Sunday, September 16, 2012

Of Mice and Men

In the heart of the Great Depression, kindly, but worn out George and his feeble minded charge Lenny escape their latest fiasco and head to the Salinas River Valley to work on the farm of a wealthy rancher. Along with the rancher's vile, temperamental son and his bored and fetching wife, George and Lenny play out their doomed tragedy of shattered dreams in this early adaptation of John Steinbeck's vintage novella. Lewis Milestone's black and white treatment is outstanding and his film contains much of the power of the book, while stars Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney, Jr. are both outstanding in their roles. Like Gary Sinise's equally excellent 1992 treatment, this predecessor is a moving, gut wrenching tragedy worked from Steinbeck's can't miss story.