Illustrated by a handful of color photos from the set of the movie, this brief article details why THE GRAPES OF WRATH (Twentieth Century Fox, 1940) was such a different movie to come out of Hollywood and explains how thoroughly both the art and costume departments were in their research in depicting the migrant "Okies" in their Westward flight:
"Realism, keynote of the book, was the keynote of the picture. Henry Fonda, who plays Tom Joad, lived for weeks among the Okie farmers from Oklahoma to understand their problems. A 20the Century-Fox troupe rattled down Highway 66, scene of much of the action of the book, in cars as old and decrepit as that in which the Joads traveled, shooting background shots for the film."
Perhaps Steinbeck saw this 1938 photo-essay while writing his novel?
Click here to read about the Great Depression