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Of Mice and Men

489 customer reviews

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(Nov 06, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

We have a dream. Someday we'll have a little house and a couple of acres. A place to call home. John Steinbeck's timeless classic comes magnificently to life in this beautiful and stirring film starring Oscar nominees John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich) and Gary Sinise (The Green Mile). Directed by Sinise from an adaptation by two-time Oscar winner Horton Foote, this "flawless miracle of movie-making" (Susan Granger, "American Movie Classics") is a must-see for all audiences. Best friends Lennie (Malkovich) and George (Sinise) find themselves unemployed in Depression-era California, unable to maintain a stable working pattern for long because of Lennie's childlike mentality. When they're hired at the Tyler Ranch, they thrive on the work despite the strict supervision of Curley (Casey Siemaszko), the boss' mean-spirited son. But their world is ripped apart when Curley's unhappy wife (Sherilyn Fenn, Twin Peaks) becomes the innocent victim of Lennie's compassion, forcing George to make a compassionate decision of his own.

A strong argument favors Gary Sinise's 1992 Of Mice and Men over the classic 1939 version that critics have historically preferred. As adapted by the great playwright-screenwriter Horton Foote, John Steinbeck's Depression-era masterpiece comes alive with timeless simplicity, more candid in language and behavior, and therefore more honest in its embrace of Steinbeck's beloved pair of lowly dreamers George (Sinise) and his retarded cousin Lennie (John Malkovich). On the lam, they find work as farmhands, joining a close-knit crew and trying to avoid trouble stirred by the dangerously seductive wife (Sherilyn Fenn) of the boss's sadistic son (Casey Siemaszko). There's not a false note or bad performance in the entire film; as veterans of Chicago's acclaimed Steppenwolf Theater, Malkovich and Sinise possess the compassionate chemistry that makes George and Lennie inseparable until the tragic, inevitable final scene. As director, Sinise serves the material with no-frills fidelity; it's easy to believe that Steinbeck would have approved. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: John Malkovich, Gary Sinise, Ray Walston, Casey Siemaszko, Sherilyn Fenn
  • Directors: Gary Sinise
  • Writers: Horton Foote, John Steinbeck
  • Producers: Gary Sinise, Alan C. Blomquist, Russell Smith
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: November 6, 2001
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (489 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005O06H
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,174 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Of Mice and Men" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 101 people found the following review helpful By Miles D. Moore on January 1, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Gary Sinise's "Of Mice and Men" was virtually ignored by critics and public when it was first released, and I have never known why. It strikes me as one of the truly great cinematic adaptations of a literary classic. The screenplay is remarkably faithful to both the letter and spirit of Steinbeck; the photography by Kenneth MacMillan is heartbreakingly beautiful; and the performances by Sinise, John Malkovich and Ray Walston are almost unbearably poignant. My sister, a high-school English teacher, shows this film to all of her classes, and all of them have loved it. This is the rare movie that really imparts the flavor and significance of the novel on which it is based.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful By ROGER L. FOREMAN on December 31, 2005
Format: DVD
I cannot think of a movie adaptation of a "classic" novel in which the actors were more suited for their roles than OF MICE AND MEN (THE CRUCIBLE is close. . .). No offense to Burgess Meredith (from the 1939 version), but John Malkovich was born to play this role (Lennie)! His physical mannerisms (walking, sitting, working in the fields, etc.), his vocal stylings, and his slightly cross-eyed status all contribute to the overwhelming "Lennie-ness" he conveys. His smile is the one I see when I think of George telling the "tend the rabbits" story; his voice is what I hear when I read the book now. Malkovich IS Lennie (or vice versa. . .). Gary Sinise is perfect as the quiet and understated George--he never tries to steal the show but lets the script and the plot situations stay in top priority position. The supporting actors are all extremely good, from Curly, his wife, Candy, Crooks, Slim, and the farm hands--no weak links in the chain whatsoever, which is rare. Exceptional performances all the way around, with great leadership from the two primary actors.

The script is as good as you can possibly get from an adaptation. It is not "word-for-word," but it is close enough for me as a high school English teacher. The differences, both additions and omissions, are not significant enough to draw any criticism for me, and they provide for interesting analysis (compare/contrast) for my students.

Despite the exceptional quality of this movie, the kids still like it!! Some very good movies are just too "good" for high school students to appreciate (THE GREAT GATSBY comes to mind), but this one hits them hard.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Brooke276 on April 6, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
To put it simply, this is possibly the most overlooked film of the 1990's. Never before (or since) have i ever PAID to see a movie in the theatre 4 times. One of the most simplistic enthralling moviegoing experiences one could ever hope to find. This film ranks on my top 5 films of all time, as modern films touch us so seldom, you must recognize a crowning acheivement. I agree with a review below that the cinematography is one of a kind. The blowing barley fields, periwinkle skies and dusty roads are almost felt by the viewer upon watching. I do not think there is a comparison to be made with the 1939 version. Malkovich acts circles around Lon Chaney and Gary Sinise's masterful subtle performance makes Burgess Meredith look foolish. Such a shame that more people did not find this treasure while in the theatres. Believe it or not, when I first met my future husband, he informed me that not only had he seen this version of "Of Mice & men" (Which was an absolute first for me, I thought I was the only one for a while) He had given it 4 stars in his personal review. Needless to say, I had a feeling that I had found the perfect match for myself. THIS is what filmmaking is all about people. Please take note.......
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Chris Behnsen on December 16, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This movie is definately worth the five stars, even with certain flaws. I agree with the idea that the fight scene could use a little work, as it didn't capture the emotion of the fight as the book did. It was too... quiet? Something to that effect. The rest of the movie is wonderful, as it is sad. But the humanitarian aspect at the end is very well thought-out, and really captures the essence of the meaning of Lennie's death.
Truly an inspiration, and a good example of Sinese's directing and acting talent. Of course Malkovich has done quite well in this film. Really an all-star cast, and all-star character portrayals.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 28, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
There's much to be said for Gary Sinise's adaptation of Steinbeck's 1937 classic, OF MICE AND MEN. In many ways, it's a better film than the 1939 United Artist's version (currently available on DVD).
Part of the reason for this is the frankness; Steinbeck's language has finally been loosed from the Breen Office. Too, the mature themes inherent in the novel are allowed full play on the screen--the sexual tensions between Steinbeck's bindle-stiffs and Curley's wife are palpable without being pornographic.
And let it be said right here that Gary Sinise can act rings around Burgess Meredith in the central role of George. It is unlikely anyone will ever nail the part so perfectly again. These elements alone make the film worth seeing.
For Steinbeck purists, however, some things are lacking...particularly in the area of characterization. For all his effort, Malkovich isn't quite convincing as the giant Lennie, lapsing into unfortunate Dracula-like hand-flutters in crucial scenes. He also tends to underplay and swallow important lines as if thinking, "Hell, everyone's read this book in high school, so let's get on with it."
Supporting characters suffer in some cases as well. While Ray Walston is quite good as Candy, changes in some of Steinbeck's other characters are ill-conceived. Curley's wife--in her late teens in the novel, and quite harsh--is played as a sympathetic twenty-something by the beautiful but too-polished Sherilynn Fenn. The aged, handicapped African-American Crooks is conversely played by an actor much too young, and a crucial scene between the two in the book (where she threatens to frame him for rape) is completely absent here.
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