Of Mice and Men (1939)

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Of Mice and Men is a 1939 drama film based on the 1937 play based on the novel of the same title by American author John Steinbeck. It stars Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, Lon Chaney, Jr., Charles Bickford, Roman Bohnen, Bob Steele and Noah Beery, Jr. It was remade in 1992.

The film tells the story of two men, George and his mentally challenged partner Lennie, trying to survive during the dustbowl of the 1930s and pursuing a dream of owning their own ranch, instead of always working for others. Starring in the lead roles were relative Hollywood newcomer Burgess Meredith as George, and veteran actor Lon Chaney Jr. (the son of famed silent film actor Lon Chaney Sr.) as Lennie. Chaney had appeared in more than 50 films to that point in his career, but Of Mice and Men was his first major role.

The film, produced by the Hal Roach Studios, was adapted by Eugene Solow and directed by Lewis Milestone. It was nominated for four Oscars. The musical score was by American composer Aaron Copland. Running in theaters in 1939, it disappeared for many years at a time until the 1980s and 1990s, when it slowly appeared in revival theater houses, video and cable and earned a following of fans (both audience members and film critics) who praised the movie for its brilliant interpretation of the Steinbeck novella.

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