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Steven Spielberg to remake The Grapes of Wrath

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Yes, well, aren't you the same casablancalover who used to go on and on about the movie CASABLANCA? :)


What helps with these updated discussions is that we gradually learn more from one another, and that is fun, to learn more about our favorite classic films. :)

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Yes, I already knew much of KANE was revalutionary in terms of film making. Close focus, ceiling shots, low light cinematography. The fact that Toland had to practically INVENT half of the stuff he used is fascinating in itself!






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>Yes, I already knew much of KANE was revalutionary in terms of film making. Close focus, ceiling shots, low light cinematography. The fact that Toland had to practically INVENT half of the stuff he used is fascinating in itself!


Yes, I knew you'd know this Sepia, however the primary point I was attempting to make in my first response to you was more the part I'll will now place in bold letters...


Actually Sepia, the whole cinematography in "Kane" was revolutionary, and thus probably the very reason why the argument COULD be made that to remake THIS film would be a very questionable endeavor to undertake for ANY latter day director, because while the story of ANY man told in flashback format has been successfully done many times since, the story of one Charles Foster Kane will ALWAYS be associated with how revolutionary the camera work was of Gregg Toland's.


And then, I probably should have then gone on to make THIS following point here...and THAT point would be that all this talk of Citizen Kane had been brought into THIS discussion about the remaking The Grapes of Wrath in some people's efforts to correlate why a remake of "TGOW' should not be done because in THEIR words "both films should be considered sacrosanct from doing so".


However, MY point is that one can NOT use these two films in this manner to prove that point because 'Kane" IS pretty much the "benchmark" to which all films are compared because of this very "revolutionary" aspect of it, and whereas Ford's version of "TGOW" IS a very well done piece, it will NEVER be considered "revolutionary" OR be placed as "THE best film ever made" by most film historians and critics as has "Kane", or EVEN within the top five or ten or even twenty "best films" ever made.


And thus my ULTIMATE point here is that all this talk about Citizen Kane in THIS thread has been as "off-topic" AND irrelevant to the original topic as ANY interjected attempt at humor that I or you or finance or any other of us jokers around here have EVER interjected into ANY thread!

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Dargou, I brought up the subject of Kane when I replied to Sep. It just took off, you know how that happens.


Remember the thread about "What movie a guy should take his date to "? It took off in all different directions, but it was fun, Oui ? :)




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Oh, so YOU were the "culprit", eh Twink?!!!


And here all along I thought it was the guy who evidently has me on his "ignore" function now because he evidently feels "insulted" when I disagree with his opinions and when I ask him to expands upon his thoughts by giving me his reasoning for them.




(...well, in either case, it's not that I mind "a good sidetracking" to a thread as I'm sure you know ;), but I think you now may understand why all this talk of 'Kane" and "Toland" and "revolutionary films" is not really pertinent to this discussion here)

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We can sit here all day long and discuss why Spielberg should or should not be able to film another edition of Steinbeck's masterpiece. I wrote Steinbeck, not John Ford.


I do not have all of the facts except that the article that was released around the Fourth of July seemed to indicate that DreamWorks, Spielberg's studio had approached the estate of John Steinbeck to inquire about acquiring the rights to film his great novel again. Nothing new here.


As far as I am concerned no one should be held back or prevented from remaking another movie. It has been done so many times before. In fact many so-called great films have been remade with great success. I see nothing wrong with doing that. Even John Ford, as has been written by others here has gone and remade other older films.


Just because something exists and many people find that the original can not be disturb at any costs, is not a justification for not making a new movie, especially if it is going to concentrate on the original source material.


What I find most interesting about this thread is how the thread was developing early on. It seemed to me that there was a clear divide between those who felt that The Grapes of Wrath could be remade and a very strong opinion that the film should never be remade or that whatever was filmed again would never be able to stand up to the original. To me it was almost a 50-50 split.


Then you decided to comment. Your comment I think was meant to be slightly humorous, wasn't it? Nothing wrong with that!


I think lavenderblue19 might have felt that your first comment was not really up to par (serious enough for the current conversation) so to speak and he told you so. Your response was very good to lavender and you were able to provide additional reasons on why you felt the film should not be remade. You then decided to use the phrase *"Holy Grail of Hollywood Cinema"* in justification for not remaking certain films. You also mentioned that you felt *"it would be disrespectful to think anyone could succeed or match the job John Ford did"*. You also wrote that you felt it would be stupid to even try to re-do it.


Your opinion of Spielberg seems to indicate that you feel he is not very talented nor that he is very good with the films he has directed. Well, that's your opinion, and you ARE entitled to that opinion. But to sit here hour after hour directing your opinions towards others who feel that he has every right to remake the film then that is their right and you should respect their rights to having their opinions.


Based on what you have written on this thread and many other threads on the message board in the past, you seem to me to have this idea that your opinion stands far above many others here. But whenever anyone challenges you or even disagrees with you, what happens? You get soar and angry and then you start accusing others of attacking you. I have written about this before and I am just amused at the thought that anyone would attack others for their opinions. Disagree? Yes. Have a different opinion and then voice it? Yes. But you sir take it to another often disturbing level.


To sit here and pre-judge a film that has not even been "green lighted" yet by a film studio seems rather silly to me. Sure you may have an opinion about how Spielberg directs or the fact that many of his films do not appeal to you, but I don't think I have ever read so much baloney about how a director would film a movie simply based on how the writer has assumed the director has worked before.


You have wrote that you feel Spielberg's justification for remaking this film is the scene from the book about Rose of Sharon breast feeding a dying man. You claim that this scene alone would be the one justification for Spielberg to remake this film.


I am guessing you are basing your belief on the fact that the film would be made in 2014 and that because of today's lack of morals, the film would show this scene in nudity. Is this not correct?


Your response to clore:


They will have the bulk of the scenes lit as if they take place in the warm glow of afternoon. That is how cinematography works today. Warm soft lighting for everything.


This new version will not look as hard and gritty as the original. Their idea of depicting poverty will be using wardrobe from Walmart.


They will get it all wrong. The entire production will be botched. I wish it were already in theatres so I could do a scene by scene analysis of how bad the thing will be. Then we can get back to the business of real classic film.


You seem more than willing to provide us all with a scene by scene deconstruction now even though the film has not yet reached pre-production!!!


Let me ask you something: Have you ever directed a film? More importantly have your peers ever voted an Oscar for you? You obviously have not seen many of Spielberg's films. Well let me tell you that maybe you should check out: The Color Purple, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, War Horse and Lincoln. I did not see any Walmart fashions in those films. Nor was much of the lighting filmed in soft glow either.


Your response to lavenderblue19:


The point is that mocking others and telling them they are close-minded in order to discredit their opinions is down and dirty. You also tried to slam my comments about Drew remaking E.T. She is always saying Film A and Film B should be remade. Why doesn't she and Spielberg get together and remake one of their own. That's a valid question. Turn it back on them. Stop trying to bast*rdize other artists' work.


And so what if people want Spielberg's version to fail. It is their right not to patronize him and his attempts to jump on Zanuck & Ford's great accomplishment. He has a fraction of their talent in my view and I am completely confident that his newer version will not overshadow the original. How could it?


We do know that it will have more violence. There will be profanity. And there will be nudity. That is all Spielberg is going to add to the original film version. And who needs that?


It does not matter if Spielberg intends to stick faithfully to the novel. He will still take liberties. Plus, we can be sure he has seen Ford's version (probably many times) and he is going to influenced by it as much as Steinbeck's writing. Let's call a spade a spade here. No free pass to Spielberg on this. He has been denied.


It seems to me that whenever anyone on the board tries to engage you with some serious discussions about the differences of opinion between you and the other person, you seem to always fall into the same tired old defense?.. you start telling others that they are "mocking" you, or that they are trying to "discredit" you, or even worse, they are "slamming" you for having an opinion that is different than yours. And yet you seem quite adept at hurling your own brand of opinion as well. You seem to relish in upsetting others around here to the point where almost every conversation between you and others turns into a "he said, she said" moment.


I have read the text that lavenderblue19 wrote back to you and no where in his response do I find anything remotely like what you have written back to him to be so negative.


Here is what lavenderblue19 wrote to you:


To be honest here Top Billed, I'm getting INSULTED by your accusations. I believe that you are over reacting, I did not insult you. By pre judging and deciding a film is NOT good is not keeping an open mind. that's just a statement of fact. I certainly did not intentionally MOCK you as I've already explained. I thought we were having an intelligent disagreement of OPINIONS here. You have every right as I do, to post our thoughts. Our philosphies are different, that's all. Whether the film is made, whether it's good or not has no direct impact on my life and that is not my point here. However, I do believe in the RIGHTS of others. That includes your right to your opinion and Mr. Spielberg's right to make his film. I don't believe that remaking a fine piece of literature is an insult to Mr. Ford, just another way of representing Steinbeck's work. There is NO written LAW that said that Mr. Ford was the only director allowed to make a film based on The Grapes of Wrath. Mr. Spielberg has every right to do so, if that's what he's decided to do. There have been many versions of films that I consider to be wonderful. His Girl Friday, considered to be one of the greatest of all screwball comedies as an example has been reworked 4 times.


Again, it's unfortunate that you've chosen to intepret my disagreement with you as personal. It was never meant that way. I've knocked myself out to be honest on your reworking of a thread that was already done on the trivia bds., and many times to be honest I really just did it so that you'd have support on your thread.


But that's neither here nor there, except that that should be an indication to you that I have absolutely nothing against you. I enjoy your many threads, and have respect for you, and your opinions.


Based on this text from lavenderblue19, I see no where in it where he is attacking you or slamming you. I am assuming that you have a very thin skin. You seem to take offence at any suggestions that are either contrary to your beliefs or opinions. And whenever anyone challenges any position you might have you seem to interpret that as an attack upon your thoughts and beliefs.


I have sat here for over a week now reading many of the comments and I just have to wonder why it is so important for you to try and discredit a director who may or may not get the chance to remake a great story. Surely a thread about remaking a great film need not have to dwell into the many variables of opinions that one could have with disdain about one director and his supposed shortcomings of a director.


Other random thoughts.....


It has also been discussed about the Charles Portis novel, True Grit. This was a book that was turned into a star driven vehicle for John Wayne in 1969. Unfortunately the film really did not follow the book as closely as it should have. And the producers decided to film the movie in Colorado and California, not exactly locales that were in the book. The new film was beautifully told. And because the original novel was told from the young girl's point of view, the movie was quite different than the 1969 version, and better in my opinion.


Now if you are one who believes that Spielberg is an inferior director, well then that is your opinion. You have NO idea how Spielberg would film this novel, nor do you really have no clue how he would show certain scenes not shown in the 1940 film. I have read with interest what you wrote about how Spielberg's film would be more violent and use more current language techniques in his film.


I can understand why some would not want to see a new version of The Grapes of Wrath be filmed, but with as many bad films out there that there are at this time, why not film an old book/film? Spielberg has a great track record. You may not like his films, but he has shown a great attention to detail that is really unmatched with any other director that is working today.


I always like to point to the HBO mini series he has been involved with, The Pacific, Into the West (TNT), Band of Brothers. Now, I fully understand that I am NOT trying to compare mini series with films, but in this case just by looking at the detail and story development in these mini series, and also the detail and story development in Spielberg's films, one can easily say that Spielberg is probably the greatest director who is working today.


And if one is to look at his track record of films one can easily be impressed:



War Horse


War of the Worlds (remake)

Catch Me If You Can

Saving Private Ryan


Schindler's List

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Empire of the Sun

The Color Purple

E.T the Extra-Terrestrial

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Close Encounters of the Third Kind


The Sugarland Express


Now I am NOT saying that we can compare Spielberg's output with John Ford. Nor am I going to sit here and claim that Spielberg is a match with John Ford or even his equal. Spielberg is NOT John Ford's equal. However, I do believe that there really is no comparison between Spielberg and many other directors working today. The only area where Spielberg outdoes Ford is in the area of producing. Spielberg has been involved with over 135 producing ventures throughout his career. He has directed "only" 28 feature films compared to Ford's output of just over 100 feature length films and this is not counting the shorts and documentaries Ford has directed. He also produced over 40 titles as well.


As far as being considered for Academy Awards, Spielberg has been nominated more times but has won the Best Director's award only twice. Ford was nominated five times but won the award a record four times.


However, in the area of financial grosses, Spielberg leads everyone else by more than a two to one advantage. His 28 films rank him number one with over $4,155,000,000 with his top earner being 1982's ET with $435 million.


It is unfortunate that we do not have any real idea how much money John Ford's films made. But if I had to guess his grosses would still be under Spielberg's.


Edited by: fxreyman on Jul 14, 2013 1:20 PM

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Its never been my intention to write as many as you have posted.


My goal has and will continue to be to give what I think are thoughtful responses and interpretations of subjects I like to write about.


I always marvel at how often you have posted here along with MissGoddess and others with such high posting counts. I admire the fact that you like to post a lot. Mostly I just sit back and read and when I feel the urge to write, well all I can say is that I give it my all.


Many may not like what or how I write, but I like to give a thorough response to other people here. Ever read any of my posts on my LISTS thread over on the Favorites Forum?


Been here since 2007 and I am still below 2,000 posts!!!

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Well my posts tend to be like those long ocean-going trips made by those old troop transports during WWII. They may take their time, but they don't take any chances either. I have a longer concentration span. I can sit for hours developing a comment or response, just like todays.

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Well, ya KNOW you two, there IS such a thing known as "a happy medium" between two different styles!!! LOL


(...though don't get me wrong...I DO most often enjoy BOTH of your styles around here...though admittedly it IS much easier to play off of finance's than yours, fx!) ;)

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>And because the original novel was told from the young girl's point of view, the movie was quite different than the 1969 version, and better in my opinion.


I agree, but the original film TRUE GRIT wasn't any good. It wasn't a classic.


I saw the new version yesterday and it might become a classic. Very good actors, the girl was really good, the old sheriff was better, his side-kick was better, the photography and locations were better.

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> I agree, but the original film TRUE GRIT wasn't any good. It wasn't a classic.


Well that is your opinion. I have found the 1969 John Wayne film very entertaining over the years. Especially for the Duke's performance. It was wonderful that he was given the opportunity to play that character and even though as some critics have pointed out, that he was basically playing a caricature of himself through the years, I felt that it was a fine role for him to play. Capping it all off with an Oscar just added icing to the cake!


I agree with others on the message boards that his role in that film may not have really been Oscar material, but hey, the Academy often awards actors with awards especially when the performances have not always been the best for a given year. And in his case, after the hugely popular (with fans) The Green Berets in 1968 and his fight with cancer a few years earlier, I am thinking that is why ultimately he got the AA award.


I do not believe I ever called the film a "classic". However if one is to take the meaning of the word classic and apply it over the quality of the films instead of chronologically, then the word "classic" could be applied toward the 1969 film. Anyway I was just using the '69 film as an example to the new 2010 version and I do agree with you on the points you made with the Coen Brothers film.


As some will attest, this 2010 True Grit will be a classic one day, although I consider it a classic already.

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>As some will attest, this 2010 True Grit will be a classic one day, although I consider it a classic already.


So fx, in that case, what year do you think it will be "acceptable" for TCM to show it?


What, maybe around 2050 or so??? I mean I HOPE "you know" that ANY Classic "MUST BE" at least 40 years old to be even CONSIDERED for airing around here, and even THAT is probably pushin' it, 'cause as I'm sure you ALSO 'know", there haven't been any "classic movies" made since around 1970.


(...and so, I sure hope they at least show the COMPLETE Ann Sothern "Maisie" series BEFORE they ever show Jeff Bridges donning that eyepatch, OKAY?!)



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I think they could show it now.


Well, I think that you bring up a very valid point here. Since many folks here dislike post 1960 films so much, to them a 2010 film probably shouldn't be shown at least until and I will use your year here... 2050.


And that is too bad. Of course the film could get included into any of the next few years of the 31 Days of Oscar programming, which is possible. They did manage to show one of the Lord of the Rings movies in the recent past, now didn't they?


And remember the uproar that the showing of that film caused around here. You would have thought we were witnessing some kind of protest or something...

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>I think they could show it now.


Why, I'm SHOCKED to hear such "sacrilege" coming from you, sir!!! LOL


(...you better watch talkin' like this around THESE here parts, boy!...ya KNOW, some folks DO keep tar and feathers in their basement, AND rails CAN still be easily purchased at ANY Home Depot to this very DAY!!!) ;)

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btw fx, I just want to say here that I read that LOOOOONG "dissertation" of yours right down there and I think you NAILED it, brother. ESPECIALLY that part about "some folks" occasionally gettin' overly AND needlessly defensive when their contentions are challenged.


(...though of course all ya did was basically expand upon a lot of the stuff I've been sayin' throughout this thread, and so NATURALLY I would agree with ya there, huh!) ;)


Edited by: Dargo2 on Jul 14, 2013 12:25 PM

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>Well that is your opinion. I have found the 1969 John Wayne film very entertaining over the years.


Yes, we are both expressing our personal opinions. And keep in mind that personal opinions regarding movies can vary quite a lot. :)


I was very disappointed with the 1969 version of TRUE GRIT. The film received a lot of favorable pre-release publicity in the media, and that is why I went to see it.


But, to me, Wayne was just old in the film, and that is all. He had more grit when he was younger. Kim Darby was silly looking, with her goofy 1960s hair style, and she didn't look at all like a 19th Century girl. Glen Campbell was silly looking and acting, and he was not an actor. He always had an expression on his face as if he were thinking, "Dang, how did I wind up in this movie??"


In the film, Wayne played Wayne, Campbell played Campbell, and Darby played Darby (she had played the same Darby character in several TV shows). None of the actors played the characters in the novel.


But in the 2010 TRUE GRIT, I felt the characters were real. The pace moved right along with no lulls. Jeff Bridges was really outstanding and so was Hailee Steinfeld.


This is just my opinion, of course. :)

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Thank you for the kind words. I am now waiting to see if Mr. TopBilled will come back on here and rebut any of my reply to him. May have to wait on that for awhile since he..... well we don't need to go there.


Yes, I have read with interest your replies back to TB. Sorry about that. I guess what I should have done was paid homage to you before I launched into that long dissertation.

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>Thank you for the kind words. I am now waiting to see if Mr. TopBilled will come back on here and rebut any of my reply to him. May have to wait on that for awhile since he..... well we don't need to go there. Yes, I have read with interest your replies back to TB. Sorry about that. I guess what I should have done was paid homage to you before I launched into that long dissertation.


Quite alright, fx. No apology required here, my friend.


(...though I DO have to admit that I WAS startin' to think that just like our friend TB, you TOO might have fallen into that old trap of thinkin' that JUST 'cause I joke around a whole lot around here, that my more "serious" comments on the boards aren't worth YOUR time to peruse and respond to EITHER!!!!) ;)


**** here!!!!

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Are you being serious here Dargo???


Just kidding. We all know that your posts are often funny and off-the-rack so to speak. But as I have read with many of your posts, they are often very serious in tone. In other words you have every right to post whatever you want to post here and if you feel the desire to be more serious, then others will just have to get used to that side of you as well. Just my opinion of course.

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