To credit some of the actors who stand out: Thorne is an intense Tom; Scurria is fierce as Ma, and also sweetly comforting upon occasion. As Uncle John, Fred Sullivan, Jr. is captivatingly understated as Uncle John, a character burden with guilt over not getting his late wife medical attention. Joe Wilson, Jr. does a wonderful job conveying the crucial character of Jim Casy, a former preacher ashamed about his fornicating ways. He delivers some penetrating Steinbeckian wisdom concerning our being pieces of a greater soul, transcending our individual foibles.
One of our great literary realists and literate consciences, Steinbeck earlier penned In Dubious Battle, which also dealt with organizing a strike by fruit pickers. The Grapes of Wrath will inspire social justice in this country for as long as there isn’t enough to go around. In other words, forever.