Steinbeck got it wrong was having the Joads be clueless about it all.   They were from the Sallisaw area (which was not affected by the Dust Bowl - it was the Depression that caused the misery) less than 100 miles from the site of the Green Corn Rebellion in Seminole County.  They would have known about socialism and the concepts of government assistance and co-operative movements.  The Co-op movement still exists today in rural areas, from farmer's co-ops to utilities (electricity, water, telephone, etc)   If you buy Land O' Lakes products,  Ocean Spray,  Organic Valley, or Sunkist,  you're supporting an agricultural co-op.

The book was controversial in the state for many years, but not because of any political statement.   It was the depiction of the Joad family.  Many leaders in the state found it embarrassing.  I always found the Joads to be noble - carrying on when most (including myself) would probably have given up.  Thankfully, none of my family in Oklahoma experienced any of the hardships that the Joads did, so I don't have any personal connection to the westward migration to California.  But it still resonates with me, nonetheless.

 

 

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Everyone is a socialist.  Not only conservatives, but even people who say they are socialists are socialists.  Everyone is perfectly happy to benefit from the advantages of communities, associations, or government.  The difference is conservatives refuse to acknowledge the benefits they gain, or any responsibilities they might have for those benefits.

The point about my post was that I get tired at the casual back-hand swipes people of a certain cast take at works like The Grapes of Wrath, both the book and movie, seeking to deligitimize it through trivialization.  In this instance, citing its 'preachiness'.  Calling out the brutal oppression and exploitation farmworkers and dust bowl refugees experienced in their trek for work and a place to live is not political, but human, even if it includes promoting the idea that people should be paid enough to keep them from starving to death after working sixty hours or more a week.  I would like to point out that conditions for farmworkers still is exploitative and brutal.  People die from exposure to pesticides and heat exhaustion.

My guess is some people feel threatened in some ways by great works of art, perhaps because they challenge comfortable assumptions they carry about the world.  Sniffing at it, or casually dropping negative characterizations helps them cope with their insecurity.  If you can look down on something, you must be above it.

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On 7/17/2020 at 11:25 PM, yanceycravat said:

There's a wonderful camp scene where a father is talking about his two son dying from starvation. It's a terrific little performance. It's his only scene. I don't know who the actor is. I looked up the credits on IMDB hoping to find out.  Every time I see this scene I find it very moving. Another example of the quality of talent during the golden age of Hollywood.

Anyone know who this wonderful actor is???439529348_V1221_20200717_201733(02).thumb.jpg.fafecce72083ee88d2b807deae300dd0.jpg

This is Louis Mason.  Stage actor from old Broadway who did quite a few films.

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13 hours ago, umop apisdn said:

I found Arthur Aylesworth's Find A Grave information with a picture located here. It doesn't look like it's the same guy.

PS - this is Arthur Aylesworth (seen here in THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER).

aylesworth.jpg

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11 hours ago, slaytonf said:

Everyone is a socialist.  Not only conservatives, but even people who say they are socialists are socialists.  Everyone is perfectly happy to benefit from the advantages of communities, associations, or government.  The difference is conservatives refuse to acknowledge the benefits they gain, or any responsibilities they might have for those benefits.

Yes, everyone is a "socialist" to some degree - well, almost. There might be some outliers who are so selfish and/or independent that they may eschew society and community completely, but such as that are so rare as to be insignificant.

However, I don't see your assertions toward Conservatives as being valid. Conservatives are fully aware and appreciative of the benefits of community - they just have a greater sense of the importance of each of us taking - and being held to - personal responsibility, both to our own selves and to the community in which we have to live.

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2 hours ago, vidorisking said:

Awesome job! Appears to be him.

It is. Mason was a well-known and well-liked actor. He was a friend of George M. Cohan and wound up playing one of the boarding house guests in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY.

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10 hours ago, Ray Faiola said:

This is Louis Mason.  Stage actor from old Broadway who did quite a few films.

Thanks, Ray. Yep, looks like Louis Mason is our man, alright.

Here's another shot of the guy in a movie (not sure which one) that starred Robert Young and it appears Ralph Bellamy...

00449629.jpg?partner=allrovi.com

 

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11 hours ago, SadPanda said:

Yes, everyone is a "socialist" to some degree - well, almost. There might be some outliers who are so selfish and/or independent that they may eschew society and community completely, but such as that are so rare as to be insignificant.

You don't need quotes around the word.  I'll say it properly:  everyone's a Socialist.  Many of the ideals and policies of socialists have been so integrated into  world societies and economies that they are not recognized.  Want a few examples?  How about the eight hour day/forty hour workweek, with extra pay for overtime?  Unemployment insurance, workman's compensation, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid?  Too bleeding heart liberal for you?  Ok, how about deductions for mortgage interest, tax breaks and subsidies for businesses and farmers?  How about FEMA, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health?  How about the whole idea of deficit spending (which conservatives are better at than anyone else).  Do you think that all the money we spend on national defense is needed for our security?  It's mostly a social spending program that provides tens of thousands of tax-payer funded jobs.  Also by keeping a large standing military, we keep a lot of potential workers out of the labor market, boosting wages.  That's all Socialism, with a big "S".

I'm not saying any or all of that is right or wrong, I'm just saying be honest about it.

11 hours ago, SadPanda said:

they just have a greater sense of the importance of each of us taking - and being held to - personal responsibility,

One of the great misrepresentations of conservatives.  Their meaning is to have others be personally responsible.  The ones who champion it loudest and work to force others to live by that standard are the ones who benefit most from the socialist institutions that exist in our economy and government. 

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