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Of Mice and Men

98 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Burgess Meredith, Lon Chaney. George and Lennie dream of owning their own farm someday in this powerful, Oscar-nominated adaptation of Steinbeck's tragic novel. 1939/b&w/106 min/NR/fullscreen.

Truly one of the unsung triumphs of 1939, this heartfelt adaptation of John Steinbeck's morality tale of two itinerant migrant workers seems just as fresh and powerful decades after its release. Lon Chaney Jr. gives the performance of a lifetime as the sweet yet feeble-minded Lennie, who is befriended by the weary Burgess Meredith. They both would be lost without each other in a rather mixed-up world. Sensitively directed by Lewis Milestone (All Quiet on the Western Front), the film features the first pre-credit sequence in American film history. There's also a nice score by Aaron Copland. --Bill Desowitz

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Lon Chaney Jr., Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, Charles Bickford, Roman Bohnen
  • Directors: Lewis Milestone
  • Writers: Eugene Solow, John Steinbeck
  • Producers: Lewis Milestone, Frank Ross
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (PCM Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 1998
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (98 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305081832
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,340 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Of Mice and Men" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on January 23, 2005
Format: DVD
John Steinbeck's masterful story of friendship is definitively brought to screen in Lewis Milestone's 1939 OF MICE AND MEN. This is a terrific movie, essential viewing for anyone with a tolerance for black and white. The story is so universal and cleanly told this one is hard not to become deeply engrossed in.

Lon Chaney Jr., rightfully, is the chief reason we remember this movie. He nails the role of the feeble-minded Lennie, who wants nothing more than to tend his rabbits. I've never seen this movie before, and I was surprised at how effective Burgess Meredith was as Lennie's friend and protector, George. If Chaney steals most of the scenes he's in, Meredith is the reliable engine, grounded in humanity, that draws us in.

OF MICE AND MEN has been remade once, in 1992, in a production starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise. For all of Malkovich's talents, I still prefer Chaney's performance. More importantly, the 1939 production was contemporaneous with Steinbeck's novel. If the latter movie is a period piece, the 1939 version is current events, and that does make a difference.

Get out the hankies and get ready to be deeply moved. An essential movie.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Mr Peter G George on July 9, 2001
Format: DVD
The greatest year ever for the movies was undoubtedly 1939. Of Mice and Men was a member of the class of '39 and was also one of the ten films to be nominated for best picture that year. Competing against Gone With the Wind it had little chance of winning, but merely to be nominated that year was an achievement. Of Mice and Men is one of the great films and one of the best adaptations of a novel. Only The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden can compete with it as an adaptation of Steinbeck. The film is not as well known as it ought to be, which is a pity as it has a deeply felt story and some superb performances. It really shows the hardships of being a poor farmhand in depression era America and includes many details which give the setting authenticity. Burgess Meredith is wonderful as George while Lon Chaney Junior is a revelation as Lennie. Chaney is probably best known for his horror roles as The Wolf Man, but these roles don't really show his acting ability. Only in his brief role in High Noon does he show the acting ability that is so clearly evident from his performance in Of Mice and Men. George and Lennie's friendship and interdependence forms the heart of the film, but the film is also about loneliness. This is especially shown with regard to two characters, Crooks played by Leigh Whipper, who is excluded from the rest of the workers because of the colour of his skin, and Mae played by Betty Field, whose jealous husband wont allow her to talk to anyone. Field had a great acting talent and her film roles are very distinctive. Here she shows the loneliness and desperation for human contact of a woman who has married the wrong man. It is her search for some warmth that leads her to Lennie and this has unforeseen consequences for everyone.Read more ›
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By P. Ferrigno on January 4, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
From 1939, arguably the most oustanding year for films in Hollywood history, this eloquent, moving and touching film is almost a forgotten piece of masterful moviemaking.
Lewis Milestone faithfully brought to the screen John Steinbecks time honored novel about two nomadic workers sharing a simple dream of one day owning their own farm. Lon Chaney gives his most memorable performance (apart from his portrayal's as tormented wolf man, Lawrence Talbot) as the immensely strong, but simple-minded Lennie. Burgess Meredith, in a fine performance too, plays his jaded travelling companion, George Milton. The two men seek work on a farm bucking barley, but their situation quickly darkens due to the aggressive, bullying attitudes of the owners son, Curley (well acted by serial cowboy, Bob Steele) and his bored and lonely wife, Mae (Betty Field)
In addition to this masterly casting, there is marvellous support lent by Charles Bickford as the straightforward head ranch hand, Slim.....Noah Beery Jr. as the kind hearted and easy going cowpoke, Whit....and noted stage actor Roman Bohen is simply unforgettable as the crippled old timer, Candy. Bohen solidly contributes to many key scenes throughout the film, and his on screen relationship with his faithful, old dog is exceptionally moving (aided by a poignant score from Aaron Copeland)
"Of Mice and Men" rightfully deserves it's place as one of the finest American films of the twentieth century. An inspiring piece of film making that will illict a wide range of emotions from fans of strong, story driven films. Simply, a must see !
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paula E. Harris on April 9, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Yeah, yeah, so it's a major motion picture that has been forgotten, etc., but I never forgot it. I first saw it when I was 11 years old, and it shocked and saddened me the same way the Zapruder film did when I first saw it. (In other words, I burst quite unexpectedly into tears. I hadn't read the Steinbeck short novel yet.) I became a lifelong fan of Aaron Copland, the composer of the film's score, and I already liked Lon Chaney because of the Wolfman and Mummy movies, and also Burgess Meredith, pre-Batman and pre-Rocky. All I can say is, in addition to the very moving Candy's dog sequence, the end of the film in which the music softly swells up while the squirrel runs up the tree and the leaves fall has to be one of the most affecting scenes ever made. Also I found that as I grew older, the plight of Curley's wife Mae touches me profoundly. Just thinking of Slim saying "poor kid, I shoulda let her talk" makes me kinda sorta a little bit weepy. *sigh* a real gem. (And it's not really in B&W, but sepia.) I actually bought the movie on two LP's in the pre-video days, and my best friend and I used to sit and sob and listen to the last side of the four sides over and over in order to weep.
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