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Grapes of Wrath, The (1940)
by Nunnally Johnson.More info
about this movie on IMDb.com
Based on the Novel "The Grapes Of Wrath" By
AN OKLAHOMA PAVED HIGHWAY in daylight. At some distance,
hoofing down the highway, comes Tom Joad. He wears a new
stiff suit of clothes, ill-fitting, and a stiff new cap,
which he gradually manages to break down into something
comfortable. He comes down the left side of the road, the
better to watch the cars that pass him. As he approaches,
the scene changes to a roadside short-order RESTAURANT on
the right side of the road. From it comes the sound of a
phonograph playing a 1939 popular song. In front of the eatery
is a huge Diesel truck labeled: OKLAHOMA CITY TRANSPORT
COMPANY. The driver, a heavy man with army breeches and high-
laced boots, comes out of the restaurant, the screen door
slamming behind him. He is chewing on a toothpick. A waitress
appears at the door, behind the screen.
When you be back?
Couple a weeks. Don't do nothin' you
wouldn't want me to hear about!
We see him climbing into the cab of the truck from the right
side. Getting behind the wheel, he is releasing the handbrake
when Tom appears at the driver's seat window.
How about a lift, mister?
Can't you see that sticker?
He indicates a "No Riders" sticker on the windshield.
Sure I see it. But a good guy don't
pay no attention to what some heel
makes him stick on his truck.
After a moment of hesitation the driver releases the brake.
Scrunch down on the running board
till we get around the bend.
As Tom scrunches down on the running board the driver throws
the truck into gear and it moves.
The scene dissolves to the CAB OF THE TRUCK. It is day, and
Tom is seated beside the driver, who is surreptitiously eyeing
him, trying to confirm some suspicion--an inspection which
Tom ignores at first.
(shaking his head)
Just a few miles. I'd a walked her
if my dogs wasn't pooped out.
Lookin' for a job?
No, my old man got a place, forty
acres. He's a sharecropper, but we
been there a long time.
(after a curious glance)
Cautiously, the driver's eyes drop to Tom's feet. We see
TOM'S SHOES. They are prison shoes--new, stiff and bulky.
Curiosity is in the eyes of the DRIVER as they shoot a swift
glance at Tom. TOM is looking straight ahead, with the dead-
pan look that prisoners get when they are trying to conceal
something. The DRIVER'S eyes take in Tom's hands and the
Been doin' a job?
I seen your hands. You been swinging
a pick or a sledge--that shines up
your hands. I notice little things
like that all the time.
(After a pause)
Got a trade?
Why don't you get to it, buddy?
Get to what?
You know what I mean. You been givin'
me a goin' over ever since I got in.
Whyn't you go on and ask me where I
I don't stick my nose in nobody's
(a little frightened)
I stay in my own yard.
Listen. That big nose of yours been
goin' over me like a sheep in a
vegetable patch. But I ain't keepin'
it a secret. I been in the
penitentiary. Been there four years.
Like to know anything else?
You ain't got to get sore.
Go ahead. Ask me anything you want.
I didn't mean nothing.
Me neither. I'm just tryin' to get
along without shovin' anybody around,
(After a pause)
See that road up ahead?
That's where I get off.
With a sigh of relief the driver puts his foot on the brake.
The TRUCK stops and Tom gets out. He look at the uneasy driver
You're about to bust to know what I
done, ain't you? Well, I ain't a
guy to let you down.
The driver throws the truck into gear. He doesn't like this
I never asked you!
(as the truck moves
Sure, but you'd a throwed a fit if I
hadn't tol' you.
He looks indifferently after the truck and then starts on
foot down the dirt crossroad. A wind has begun to blow.
The scene dissolves to the roadside under a WILLOW TREE in
daylight. The wind is still blowing. Sitting on the ground,
his back against the tree, Casy, a long, lean man in overalls,
blue shirt, and one sneaker, is fixing something on the other
dirty sneaker. To the tune of "Yes, Sir, That's My Baby" he
is absent-mindedly singing.
Mmmmm he's my saviour. Mmmmm my
saviour, Mmmmmmmmmm my saviour now.
(Looking up as Tom
comes down the road)
Carrying his coat under his arm, TOM wipes his face with his
cap as he cuts off the road to acknowledge the greeting.
He stops, grateful for the momentary relief of the shade.
Say, ain't you young Tom Joad--ol'
Yeah. On my way home now.
Well, I do declare!
I baptized you, son.
Why, you're the preacher!
*Used* to be. Not no more. I lost
But boy, I sure *used* to have it!
I'd get an irrigation ditch so
squirmin' full of repented sinners I
pretty near *drowned* half of 'em!
But not no more. I lost the sperit.
(with a grin)
Pa always said you was never cut out
to be a preacher.
I got nothin' to preach about no
more--that's all. I ain't so sure o'
Maybe you should a got yourself a
(shakes his head sadly)
At my meetin's I used to get the
girls glory-shoutin' till they about
passed out. Then, I'd go to comfort
'em--and always end up by lovin'
'em. I'd feel bad, an' pray, an'
pray, but it didn't do no good. Next
time, do it again. I figgered there
just wasn't no hope for me.
I never let one go by me when I could
But you wasn't a preacher. A girl
was just a girl to you. But to me
they was holy vessels. I was savin'
I ast myself--what *is* this call,
the Holy Sperit? Maybe *that's* love.
Why, I love everybody so much I'm
fit to bust sometimes! So maybe
there ain't no sin an' there ain't
no virtue. There's just what people
do. Some things folks do is nice,
and some ain't so nice. But that's
as far as any man's got a right to
(after a moment,
figuring there is no
out a flask, which
Have a little snort?
(holding the flask)
Course I'll say grace if somebody
sets out the food--
(shaking his head)
--but my heart ain't in it.
(He takes a long pull)
Nice drinkin' liquor.
Ought to be. That's fact'ry liquor.
Cost me a buck.
(handing back the
Been out travelin' around?
Didn't you hear? It was in the papers.
No, I never. What?
I been in the penitentiary for four
Excuse me for asking.
I don't mind any more. I'd do what I
done again. I killed a guy at a dance.
We was drunk. He got a knife in me
and I laid him out with a shovel.
Knocked his head plumb to squash.
And you ain't ashamed?
(shaking his head)
He had a knife in me. That's why
they only gave me seven years. Got
out in four--parole.
Ain't you seen your folks since then?
(putting on his coat)
No, but I aim to before sundown.
Gettin' kind of excited about it,
too. Which way you going?
(putting on his sneaker)
It don't matter. Ever since I lost
the sperit it looks like I just as
soon go one way as the other.
I'll go your way.
They pause at the edge of the shade, squint up at the sky,
and then move off.
The scene dissolves to the SURFACE OF A DIRT ROAD by daylight.
Leaves are scuttling across it. The top soil begins to fly
up. It is not a hard wind as yet, but it is steady and
persistent. Tom's and Casy's feet walk into sight.
Maybe Ma'll have pork for supper. I
ain't had pork but four times in
four years--every Christmas.
I'll be glad to see you pa. Last
time I seen him was at a baptizin',
an' he had one a the bigges' doses
of the Holy Sperit I ever seen. He
go to jumpin' over bushes, howlin'
like a dog-wolf in moon-time. Fin'ly
he picks hisself out a bush big as a
piana an' he let out a squawk an'
took a run at that bush. Well, sir,
he cleared her but he bust his leg
snap in two. They was a travellin'
dentist there and he set her, an' I
give her a prayin' over, but they
wasn't no more Holy Sperit in your
pa after that.
Lissen. This wind's fixin't to *do*
Shore it is. It always is, this time
Tom, holding his cap on his head with his hand, looks up...
The TOPS OF THE TREES are bending before the wind. TOM AND
CASY continue walking.
Is it fur?
(still looking back)
Just around that next bend.
TOM AND CASY are almost being blown along and dust is rising
from the road.
(lifting his voice
above the wind)
Your granma was a great one, too.
The third time she got religion she
go it so powerful she knocked down a
full-growed deacon with her fist.
That's our place.
The JOAD CABIN is an ancient, bleak, sway-backed building.
There is neither sign of life or habitation about it.
And it ain't any too close, either!
We better run!
A DUST STORM, like a black wall, rises into the sky, moving
forward. TOM AND CASY are running, but looking back over
their shoulders as the DUST STORM nears. Dust rises from the
ground to join and thicken the black wall.
TOM AND CASY are seen racing down the road to the cabin, the
wind whipping up the dust. The two men smack open the door
and slam it shut after them. The screen begins to grow dark
as the storm sweeps over the land. It becomes black.
In THE CABIN, it is black too, but the sound is different.
In addition to the sound of the wind there is the soft hissing
of sand against the house.
Ma?... Pa?... Ain't nobody here?
(After a long silence)
You got a match?
There was some pieces of candle always
on a shelf.
Presently, after shuffling about, he has found them and lights
one. He holds it up, lighting the room. A couple of wooden
boxes are on the floor, a few miserable discarded things,
and that's all. Tom's eyes are bewildered.
They're all gone--or dead.
They never wrote you nothing?
No. They wasn't people to write.
From the floor he picks up a woman's high button shoe, curled
up at the toe and broken over the instep.
This was Ma's. Had 'em for years.
Dropping the shoe, he picks up a battered felt hat.
This used to be mine. I give it to
Grampa when I went away.
You reckon they could be dead?
I never heard nothin' about it.
Dropping the hat, he moves with the candle toward the door
to the back, the only other room of the cabin. He stands in
the doorway, holding the candle high.
In the BACK ROOM the scene moves from Tom at the door across
the room to the shadows, where a skinny little man sits
motionless, wide-eyed, staring at Tom. His name is Muley.
Muley! Where's my folks, Muley?
I know that! But *where* they gone?
Muley does not reply. He is looking up at Casy as he enters.
This is Muley Graves.
You remember the preacher, don't
I ain't no preacher anymore.
All right, you remember the *man*
MULEY AND CASY
Glad to see you again. Glad to see
Now where is my folks?
--over to your Uncle John's. The
whole crowd of 'em, two weeks ago.
But they can't stay there either,
because John's got *his* notice to
But what's happened? How come they
got to get off? We been here fifty
Ever'body got to get off. Ever'body
leavin', goin' to California. My
folks, your folks, ever'body's folks.
(After a pause)
Ever'body but me. I ain't gettin'
But who done it?
listens to the storm)
That's some of what done it--the
dusters. Started it, anyway. Blowin'
like this, year after year--blowin'
the land away, blowin' the crops
away, blowin' us away now.
Are you crazy?
Some say I am.
(After a pause)
You want to hear what happened?
That's what I asked you, ain't it?
MULEY is seen at close range. Not actually crazy, Muley is a
little touched. His eyes rove upward as he listens to the
sound of the storm, the sough of the wind and the soft hiss
of the sand. Then...
The way it happens--the way it
happened to me--the man come one
The scene dissolves to MULEY'S DOORYARD. It is a soft spring
day, with the peaceful sounds of the country. Seated in a
three-year-old touring car is THE MAN, a city man with a
collar and tie. He hates to do what he is doing and this
makes him gruff and curt, to hide his misgivings. Squatted
beside the car are Muley, his son-in-law, and a half-grown
son. At a respectful distance stand Muley's wife, his
daughter, with a baby in her arms, and a small barefooted
girl, watching worriedly. The men soberly trace marks on the
ground with small sticks. A hound dog sniffs at the automobile
Fact of the matter, Muley, after
what them dusters done to the land,
the tenant system don't work no more.
It don't even break even, much less
show a profit. One man on a tractor
can handle twelve or fourteen of
these places. You just pay him a
wage and take *all* the crop.
But we couldn't *do* on any less'n
what our share is now.
The chillun ain't gettin' enough to
eat as it is, and they're so ragged
we'd be shamed if ever'body else's
chillun wasn't the same way.
I can't help that. All I know is I
got my orders. They told me to tell
you you got to get off, and that's
what I'm telling you.
Muley stands in anger. The two younger men pattern after
You mean get off my own land?
Now don't go blaming me. It ain't
Whose fault is it?
You know who owns the land--the
Shawnee Land and Cattle Company.
Who's the Shawnee Land and Cattle
It ain't nobody. It's a company.
They got a pres'dent, ain't they?
They got somebody that knows what a
shotgun's for, ain't they?
But it ain't *his* fault, because
the *bank* tells him what to do.
All right. Where's the bank?
Tulsa. But what's the use of picking
on him? He ain't anything but the
manager, and half crazy hisself,
trying to keep up with his orders
from the east!
Then who *do* we shoot?
(stepping on the
Brother, I don't know. If I did I'd
tell you. But I just don't know
*who's* to blame!
Well, I'm right here to tell you,
mister, ain't *nobody* going to push
me off *my* land! Grampa took up
this land seventy years ago. My pa
was born here. We was *all* born on
it, and some of us got killed on it,
and some died on it. And that's what
makes it ourn--bein' born on it, and
workin' it, and dyin' on it--and not
no piece of paper with writin' on
it! So just come on and try to push
The scene dissolves to the BACK ROOM. The sound of the storm
is heard again as Tom and Casy watch Muley.
They come. They come and pushed me
We see MULEY at close range.
They come with the cats.
The cats--the caterpillar tractors.
The scene dissolves to a MONTAGE OF TRACTORS: tractors looming
over hillocks, flattening fences, through gullies, their
drivers looking like robots, with goggles, dust masks over
mouth and nose--one after the other, crossing and recrossing
as if to convey the impression that this was an invasion of
machine-men from some other world.
And for ever' one of 'em ten-fifteen
families gets throwed outa their
homes--one hundred folks with no
place to live but on the road. The
Rances, the Perrys, the Peterses,
the Joadses--one after another they
got throwed out. Half the folks you
and me know--throwed right out into
the road. The one that got me come a
The scene dissolves to MULEY'S FARM. We see the backs of
Muley and the two younger men standing shoulder to shoulder
watching a lumbering tractor headed straight toward them. It
is at some distance. Muley holds a shotgun. His son has a
baling hook. The son-in-law has a two-by-four. Behind them
is their cabin. Frightened and huddled together are the women
and children. The roar of the tractor comes closer.
You come any closer and I'm gonna
blow you right outa that cat!
(He lifts his shotgun)
The TRACTOR continues to lumber along, its driver goggled
and black of face where his dust mask doesn't cover. MULEY
lifts his shotgun to his shoulder, and aims.
I *tol'* you!
The TRACTOR stops. The driver takes off his goggles and dust
mask. Like the others he's a country boy. His face is sullen.
Muley is lowering his shotgun. There is a surprise in his
face as he recognizes the driver.
Why, you're Joe Davis's boy!
He moves forward, followed by his son and son-in-law in the
TRACTOR. Davis is wiping his face as they walk toward him.
I don't like nobody drawin' a bead
Then what are you doin' this kind a
thing for--against your own people?
For three dollars a day, that's what
I'm doin' it for. I got two little
kids. I got a wife and my wife's
mother. Them people got to eat. Fust
and on'y thing I got to think about
is my own folks. What happens to
other folks is their lookout.
But this is *my land*, son. Don't
(putting his goggles
*Used* to be your land. B'longs to
the comp'ny now.
We see THE WOMENFOLKS. A small girl pulls her mother's dress.
What's he fixin' to do, ma?
Back to the TRACTOR AND THE MEN:
Have it your own way, son, but just
as sure as you touch my house with
that cat I'm gonna blow you plumb to
You ain't gonna blow nobody nowhere.
First place, you'd get hung and you
know it. For another, it wouldn't be
two days before they'd have another
guy here to take my place.
And the tractor roars into slow motion again...
We see the HOUSE AND TRACTOR. The womenfolks scamper out of
the way as the tractor heads for a corner of the house. It
goes over a ramshackle fence and then a feeble little flower
bed. Muley and the two younger men walk along. Breathing
hard, frightened and desperate, Muley is shouting warnings
at Davis, but the roar of the tractor drowns his voice. The
dog barks excitedly, snarling at the tractor. THE WOMENFOLKS
stand watching, terrified but dead pan, until a cry bursts
from Muley's wife.
Don't! Please don't!
The little girl begins to whimper.
I'm tellin' you!
The TRACTOR moves across the yard, nosing a chair out of the
way, and with a rending of boards hits a corner of the house,
knocking a part of the foundation away. The corner of the
house sinks. MULEY lifts his shotgun, aims it, holds it, and
then slowly lowers it. As he stands looking at what has
happened his shoulders sag. He seems almost to shrink.
The scene dissolves to MULEY, once more in the back room of
Tom's old home, as the sound of the storm continues.
What was the use. He was right. There
wasn't a thing in the world I could
do about it.
But it don't seem possible--kicked
off like that!
The rest of my fambly set out for
the west--there wasn't nothin' to
eat--but I couldn't leave. Somepin'
wouldn't let me. So now I just wander
around. Sleep wherever I am. I used
to tell myself I was lookin' out for
things, so when they come back
ever'thing would be all right. But I
knowed that wan't true. There ain't
nothin' to look out for. And ain't
nobody comin' back. They're gone--
and me, I'm just an 'ol graveyard
ghost--that's all in the world I am.
Tom rises in his agitation and bewilderment.
You think I'm touched.
No. You're lonely--but you ain't
It don't matter. If I'm touched, I'm
touched, and that's all there is to
(still unable to grasp
What I can't understand is my folks
takin' it! Like ma! I seen her nearly
beat a peddler to death with a live
chicken. She aimed to go for him
with an ax she had in the other hand
but she got mixed up and forgot which
hand was which and when she got
through with that peddler all she
had left was two chicken legs.
He looks down at Muley.
Just a plain 'ol graveyard ghost,
His eyes are dull on the floor. The sound of the dust storm
The scene dissolves to the EXTERIOR OF THE CABIN at night.
It is several hours later and the sound of the storm has
faded out. Now all is silence as first Tom, then Casy, and
finally Muley steps out of the cabin and looks around. There
is still a slight fog of dust in the air, and clouds of
powderlike dust shoot up around their feet. All three men
have wet rags tied over their mouths and noses.
What you figger to do?
It's hard to say. Stay here till
mornin' an' then go on over to Uncle
John's, I reckon. After that I don't
(Faint sound of motor)
That's them! Them lights! Come on,
we got to hide out!
Hide out for what? We ain't doin'
You're *trespassin'*! It ain't you
lan' no more! An' that's the
supr'tendant--with a gun!
Come on, Tom. You're on parole.
A CAR approaches at some distance, the headlights moving up
and down as the car rides a dirt road.
A PART OF THE COTTON FIELD: Muley leads the way.
All you got to do is lay down an'
(as they lie down)
Won't they come out here?
I don't think so. One come out here
once an' I clipped him from behin'
with a fence stake. They ain't
THE EXTERIOR OF THE CABIN: The car stops. A strong searchlight
flashes on and goes over the cabin.
(After a pause)
He ain't here.
The car moves on.
TOM, CASY AND MULEY lie flat, listening to the sound of the
car going away.
Anybody ever 'tol me I'd be hidin'
out on my own place...!
He whistles, as the scene fades out.
DRIED CORNSTALKS, seen by daylight, fade in. The cornstalks,
their roots blown clean and clear of the earth, lie fallen
in one direction. This is what has happened to farms that
were once rich and green. Then Uncle John's cabin comes into
view. It is just after sunup. The air is filled with country
sounds--a shrill chorus of birds, a dog barking in the
distance. The cabin is of the same general appearance as the
Joad cabin but even smaller. Smoke curls from the chimney.
We see a PLATTER ON A TABLE, inside the cabin. The platter
is filled with sidemeat. Over the scene comes Ma Joad's voice.
Lord, make us thankful for what we
are about to receive, for His sake.
As she speaks, a man's scrawny hand reaches forward and sneaks
out a piece of sidemeat.
Five people are seated around the breakfast table on chairs
or boxes. They are Pa, Grampa, Granma, Noah, and Uncle John.
Two children, Ruthie and Winfield, stand to the table, because
there are no more chairs. Their heads are all bent as Ma,
standing with a fork in her hand between the table and the
stove, ends the grace. Heads lift and there is a bustle as
Ma turns back to the frying pork on the stove and the others
truck into their food. Granma points a spiteful finger at
I seen you!--You et durin' grace!
One little ole dab!--one teeny little
RUTHIE AND WINFIELD, though they are shoveling it in, are
grinning at Grampa.
(in a snickering
whisper to Winfield)
Ain't he messy though!
I seen him!--gobblin' away like an
Whyn't you keep your eyes shet durin'
grace, you ole...
NOAH is solemnly studying a handbill. Over his shoulder the
HANDBILL can be read: "800 PICKERS WANTED--WORK IN CALIFORNIA"
We see NOAH AND UNCLE JOHN.
(who is a half-wit)
What's it say again?
Says plenty work in California--
peaches. Eight hundred pickers needed.
Noah frowns at the print.
(who has mush on his
Wait'll I get to California! Gonna
reach up and pick me an orange
whenever I want it! Or grapes. That
there's somethin' I ain't *never*
had enough of! Gonna get me a whole
bunch a grapes off a bush and I'm
gonna squash 'em all over my face
and just let the juice dreen down
offen my chin!
(in a feeble bleat)
Puh-raise the Lawd for vittory!
Maybe I get me a whole *washtub*
fulla them grapes and jest sit in
'em and scrooge around till they was
I shore would like to do that!
RUTHIE AND WINFIELD are snickering. Ruthie has smeared her
face with mush. She pulls Winfield around to see.
Look. I'm Grampa!
She begins to slobber in mimicry. Winfield snickers. At that
instant Ma enters, unobserved, and without a word give Ruthie
a fine wallop. Nobody else pays any attention to the slap as
Ma, a bucket in her hand, moves on toward the door. We see
her now in the BACKYARD, first at the door, then moving toward
the well. She stops dead still, her eyes gazing outward.
TOM is looking at the household goods piled around the yard,
to be taken to California. Casy is in the background. Then
Tom looks up and see Ma (out of the scene). His face softens.
He moves toward her.
Thank God. Oh thank God.
(In sudden terror as
Tommy, you didn't *bust* out, didya?
You ain't got to hide, have you?
No, Ma. I'm paroled. I got my papers.
With a sigh and a smile, and her eyes full of wonder, she
feels his arm. Her fingers touch his cheek, as if she were
blind. Swelling with emotion, Tom bites his lip to control
I was so scared we was goin' away
without you--and we'd never see each
I'd a found you, Ma.
CASY, with great politeness, turns his back to the scene and
keeps well away from it.
TOM now looks around at the dusty furniture piled around the
Muley tol' me what happened, Ma. Are
we goin' to California true?
We *got* to, Tommy. But that's gonna
be awright. I seen the han'bills,
about how much work they is, an'
high wages, too. But I gotta fin'
out somepin' else first, Tommy.
Did they hurt you, son? Did they
hurt you an' make you mean-mad?
Sometimes they do.
No, Ma I was at first--but not no
(not yet quite
Sometimes they do somethin' to you,
Tommy. They hurt you--and you get
mad--and then you get mean--and they
hurt you again--and you get meaner,
and meaner--till you ain't no boy or
no man any more, but just a walkin'
chunk a mean-mad. Did they hurt you
like that, Tommy?
No, Ma. You don't have to worry about
Thank God. I--I don't want no mean
(She loves him with
At the DOOR, Pa is staring toward them, his mouth open.
(almost to himself)
(Then shouting inside)
It's Tommy back!
(Heading for Tom)
What'd you do, son--bust out?
INSIDE UNCLE JOHN'S CABIN, all but Granma are staring toward
the door. Then all but Granma scramble to their feet, headed
for the door.
WINFIELD AND RUTHIE
(in an excited chant)
Tom's outa ja-ul! Tom's outa ja-ul!
I knowed it! Couldn't keep him in!
Can't keep a Joad in! I knowed it
from the fust!
The children and Grampa scramble out first, followed hurriedly
but less rowdily by Uncle John and Noah. Granma, aware only
that there is some excitement, looks interestedly after them
but decides against any activity.
Puh-raise the Lawd for vittory!
(she resumes eating)
In the BACKYARD, the prodigal son, mother and father proudly
beside him, is having his hand wrung by Grampa, who vainly
tries to button various buttons of his shirt, as always. The
two children jump up and down excitedly but are too shy to
force themselves into the reception.
You know what I al'ays said: "Tom'll
come bustin' outa that jail like a
bull through a corral fence." Can't
keep no Joad in jail!
I didn't bust out. They lemme out.
Howya, Noah. Howya, Uncle John.
NOAH AND JOHN
Fine, Tommy. Glad to see you.
I was the same way myself. Put me in
jail and I'd bust right out. Couldn't
As Tom chucks the two children under the chin, the rattling
roar of a jalopy causes all to turn to look.
(shaking his head)
The roar increases. A home-built TRUCK comes around the corner
of the house. Once a Hudson sedan, the top has been cut in
two and a truck body constructed. It is driven now by Al,
and on the front seat with him are Rosasharn and Connie. The
arrival, as the truck moves into the yard, increases the
excitement, and the scene is a little incoherent with the
talking and shouting and the noise of the jalopy.
AL AND ROSASHARN
Hi, Tom! Howya doin'?
(surprised and pleased)
Rosasharn! Hi, Rosasharn! Howya, Al!
The jailbird's back! The jailbird's
Hi, Ma! Hi, Connie! Hiya, Grampa!
That's Connie Rivers with her. They're
She's due about three-four months.
Why, she wasn't no more'n a kid when
I went up.
(eagerly as he jumps
You bust outa jail, Tom?
Naw. They paroled me.
This is Connie, my husband.
If this don't beat all!
Well, I see you been busy already!
You do not see either!--not yet!
At the whoop of laughter that goes up from all, she turns in
a fine simulation of maidenly mortification, and throws
herself into Connie's arms, hiding her face against his chest.
After a moment of surprise, a slow, happy, fatuous grin begins
to broaden his face. He beams, whereupon their delight
increases, the men roaring and jeering and slapping their
legs, the women making modest efforts to suppress their
Lookut his face! Y'see his face?
Lookut Rosasharn! Y'ever see anything
like her face when Tom said it? Look
around, Rosasharn! Let's see it again!
An automobile horn sounds sharply. Their laughter halted as
though cut by a knife, they look off. A TOURING CAR has
stopped in the road by the house, the engine still running.
One man drives, the other talks.
Hey, Joad! John Joad!
In the BACKYARD the people are silent, their faces without
expression, as all gaze toward the touring car.
Ain't forgot, have you?
We ain't forgot.
Comin' through here tomorrow, you
I know. We be out. We be out by sunup.
The touring car's engine is still heard after the men drive
off. The Joads watch the car, their heads turning, their
eyes following, expressionless.
The scene dissolves to the BACKYARD just before dawn. Now
and then a rooster crows. A couple of lanterns light the
scene as the man load the truck. It is nearly done, the body
piled high but flat with boxes, and more tied on running
boards. Al has the hood open and is working on the motor.
Noah, Casy, Uncle John, Connie, Pa, and Tom are at various
tasks. They talk as they work.
How you get all this money?
Sol' things, chopped cotton--even
Grampa. Got us about two hunnerd
dollars all tol'. Shucked out seventy-
five for this truck, but we still
got nearly a hunnerd and fifty to
set out on. I figger we oughta be
able to make it on that.
Easy. After all, they ain't but about
*twelve* of us, is they?
(proudly closing the
She'll prob'ly ride like a bull calf--
but she'll ride!
Reckon we better begin roustin' 'em
out if we aim to get outa here by
daylight. How about it, John? How
you boys comin'?
(He casts a critical
eye over the truck)
INSIDE THE CABIN, Ma sits on a box in front of the stove.
The fire door is open and the light shines out. The room
itself has been pretty well stripped, with only trash and
discarded things left. In Ma's lap is a pasteboard shoebox
and she is going through the meager treasures stored in it,
to see what must go and what she can take with her. Her eyes
are soft and thoughtful as each item brings a memory, but
not sad. Occasionally she smiles faintly. She pulls out a
letter, looks at it, starts to throw it into the fire, then
puts it back in the box. Her hand pulls out a PICTURE
POSTCARD. We see it in Ma's hand. It is a picture of the
Statue Of Liberty. Over it: "Greetings from New York City."
She turns it over. It is addressed: "Mrs. Joad RFD 254
Oklahomy Territory." In the space for a message: "Hello honey.
MA, after a moment of studying it, throws the card into the
fire. She lifts the letter again, puts it back. She pulls
out a worn NEWSPAPER CLIPPING. We see it in Ma's hand. The
headline is: "JOAD GETS SEVEN YEARS."
MA drops the clipping into the fire. Rummaging around, she
pulls out a small CHINA DOG. We see it closely as before. On
it is printed: "Souvenir of Louisiana Purchase Exposition--
MA studies the dog, smiling, remembering something that it
meant in her life. Then she puts in in a pocket in her dress.
Next she pulls out some pieces of cheap jewelry; one cuff
link, a baby's signet ring, two earrings. She smiles at the
ring, then pockets it. The cuff link too. The earrings she
holds for a moment longer, then looks around to make sure
nobody sees, then holds them to her ears, not looking into
any kind of a mirror, just feeling them against the lobes of
her ears, as once perhaps she wore them. Her eyes are grave.
(from the door)
How about it, Ma?
Tom disappears. Ma looks at the earrings, and then at the
contents of the box. She lifts out the letter again and looks
at it. Then, without drama, she drops it into the fire. She
watches it burn. Her eyes are still on the flame as she calls.
Rosasharn honey! Wake up the chillun.
We're fixin' to leave.
The flame dies down.
In the BACKYARD it is grey dawn. There is a thrill of quiet
excitement as they all stand around the loaded truck, hats
on, putting on coats. The ones missing are Ma, Rosasharn,
the children, and Grampa. Pa is in charge.
(as Ma comes out of
Where's Grampa? Al, go git him.
(trying to climb in
the front seat)
I'm gonna sit up front! Somebody
Tom easily lifts her up the step. The two children come
running out of the house, chanting.
RUTHIE AND WINFIELD
Goin' to California! Goin' to
You kids climb up first, on top.
(all obey as he directs)
Al's gonna drive, Ma. You sit up
there with him and Granma and we'll
swap around later.
I ain't gonna sit with Grampa!
Connie, you he'p Rosasharn up there
alongside Ruthie and Winfiel'.
(with a cackle)
Where he al'ays is, prob'ly!
Well, leave him a place, but Noah,
you and John, y'all kinda find
yourself a place--kinda keep it even
All have obeyed and are aboard but Pa, Tom, and Casy, who is
watching the springs flatten out.
Think she'll hold?
If she does it'll be a miracle outa
Lemmo go, gol dang it! Lemmo go, I
All turn. In a CORNER OF THE HOUSE Al is pulling Grampa gently
but firmly, the old man holding back, and furious. He flails
feebly at Al, who holds his head out of the way without
He wasn't sleepin'. He was settin'
out back a the barn. They's somepin'
wrong with him.
Ef you don't let me go--
Al permits Grampa to jerk loose and sit down on the doorstep.
The old man is miserable and frightened and angry, too old
to understand or accept such a violent change in his life.
Tom and Pa come up to him. The others watch solemnly from
their places in the truck.
What's the matter, Grampa?
Ain't nothin' the matter. I just
ain't a-goin', that's all.
What you mean you ain't goin'? We
*got* to go. We got no place to stay.
I ain't talkin' about you, I'm talkin'
about me. And I'm a-stayin'. I give
her a good goin' over all night long--
and I'm a-stayin'.
But you can't *do* that, Grampa.
This here land is goin' under the
tractor. We *all* got to git out.
All but me! I'm a-stayin'.
How 'bout Granma?
Take her with you!
(getting out of the
But who'd cook for you? How'd you
Muley's livin', ain't he? And I'm
*twicet* the man Muley is!
(on his knee)
Now listen, Grampa. Listen to me,
just a minute.
And I ain't gonna listen either. I
tol' you what I'm gonna do.
And I don't give a hoot in a hollow
if they's oranges and grapes crowdin'
a fella outa bed even, I ain't a-
goin' to California!
(Picking up some dirt)
This here's my country. I b'long
(Looking at the dirt)
It ain't no good--
(after a pause)
--but it's mine.
(after a silence)
(They move toward the
cabin with him)
Grampa, his eyes hurt and hunted and
frightened and bewildered, scratches
in the dirt.
And can't nobody *make* me go, either!
Ain't nobody here *man* enough to
make me! I'm a-stayin'.
All watch him worriedly.
INSIDE THE CABIN:
Either we got to tie him up and
*throw* him on the truck, or somepin.
He can't stay here.
Can't tie him. Either we'll hurt him
or he'll git so mad he'll hurt his
Reckon we could git him *drunk*?
Ain't no whisky, is they?
Wait. There's a half a bottle a
soothin' sirup here.
(In the trash in the
It put the chillun to sleep.
Don't taste bad.
(looking in the pot)
And they's some coffee here. I could
fix him a cup...
That's right. And douse some in it.
Better give him a good 'un. He's
Ma is already pouring coffee into a can as GRAMPA is seen.
If Muley can scrabble along, I can
do it too.
I smell spareribs. Somebody been
eatin' spareribs? How come I ain't
(from the door)
Got some saved for you, Grampa. Got
'em warmin' now. Here's a cuppa
(taking the cup)
Awright, but get me some a them
spareribs, too. Get me a whole mess
of 'em. I'm hongry.
He drinks the coffee. Pa and Tom watch him. He notices
nothing. He takes another dram of the coffee.
I shore do like spareribs.
He drinks again.
The scene dissolves to the TRUCK. It is just after dawn. Pa,
Tom, and Noah are lifting Grampa into the truck. He mumbles
angrily, but is unconscious of what is happening.
Easy, *easy!* You wanta bust his
head wide open? Pull his arms, John.
Ain't a-goin', thas all...
Put somepin' over him, so he won't
Ever'body set now?
(A chorus of responses)
Awright, Al, letta go!
The engine rattles and roars shakily. Grinning with
excitement, Pa sits down and pats Grampa clumsily.
You be awright, Grampa.
The truck starts to move heavily. Casy stands watching it.
Good-by, an' good luck.
Hey, wait! Hold 'er, Al!
(The car stops)
Ain't you goin' with us?
(after a pause)
I'd like to. There's somethin'
happenin' out there in the wes' an'
I'd like to try to learn what it is.
If you feel you got the room...
He stops politely. Pa looks from one face to the other in
the truck--a swift, silent canvass--and though no one speaks
or gives any other sign, Pa knows that the vote is yes.
Come on, get on, plenty room!
Sure, come on, Casy, plenty room!
Quickly he climbs aboard. The truck rattles into motion again.
Here we go!
California, here we come!
As they all look back the deserted CABIN is seen from the
Now we see the FAMILY IN THE TRUCK, as it snorts and rattles
toward the road--a study of facial expressions as the Joad
family look back for the last time at their home. Connie and
Rosasharn, whispering, giggling, and slappings, are oblivious
of the event. Ruthie and Winfield are trembling with
excitement. But Tom's and Pa's smiles have disappeared, and
all the men are gazing back thoughtfully and soberly, their
minds occupied with the solemnity of this great adventure.
In the FRONT SEAT OF THE TRUCK. Al is driving. Granma is
already dozing. Ma looks steadily ahead.
Ain't you gonna look back, Ma?--give
the ol' place a last look?
(coldly shaking her
We're goin' to California, ain't we?
Awright then, let's *go* to
That don't sound like you, Ma. You
never was like that before.
I never had my house pushed over
before. I never had my fambly stuck
out on the road. I never had to
lose... ever'thing I had in life.
She continues to stare straight ahead. The TRUCK is lumbering
up onto a paved highway.
The scene dissolves to a MONTAGE: Almost filling the screen
is the shield marker of the U.S. Highway 66. Superimposed on
it is a montage of jalopies, steaming and rattling and piled
high with goods and people, as they pull onto the highway,
to indicate as much as possible that this departure of the
Joad family is but part of a mass movement of jalopies and
families. The signs of towns on U.S. Highway 66 flash past--
CHECOTAH, OKLAHOMA CITY, BETHANY.
This dissolves to a HIGHWAY. It is late afternoon. The Joad
truck pulls of the paved highway and stops. The men leap
down quickly from the truck, all but Pa, who lifts Grampa in
his arms and then lowers him slowly, gently into Tom's arms.
In TOM'S arms Grampa is whimpering feebly.
*Ain't* a-goin'... ain't a-goin'...
'S all right, Grampa. You just kind
a tar'd, that's all. Somebody fix a
With a quilt pulled from the truck Ma runs ahead as Tom
carries Grampa toward a clump of woods back off the highway.
The others get down soberly from the truck, all but Granma,
who is dozing. Cars pass-a fast car passing a jalopy. Tom is
letting the old man down gently as Ma adjusts the quilt on
the ground. Death is in Grampa's eyes as he looks up dimly
Thas it, jus' tar'd thas all... jus'
(He closes his eyes)
The scene dissolves to an insert of a NOTE. It is written
awkwardly in pencil on the flyleaf of a Bible. Tom's voice
recites the words.
This here is William James Joad,
dyed of a stroke, old old man. His
folkes bured him becaws they got no
money to pay for funerls. Nobody
kilt him. Jus a stroke an he dyed.
A GRAVE, at night. In the clump of woods, lighted by two
lanterns, The Joad tribe stands reverently around an open
grave. Having read the note, Tom puts it in a small fruit
jar and kneels down and, reaching into the grave, places it
on Grampa's body.
I figger best we leave something
like this on him, lest somebody dig
him up and make out he been kilt.
(Reaching into the
Lotta times looks like the gov'ment
got more interest in a dead man than
a live one.
Not be so lonesome, either, knowin'
his name is there with 'im, not just'
a old fella lonesome underground.
Casy, won't you say a few words?
I ain't no more a preacher, you know.
We know. But ain't none of our folks
ever been buried without a few words.
(after a pause)
I'll say 'em--an' make it short.
(All bow and close
This here ol' man jus' lived a life
an' jus' died out of it. I don't
know whether he was good or bad, an'
it don't matter much. Heard a fella
say a poem once, an' he says, "All
that lives is holy." But I wouldn't
pray for jus' a ol' man that's dead,
because he's awright. If I was to
pray I'd pray for the folks that's
alive an' don't know which way to
turn. Grampa here, he ain't got no
more trouble like that. He's got his
job all cut out for 'im--so cover
'im up and let 'im get to it.
The scene fades out.
HIGHWAY 66, in daylight, fades in: an Oklahoma stretch,
revealing a number of jalopies rattling westward. The Joad
In the FRONT SEAT OF THE TRUCK Tom is now driving. Granma is
dozing again, and Ma is looking thoughtfully ahead.
What is it, Ma?
Wasn't that the state line we just
(after a pause)
Yes'm, that was it.
Your pa tol' me you didn't ought to
cross it if you're paroled. Says
they'll send you up again.
Forget it, Ma. I got her figgered
out. Long as I keep outa trouble,
ain't nobody gonna say a thing. All
I gotta do is keep my nose clean.
Maybe they got crimes in California
we don't know about. Crimes we don't
even know *is* crimes.
Forget it, Ma. Jus' think about the
nice things out there. Think about
them grapes and oranges--an' ever'body
I gotta git out!
First gas station, Granma--
I gotta git *out*, I tell ya! I gotta
(foot on brakes)
As the truck slows to a stop a motorcycle cop approaches
after them. Looking back, Tom sees him bearing toward them.
He looks grimly at Ma.
They shore don't waste no time!
(As Granma whines)
Take her out.
Save your strength, lady.
Get goin', buddy. No campin' here.
We ain't campin'. We jus' stoppin' a
Lissen, I heard that before--
I tell ya I gotta git out!
The cop looks startled, puzzled, but Tom shrugs a disclaimer
for responsibility in that quarter.
She's kinda ol'--
I tell ya--
Puh-raise the Lawd for vittory!
As Ma helps Granma out the other side, Tom and the cop
exchange a glance and snother shrug at the foibles of women
and then look studiedly into space.
The scene dissolves to a MONTAGE: superimposed on the marker
of U.S. Highway 66 an assortment of roadside signs flashes
by: Bar-B-Q, Joe's Eats, Dr. Pepper, Gas, Coca Cola, This
Highway is Patrolled, End of 25 Mile Zone, Lucky Strikes,
Used Cars, Nutburger, Motel, Drive-Inn, Free Water, We Fix
A HAND-PAINTED SIGN reads: "CAMP 50ў." It is night. We hear
the sound of guitar music. In the CAMP GROUND a small wooden
house dominates the scene. There are no facilities; the
migrants simply pitch makeshift tents and park their jalopies
wherever there is a space. It is after supper and a dozen or
more men sit on the steps of the house listening to Connie
play a road song on a borrowed guitar. The music softens the
tired, drawn faces of the men and drives away some of their
shyness. In the dark, outside the circle of light from the
gasoline lantern on the porch, some of the women and children
sit and enjoy the luxury of this relative gaiety. The
proprietor sits tipped back in a straight chair on the porch.
We see the JOAD TENT. Behind their truck, a tarpaulin is
stretched over a rope from tree to tree. Granma lies asleep
on a quilt, stirring fitfully. Ma sits on the ground at her
head, fanning her with a piece of cardboard. Rosasharn lies
flat on her back, hands clasped under her head, looking up
at the stars. The music comes to them pleasantly.
Ma... all this, will it hurt the
Now don't you go gettin' nimsy-mimsy.
Sometimes I'm all jumpy inside.
Well, can't nobody get through nine
*months* without sorrow.
But will it--hurt the baby?
They use' to be a sayin': A chile
born outa sorrow'll be a happy chile.
An' another: Born outa too much joy'll
be a doleful boy. That's the way I
always heard it.
You don't ever get scairt, do you,
Sometimes. A little. Only it ain't
scairt so much. It's just waitin'
an' wonderin'. But when sump'n happens
that I got to do sump'n--
--I'll do it.
Don't it ever scare you it won't be
nice in California like we think?
No. No, it don't. I can't do that. I
can't let m'self. All I can do is
see how soon they gonna wanta eat
again. They'd all get upset if I
done anymore 'n that. They all depen'
on me jus' thinkin' about that.
(After a pause)
That's my part--that an' keepin' the
As the music ends we see a GROUP ON THE PORCH STEPS. The men
murmur approbation of Connie's playing.
(with quiet pride)
Thas my son-in-law.
Sings real nice. What state y'all
Oklahoma. Had us a farm there, share-
Till the tractors druv us out.
We from Arkansas. I had me a store
there, kind of general notions store,
but when the farms went the store
Nice a little as you ever saw. I
shore did hate to give it up.
Wal, y'cain't tell. I figure when we
git out there an' git work an' maybe
git us a piece a growin' lan' near
water it might not be so bad at that.
Thas right... Payin' good wages, I
hear... Ever'body got work out
there... Can't be no worse...
As they talk, a SECOND MAN, standing on the edge of the group,
begins to grin bitterly. He is much more ragged than the
You folks must have a pot a money.
The GROUP turns to look at the Man.
No, we ain't got no money. But they's
plenty of us to work, an' we 're all
good men. Get good wages out there
an' put it all together an' we'll be
The Man begins to snigger and then to laugh in a high
whinneying giggle which turns into a fit of coughing. All of
the men are watching him.
Good wages, eh! Pickin' oranges an'
We gonna take whatever they got.
What's so funny about it?
What's so funny about it? I just
*been* out there! I been an' *seen*
it! An' I'm goin' *back* to starve--
because I ruther starve all over at
Whatta you think you're talkin' about?
I got a han'bill here says good wages,
an' I seen it in the papers they
Awright, go on! Ain't nobody stoppin'
(pulling out handbill)
But what about this?
I ain't gonna fret you. Go on!
Wait a minute, buddy. You jus' done
some jackassin'! You ain't gonna
shut up now. The han'bill says they
need men. You laugh an' say they
don't. Now which one's a liar?
(after a pause)
How many you'all got them han'bills?
Come on, how many?
At least three-quarters of the men worriedly reach into their
pockets and draw out worn and folded handbills.
But what does *that* prove?
Look at 'em! Same yella han'bill--
800 pickers wanted. Awright, this
man wants 800 men. So he prints up
5,000 a them han'bills an' maybe
20,000 people sees 'em. An' maybe
two-three thousan' starts movin,
wes' account a this han'bill. Two-
three thousan' folks that's crazy
with worry headin' out for 800 jobs!
Does that make sense?
There is a long worried silence. The proprietor leans forward
What are you, a troublemaker? You
sure you ain't one a them labor fakes?
I swear I ain't, mister!
Well, don't you go roun' here tryin'
to stir up trouble.
(drawing himself up)
I tried to tell you folks sump'n it
took me a year to fin' out. Took two
kids dead, took my wife dead, to
show me. But nobody couldn't tell me
neither. I can't tell ya about them
little fellas layin' in the tent
with their bellies puffed out an'
jus' skin on their bones, an'
shiverin' an' whinin' like pups, an'
me runnin' aroun' tryin' to get work--
--not for money, not for wages--jus'
for a cup a flour an' a spoon a lard!
An' then the coroner came. "Them
children died a heart-failure," he
says, an' put it in his paper.
(With wild bitterness)
Heart-failure!--an' their little
bellies stuck out like a pig-bladder!
He looks around at the men, trying to control his emotions,
and then he walks away into the darkness. There is an uneasy
Well--gettin' late. Got to get to
They all rise as at a signal, all moved and worried by the
Second Man's outburst. TOM, PA AND CASY move away, worry on
S'pose he's tellin' the truth--that
He's tellin' the truth awright. The
truth for him. He wasn't makin'
How about us? Is that the truth for
I don't know.
How can you tell?
The scene dissolves to a MONTAGE: superimposed on the shield
marker of U.S. Highway 66 and the rattling Joad truck the
signs of towns flash by: AMARILLO, VEGA, GLENRIO.
The TRUCK is seen on the HIGHWAY. It is now mountain country--
New Mexico. Then it is seen at a GAS STATION. It is a cheap
two-pump station, hand-painted, dreary, dusty. Huddled next
to it is a hamburger stand. In front of the hamburger stand
is a truck labeled: NEW MEXICO VAN AND STORAGE COMPANY. The
Joads are piling out of their truck. Directed by Ma, Noah
lifts Granma out. The two children scamper around shrieking
because their legs have gone to sleep. Al is preparing to
put water in the radiator. Pa takes out a deep leather pouch,
unties the strings, and begins calculating his money as the
fat proprietor advances.
You folks aim to buy anything?
Need some gas, mister.
Got any money?
Whatta you think:--we's beggin'?
I just ast, that's all.
Well, ask right. You ain't talkin'
to bums, you know.
(appealing to heaven)
All in the worl' I done was ast!
INSIDE THE HAMBURGER STAND, a standard cheap eatery, Bert is
doing the short orders and Mae is handling the counter. A
nickel phonograph is playing a tune. Bill, a truck driver,
sits at the counter; his partner, Fred, is playing a slot
Kinda pie y'got?
Banana cream, pineapple cream,
chocolate cream--and apple.
Cut me off a hunk a that banana cream,
and a cuppa java.
Make it two.
Two it is.
Seen any new etchin's lately, Bill?
Well, here's one ain't bad. Little
kid comes in late to school. Teacher
He stops. Pa is peering in the screen door. Beside him Ruthie
and Winfield have their noses flattened against the screen.
Mae looks at Pa.
Could you see your way clear to sell
us a loaf of bread, ma'am.
This ain't a groc'ry store. We got
bread to make san'widges with.
I know, ma'am... on'y it's for a ole
lady, no teeth, gotta sof'n it with
water so she can chew it, an' she's
Whyn't you buy a san'wich? We got
I shore would like to do that, ma'am,
but the fack is, we ain't got but a
dime for it. It's all figgered out,
I mean--for the trip.
You can't get no loaf a bread for a
dime. We only got fifteen-cent loafs.
(an angry whisper)
Give 'em the bread.
We'll run out 'fore the bread truck
Awright then, run out!
Mae shrugs at the truck drivers, to indicate what she's up
against, while Bert mashes his hamburgers savagely with the
Pa and the two children come in as Mae opens a drawer and
pulls out a long waxpaper-covered loaf of bread. The children
have been drawn to the candy showcase and are staring in at
This here's a fifteen-cent loaf.
Would you--could you see your way to
cuttin' off ten cents worth?
(a clinched teeth
Give 'im the loaf!
No, sir, we wanta buy ten cents worth,
You can have this for ten cents.
I don't wanta rob you, ma'am.
Go ahead--Bert says take it.
Taking out his pouch, Pa digs into it, feels around with his
fingers for a dime, as he apologizes.
May soun' funny to be so tight, but
we got a thousan' miles to go, an'
we don't know if we'll make it.
But when he puts the dime down on the counter he has a penny
with it. He is about to drop this back in the pouch when his
eyes fall on the children staring at the candy. Slowly he
moves down to see what they are looking at. Then:
Is them penny candy, ma'am?
The children look up with a gasp, their big eyes on Mae as
she moves down behind the counter.
There, them stripy ones.
Mae looks from the candy to the children. They have stopped
breathing, their eyes on the candy.
Oh, them? Well, no--them's *two* for
Well, give me two then, ma'am.
He places the penny carefully on the counter and Mae holds
the sticks of candy out to the children. They look up at Pa.
Sure, take 'em, take 'em!
Rigid with embarrassment, they accept the candy, looking
neither at it nor at each other. Pa picks up the loaf of
bread and they scramble for the door. At the door Pa turns
Thank you, ma'am.
The door slams. Bill turns back from staring after them.
Them wasn't two-for-a-cent candy.
What's it to you?
Them was nickel apiece candy.
We got to get goin'. We're droppin'
Both reach in their pockets, but when Fred sees what Bill
has put down he reaches again and duplicates it. As they go
out of the door...
Hey, wait a minute. You got change
What's it to you?
As Mae watches them through the window, her eyes warm, Bert
walks around the counter to the three slot machines, a paper
with figures on it in his hand. The truck roars outside and
moves off. Mae looks down again at the coins.
(playing a machine)
What ya want?
As he looks we see the COINS ON THE COUNTER. They are two
There is a rattle of coins as Bert hits the jackpot. In his
left hand on the machine is a paper with three columns of
figures on it. The third column is much the longest. He scoops
out the money.
I figgered No. 3 was about ready to
The scene fades out.
The ARIZONA BORDER, in daylight, fades in. It is in a gap in
the mountains and beyond can be seen the Painted Desert. A
border guard halts the Joad truck. He is not as tough as his
words indicate, just curt and matter-of-fact.
Where you going?
(who is driving)
How long you plan to be in Arizona?
No longer'n we can get acrost her.
Got any plants?
(putting sticker on
Okay. Go ahead, but you better keep
Sure. We aim to.
The truck rattles into movement.
The scene dissolves to a MONTAGE superimposed on the shield
marker of U.S. Highway 66 and the Joad truck. Signs flash
by: FLAGSTAFF, WATER 5ў A GAL, WATER 10ў A GAL, WATER 15ў A
GAL, and finally, NEEDLES, CALIF.
In the foreground, their backs turned, the Joads stand on
and about their truck looking in a long silence at what can
be seen of California from Needles. Their silence is eloquent.
The faces of the Joads are blank with dismay, for this is an
unattractive sight indeed.
There she is, folks--the land a milk
Well, if *that's* what we come out
They look at each other in disappointment.
(timidly, to Connie)
Maybe it's nice on the other side.
Them pitchers--them little pos'cards--
they was real pretty.
Aw, sure. This here's jus' a part of
it. Ain't no sense a gettin' scairt
Course not. Come on, let's get goin'.
She don't look so tough to me!
The Joads and the landscape are seen again. Then the scene
dissolves to the BANK OF A RIVER. The camp at Needles is on
the bank of the Colorado River, among some willows. We see
the man of the family sitting chest-deep in the shallow
waters, talking, occasionally ducking their heads under,
reveling in this relief. In the background are the towering
Got that desert yet. Gotta take her
tonight. Take her in the daytime
fella says she'll cut your gizzard
How's Granma since we got her in the
She's off her chump, seems to me.
She's outa her senses, awright. All
night on the truck keep talkin' like
she was talkin' to Grampa.
She's jus' wore out, that's all.
I shore would like to stop here a
while an' give her some res' but we
on'y got 'bout forty dollars left. I
won't feel right till we're there
an' all workin' an' a little money
(lazily, after a
Like to jus' stay here myself. Like
to lay here forever. Never get hungry
an' never get sad. Lay in the water
all life long, lazy as a brood sow
in the mud.
(looking up at the
Never seen such tough mountains.
This here's a murder country, just
the *bones* of a country.
Wonder if we'll ever get in a place
where folks can live 'thout fightin'
hard scrabble an' rock. Sometimes
you get to thinkin' they *ain't* no
They look up as a man and his grown son stand on the bank.
How's the swimmin'?
Dunno. We ain't tried none. Sure
feels good to set here, though.
Mind if we come in an' set?
She ain't our river. But we'll len'
you a little piece of her.
They start to shuck off their clothes. THE MAN, excluding
those undressing, form another scene.
Nope. We come from there. Goin' back
Panhandle, come from near Pampa.
Can you make a livin' there?
The man and his son sit down in the water.
But at leas' we can starve to death
with folks we know.
There is a long silence among the Joads as the man and his
son splash water over their heads.
Ya know, you're the second fella
talked like that. I'd like to hear
some more about that.
Me an' you both.
The man and his son exchange a glance, as though the Joads
had touched on the deadliest of subjects.
He ain't gonna tell you nothin' about
If a fella's willin' to work hard,
can't he cut her?
Listen, mister. I don't know
ever'thing. You might go out an'
fall into a steady job, an' I'd be a
liar. An' then, you might never get
no work, an' I didn't warn you. All
I can tell ya, most of the folks is
But a fella don't know ever'thing.
There is a disturbed silence as the Joads study the man, but
he obviously has no intention of saying anything more. Finally
Pa turns to his brother.
John, you never was a fella to say
much, but I'll be goldanged if you
opened your mouth twicet since we
lef' home. What you think about this?
I don't think *nothin'* about it.
We're a-goin' there, ain't we? When
we get there, we'll get there. When
we get a job, we'll work, an' when
we don't get a job we'll set on our
behin's. That's all they is to it,
Uncle John don't talk much but when
he does he shore talks sense.
(He spurts water out
of his mouth)
The scene dissolves to a GAS STATION, at night. The Joad
truck, loaded with goods and people, is last gas and servicing
before the desert. Two white uniformed boys handle the
station. A sign reads: "LAST CHANCE FOR GAS AND WATER." Al
is filling the radiator. Tom is counting out the money for
You people got a lotta nerve.
What you mean?
Crossin' the desert in a jalopy like
You been acrost?
Sure, plenty, but not in no wreck
If we broke down maybe somebody'd
give us a han'.
Well, maybe. But I'd hate to be doin'
it. Takes more nerve than I got.
It don't take no nerve to do somep'n
when there ain't nothin' else you
(He climbs into the
MA AND GRANMA are seen lying on a mattress in the TRUCK.
Granma's eyes are shut. Actually she is near death. Ma keeps
Don't you worry, Granma. It's gonna
Grampa... Grampa... I want Grampa...
Don't you fret now.
The truck moves off.
We see the GAS STATION again with the truck pulling away.
The First Boy, a lad who knows everything, stands looking
after them, shaking his head. His assistant is cleaning up
Holy Moses, what a hard-lookin'
All them Okies is hard-lookin'.
Boy, but I'd hate to hit that desert
in a jalopy like that!
Well, you and me got sense. Them
Okies got no sense or no feeling.
They ain't human. A human being
wouldn't live like they do. A human
being couldn't stand it to be so
Just don't know any better, I guess.
NOAH is seen hiding behind a corner of the GAS STATION.
Peering out, he sees that the truck has gone. He turns to
walk away into the darkness.
The scene dissolves to a RIVER BANK at night, and Noah is
once more seated in the shallow water, splashing, looking up
at the mountains, content.
The TRUCK is rattling along U.S. Highway 66, across the
desert, in the night. In the DRIVER'S SEAT Tom is driving,
Al and Pa are by his side.
What a place! How'd you like to walk
People done it. If they could, we
Lots must a died, too.
(after a pause)
Well, we ain't out a it yet.
RUTHIE AND WINFIELD huddle together in THE TRUCK, eyes wide
This here's the desert an' we're
right in it!
(trying to see)
I wisht it was day.
Tom says if it's day it'll cut you
gizzard smack out a you.
(Trying to see too)
I seen a pitcher once. They was bones
Some, I guess, but mos'ly cow bones.
MA AND GRANDMA are seen again. The old woman lies still,
breathing noisily. Ma continues to pat her.
'S awright, honey. Everything's gonna
Then we see the TRUCK still churning along Highway 66 by
night. CASY is asleep in the truck, his face wet with sweat.
CONNIE AND ROSASHARN are huddled together, damp and weary.
Seems like we wasn't never gonna do
nothin' but move. I'm so tar'd.
Women is always tar'd.
You ain't--you ain't sorry, are you,
No, but--but you seen that
advertisement in the Spicy Western
Story magazine. Don't pay nothin'.
Jus' send 'em the coupon an' you're
a radio expert--nice clean work.
But we can still do it, honey.
I ought to done it then--an' not
come on any trip like this.
Her eyes widen with fright as he avoids meeting her glance.
MA AND GRANDMA lie side by side. Ma's hand is on Grandma's
heart. The old woman's eyes are shut and her breathing is
We can't give up, honey. The family's
got to get acrost. You know that.
Ever'thing all right?
Ma does not answer immediately. Her head lifted, she is
staring at Granma's face. Then slowly she withdraws her hand
from Grandma's heart.
Yes, ever'thing's all right. I--I
guess I dropped off to sleep.
Her head rests again. She lies looking fixedly at the still
The scene dissolves to an INSPECTION STATION, near Daggett,
California, at night. Obeying a sign that reads: "KEEP RIGHT
AND STOP," the Joad truck pulls up under a long shed as two
officers, yawning, come out to inspect it. One takes down
the license number and opens the hood. The people aboard the
truck bestir themselves sleepily.
What's this here?
Agricultural inspection. We got to
go over your stuff. Got any vegetables
Well, we got to look over your stuff.
You got to unload.
MA gets down off the truck, her face swollen, her eyes hard.
There is an undercurrent of hysteria in her voice and manner.
Look, mister. We got a sick ol' lady.
We got to get her to a doctor. We
You can't make us wait!
Yeah? Well, we got to look you over.
I swear we ain't got anything. I
swear it. An' Granma's awful sick.
(Pulling him to the
The officer lights his flashlight on Granma's face.
You wasn't foolin'! You swear you
got no fruit or vegetables?
No, I swear it.
Then go ahead. You can get a doctor
at Barstow. That's just eight miles.
But don't stop. Don't get off.
Ma climbs back up beside Granma.
Okay, cap. Much oblige.
The truck starts.
Tell Tom he don't have to stop.
Granma's all right.
The TRUCK moves away on Highway 66.
The scene dissolves to the TEHACHAPI VALLEY, by day. Taking
it from the book, there is a breath-taking view of the valley
from where Highway 66 comes out of the mountains. This is
the California the Joads have dreamed of, rich and beautiful,
the land of milk and honey. It is just daybreak, with the
sun at the Joad's back. They have pulled off the side of the
road and stopped, just to drink in the sight. They are looking
almost reverently at the sight before them as they climb
stiffly out of the truck.
Will ya look at her!
(shaking his head)
I never knowed they was anything
One by one, they climb down.
Where's Ma? I want Ma to see it.
Look, Ma! Come here, Ma!
He starts back. MA is holding to the rear of the truck, her
face stiff and swollen, her eyes deep-sunk, her limbs weak
Ma, you sick?
Ya say we're acrost?
Thank God! An' we're still together--
most of us.
(Her knees buckle and
she sits down on the
Didn' you get no sleep?
Was Granma bad?
(after a pause)
Since before they stopped us las'
An' that's why you didn't want 'em
I was afraid they'd stop us an'
wouldn't let us cross. But I tol'
Granma. I tol' her when she was dyin'.
I tol' her the fambly had ta get
acrost. I tol' her we couldn't take
no chances on bein' stopped.
With the valley for background, Ma looks down on it.
So it's all right. At leas' she'll
get buried in a nice green place.
Trees and flowers aroun'.
She got to lay her head down in
California after all.
The scene fades out.
A TOWN STREET, by day, fades in. Down a town or small city
business street, with quite a bit of traffic, comes the Joad
truck being pushed by the Joad men. At the wheel, aiming at
a corner gas station, is Rosasharn, frightened and uncertain,
with Ma beside her on the front seat. In the back Ruthie and
Winfield are delighted with this new form of locomotion.
Crossing the street, a policeman falls into step with Tom.
How far you figger you gonna get
Right here. We give out a gas.
It is a two-pump station and one of the pumps has a car,
with the attendant servicing it. The Joad truck stops by the
other pump and Tom, wiping his face with his sleeve, grins
and address himself to the policeman. The others stand
listening solemnly in the background.
Where's the bes' place to get some
work aroun' here?
(Pulling out the
Don't matter what kin' either.
If I seen one a them things I must a
seen ten thousan'.
Ain't it no good?
(shaking his head)
Not here--not now. Month ago there
was some pickin' but it's all moved
south now. Where'bouts in Oklahoma
I come out from Cherokee County--two
Why, Connie's folks from Cherokee
(stopping her wearily)
Okay, ma'am, let's don't go into it.
I already met about a hundred firs'
cousins an' it mus' be five hundred
secon'. But this is what I got to
tell you, don't try to park in town
tonight. Keep on out to that camp.
If we catch you in town after dark
we got to lock you up. Don't forget.
But what we gonna *do*?
(about to leave)
Pop, that just ain't up to me.
(Grimly he points to
But I don't min' tellin' you, the
guy they *ought* to lock up is the
guy that sent out *them* things.
He strolls away, the Joads looking concernedly after him,
just as the gas station attendant comes briskly to them after
disposing of the other car.
How many, folks?
(after a pause)
The attendant regards him in disgust.
The scene dissolves to HOOVERVILLE, by day. A large migrant
camp, a typical shanty town of ragged tents and tarpaper
shacks, jalopies and dirty children. A dozen or more children
pause to watch as the Joad truck lumbers down a dirt incline
from the road and stops at the edge of the camp in front of
one of the most miserable of the shacks. The Joads regard
the camp with dismay.
(shaking his head)
She shore don't look prosperous.
Want to go somewheres else?
On a gallon a gas?
(As Tom grins at her)
Let's set up the tent. Maybe I can
fix us up some stew.
The truck moves into the camp through a lane of children.
The scene dissolves to the JOAD TENT. In front of it, Ma is
on her knees feeding a small fire with broken sticks. On the
fire is a pot of stew. Ruthie and Winfield stand watching
the pot. About fifteen ragged, barefooted children in a half-
circle are now around the fire, their solemn eyes on the pot
of stew. Occasionally they look at Ma, then back at the stew.
Presently one of the older girls speaks.
I could break up some bresh if you
want me, ma'am.
You want to get ast to eat, hunh?
Didn' you have no breakfast?
No, ma'am. They ain't no work
hereabouts. Pa's in tryin' to sell
some stuff to get gas so's we can
Didn' none of these have no breakfast?
There is a long silence. Then:
I did. Me an' my brother did. We et
Then you ain't hungry, are you?
The boy chokes, his lip sticks out.
We et good.
(Then he breaks and
Well, it's a good thing *some* a you
ain't hungry, because they ain't
enough to go all the way roun'.
Aw, he was braggin'. Know what he
done? Las' night, come out an' say
they got chicken to eat. Well, sir,
I looked in whilst they was a-eatin'
an' it was fried dough jus' like
Pa and John enter.
How 'bout it?
Go get Tom an' Al.
at the children)
I dunno what to do. I got to feed
the fambly. What'm I gonna do with
She is dishing the stew into tin plates. The children's eyes
follow the spoon, and then the first plate, to John. He is
raising the first spoonful to his mouth when he notices them
apparently for the first time. He is chewing slowly, his
eyes on the children, their eyes on his face, when Tom and
You take this.
(Handing plate to Tom)
I ain't hungry.
Whatta ya mean? You ain't et today.
I know, but I got a stomickache. I
(after a glance at
You take that plate inside the tent
an' you eat it.
Wouldn't be no use. I'd still see
'em inside the tent.
(to the children)
You git. Go on now, git. You ain't
doin' no good. They ain't enough for
The children retreat a step, but no more, and then look
wonderingly at him.
We can't send 'em away. Take your
plates an' go inside. Take a plate
(Smiling, to the
Look. You little fellas go an' get
you each a flat stick an' I'll put
what's lef' for you.
(The children scatter)
But they ain't to be no fightin'!
(Dishing plates for
Ruthie and Winfield)
I don't know if I'm doin' right or
not but--go inside, ever'body stay
(The children are
They ain't enough. All you gonna get
is jus' a taste but--I can't help
it, I can't keep it from you.
She goes in the tent hurriedly to hide the fact that tears
have come into her eyes. The children pounce on the pot,
silently, too busy digging for the stew to speak.
INSIDE THE TENT they have all finished their stew already.
I done fine! Now nobody got enough!
At the ROAD a new coupe drives off the highway and into the
camp and stops. It contains two men. One gets out.
A GROUP OF MEN are squatting in a half-circle, the usual
pattern for conversation, but they are silent now as their
eyes fix on the man approaching. He is a labor agent.
OUTSIDE THE JOAD TENT the men are looking in the direction
of the group. They start to walk toward it.
AT THE GROUP OF MEN: The agent, wearing a flat-brimmed Stetson
and with his pockets filled with pencils and dog-eared
booklets, looks down at the silent men. All of the men in
the camp are approaching slowly, silently. The women give
their anxious attention in the background. Among the men who
walk up is FLOYD, a grimly disappointed young man.
You men want to work?
Sure we wanta work. Where's it at?
Tulare County. Fruit's opening up.
Need a lot of pickers.
You doin' the hirin'?
Well, I'm contracting the land.
Whay you payin?
Well, can't tell exactly, yet. 'Bout
thirty cents, I guess.
Why can't you tell? You took the
contrac', didn' you?
That's true. But it's keyed to the
price. Might be a little more, might
be a little less.
All right, mister. I'll go. You just
show your license to contrack, an'
then you make out a order--where an'
when an' how much you gonna pay--an'
you sign it an' we'll go.
You trying to tell me how to run my
'F we're workin' for you, it's our
business too. An' how do we know--
(pulling out a handbill)
--you ain't one a the guys that sent
these things out?
Listen, Smart Guy. I'll run my
business my own way. I got work. If
you wanta take it, okay. If not,
just sit here, that's all.
The squatting men have risen one by one. Their faces are
expressionless because they simply don't know when one of
these calls is genuine or when it isn't. Floyd addresses
Twicet now I've fell for that line.
Maybe he needs a thousan' men. So he
get's five thousan' there, an' he'll
pay fifteen cents a hour. An' you
guys'll have to take it 'cause you'll
(Facing the agent)
'F he wants to hire men, let him
write it out an' say what he's gonna
pay. Ast to see his license. He ain't
allowed by law to contrack men without
The other man gets out of the COUPE. He wears riding breeches
and laced boots, carries a pistol and cartridge belt, and
there is a deputy sheriff's star on his brown shirt. He smiles
thinly and shifts his pistol holster as he starts toward the
group. THE MEN are watching the deputy approach.
You see? If this guy was on the level,
would he bring a cop along?
What's the trouble?
(pointing at Floyd)
Ever see this guy before?
What'd he do?
(Giving Floyd a looking
Seems like I have. Seems like I seen
him hangin' around that used car lot
that was busted into. Yep, I'd swear
it's the same fella.
Get in that car.
You got nothin' on him.
Open your trap again and you'll go
(to the men)
You fellas don't wanta lissen to
troublemakers. You better pack up
an' come on to Tulare County.
The men say nothing.
Might be a good idea to do what he
says. Too many of you Okies aroun'
here already. Folks beginnin' to
figger it ain't maybe *safe*. Might
start a epidemic or sump'n.
(After a pause)
Wouldn't like a bunch a guys down
here with pick handles tonight, would
As the agent gets into the coupe FLOYD'S thumbs hook over
his belt and he looks off, away. TOM'S look away is an answer.
His thumbs also hook over his belt.
He takes hold of Floyd's left arm. At the same time Floyd
swings, smacks him in the face. As the deputy staggers, Tom
sticks out a foot and trips him. Floyd is already running
through the camp. The deputy fires from the ground. There is
a scream. A WOMAN is looking down at her hand, the knuckles
The COUPE is seen as the agent steps on the gas to get away.
As Floyd gets in the clear, the DEPUTY, sitting on the ground,
aims his pistol again, slowly, carefully. Behind him Casy
steps up, gauges his distance, and then kicks him square in
the base of the skull. The deputy tumbles over unconscious.
Tom picks up the pistol.
Gimme that gun. Now git outa here.
Go down in them willows an' wait.
I ain't gonna run.
He seen you, Tom! You wanta be
fingerprinted? You wanta get sent
back for breakin' parole?
Hide in the willows. If it's awright
to come back I'll give you four high
As Tom strides away there is the distant sound of a siren.
Casy empties the gun and throws cartridges and gun aside.
The men, aghast, have been standing back, worried and excited
and apprehensive. They wish nothing like this had happened.
The women have gathered around the wounded woman, who is
sobbing. Now at the sound of the siren everybody begins to
move uncomfortably toward his tent or shack. Al looks
admiringly from Casy to the unconscious deputy.
Everybody has disappeared into his tent but Al and Casy. The
siren draws nearer.
Go on. Get in your tent. You don't
How 'bout you?
*Some*body got to take the blame.
They just *got* to hang it on
somebody, you know.
An' I ain't doin' nothin' but set
But ain't no reason--
Lissen. I don't care nothin' about
you, but if you mess in this, your
whole fambly li'ble to get in trouble,
an' Tom get sent back to the
Okay. I think you're a darn fool,
Sure. Why not?
Al heads for the Joad tent and Casy kneels down and lifts
the deputy. He wipes his face clean. The deputy begins to
come to. An open car curves off the highway, stops in the
clearing, and four men with rifles pile out. The deputy sits
rubbing his eyes and Casy stands.
What's goin' on here?
This man a yours, he got tough an' I
hit him. Then he started shootin'--
hit a woman down the line--so I hit
Well--what'd you do in the first
I talked back.
Two of the men have helped the deputy to his feet. He feels
the back of his neck gingerly.
They's a woman down there like to
bleed to death from his bad shootin'.
Take a look at her.
Mike, is this the fella that hit
Don't look like him.
It was me, all right. You just got
smart with the wrong fella.
Don't look like him, but... maybe it
was. I ain't sure.
Get in that car.
With a deputy on either side of him, Casy climbs in the back
seat. The sickish deputy is helped into the car. The other
man comes running back.
Boy, what a mess a .45 does make!
They got a tourniquet on. We'll send
a doctor out.
The car starts. CASY and two deputies beside him are revealed
in the back seat. Casy sits proudly, head up, eyes front. On
his lips is a faint smile; on his face, a curious look of
(angry at the whole
But what you gonna do? Must be
*thousands* of 'em around here, sore
and hungry and living in them dumps.
What you gonna do about 'em?
You gotta hold 'em down. Hold 'em
down or they'll take over the whole
country. That's all you *can* do.
Well, they ain't gonna take over
*my* country. I been livin' here too
long for *that*. Maybe some a the
boys better drop around tonight and
give 'em something to think about.
Casy sits with eyes front. AT THE WILLOWS, screened by trees
or brush, Tom looks off at the car taking Casy away. Starting
at a sound, he withdraws into the brush as the scene
IN FRONT OF THE JOAD TENT, at night, Ma stands facing Pa and
Al. Rosasharn lies on a pallet, her face in her arms, while
Ruthie and Winfield look on, wide-eyed at the family quarrel.
Leave him alone, Ma--Al's just billy-
Sure! I was just aimin' to meet up
with a couple girls I know.
You don't know *no* girls around
here. You're lyin', *You're runnin'
(a short flash of
momentary but ill
Cut it out, Ma, or I'll--
(softly, as she picks
You'll *what*?... Come on, Pa. Come
on an' whup me. Jus' try it.
Now don't get sassy, Ma.
Al ain't a-goin' away, an' you gonna
*tell* him he ain't a-goin' away.
(Hefting the jack-
An' if you think diff'unt, you gotta
whup me first. So some on.
I never *seen* her so sassy.
(With a touch of
An' she ain't so young, neither!
I'd come back--
(eyes on Pa)
But ef you *do* whup me, I swear you
better not ever go to sleep again,
because the minute you go to sleep,
or you're settin' down, or your back's
turned, I'm gonna knock you belly-up
with a bucket.
They stand staring at each other in silence.
At the EDGE OF HOOVERVILLE, Tom is heading for the Joad tent
warily, glancing around constantly, but not running, for
that would draw attention to him.
IN FRONT OF THE JOAD TENT again:
Jus' sassy, that's all.
Sassy my foot! I'm jus' sick and
tar'd a my folks tryin' to bust up.
All we got lef' in the *worl'* is
the fambly--an' right down at bottom
that's all we *got* to have! Ef some
of us dies, we can't he'p that--but
ain't nobody else runnin' away!
But it ain't runnin' away, Ma. All I
wanta do is go away with another
fella an' look aroun' for work by
Well, you ain't a-goin'! Ain't
*nobody* else a-goin'! We *got* here
an' we gonna *stay* here, together!
As long as we got the fambly unbroke
I ain't scared, but it's a long bitter
road we got ahead of us--
--an' I'm here to tell ya ef anybody
else tries to bust us up anymore I'm
a-goin' cat wild with this here piece
As she gets ready for whatever... IN THE SHADOWS, twenty
feet away from the tent, Tom whistles softly.
IN FRONT OF THE JOAD TENT, all but Ma are looking off. Ma
still eyes Pa.
(peering into the
Tom? You can come on. They gone.
We got to get outa here right away.
Ever'body here? Where's Uncle John?
Here I am.
What's a matter now?
Fella tells me some a them poolroom
boys figgerin' to burn the whole
camp out tonight. Got to get that
truck loaded--what you doin' with
the jack-handle, Ma?
MA, PA, AND AL
Al's tryin' to go away... She jus'
got sassy... All I aimed to do...
(taking the jack-handle)
Awright, you can fight it out later.
Right now we got to hustle. Where's
There is a silence that stops Tom in his rush of preparation.
Lit out this e'enin'--said he didn't
know it was gonna be like this.
Glad to get shet of him. Never was
no good an' never will be--
How come I got to shh? Run out, didn't
(looking to Rosasharn)
Cut it out, Pa. He'p Al with the
(He kneels beside
Don't fret, honey. You goin' to be
(uncovering her face)
Tom, I jus' don't feel like nothin'
a tall. Without him I jus' don't
Maybe he'll be back. We'll leave
word for him. Jus' don't cry.
(He pats her awkwardly)
The scene dissolves to HOOVERVILLE, at night. The jalopies
are lumbering up on the road, one after the other, as the
migrants scatter before the threatened invasion.
IN THE JOAD TRUCK, Tom is helping Rosasharn into the front
seat, beside Ma. The others are aboard except Al. Tom hands
Al a wrench.
Just in case. Sit up back an' if
anybody tries to climb up--let 'im
I ain't got nothin' in *my* han'.
Give 'im a fryin' pan.
(He gets into the
driver's seat and
starts the truck)
In the FRONT SEAT of the truck, Tom drives, Ma sits in the
middle, Rosasharn on the other side.
Maybe Connie went to get some books
to study up with. He's gonna be a
radio expert, ya know. Maybe he
figgered to suprise us.
Maybe that's jus' what he done.
Ma, they comes a time when a man
Tom--you tol' me--you promised you
wasn't like that. You promised me.
I know, Ma. I'm a tryin'. If it was
the law they was workin' with, we
could take it. But it *ain't* the
law. They're workin' away at our
spirits. They're tryin' to make us
cringe an' crawl. They're workin' on
You promised, Tommy.
I'm a-tryin', Ma. Honest I am.
You gotta keep clear, Tom. The
fambly's breakin' up. You *got* to
As he slows down the truck, we see that half of the ROAD is
blocked with boards and red lanterns. a group of men swarm
around the Joad truck as it stops. A leader leans in Tom's
Where you think you're goin'?
In the FRONT SEAT of the truck Tom's hand reaches for the
jack-handle on the seat at his side but Ma's hand clutches
his arm in a steel grip.
(then in a servile
--we're strangers here. We heard
about they's work in a place called
Well, you're goin' the wrong way,
an' what's more, we don't want no
more Okies in this town. We ain't
got work enough for them that are
Tom's arm trembles as he tries to pull it away, but Ma holds
Which way is it at, mister?
You turn right aroun' and head north.
An' don't come back till the cotton's
The TRUCK turns around. In the FRONT SEAT Tom is almost
sobbing with anger as he maneuvers the truck around.
Don't you min', Tommy. You done good.
You done jus' good.
The TRUCK is going back down the road as the scene fades
A MONTAGE fades in: superimposed on growing fields hand-made
signs flash by: NO HELP WANTED, KEEP OUT--THIS MEANS U, NO
WORK, NO HELP WANTED.
Then we see the JOAD TRUCK pulled up off the paved highway,
and jacked up while Tom and Al fix a puncture. Ma is seated
in the front seat with Rosasharn. Pa and Uncle John are
puttering about worriedly.
Sump'n got to happen soon. We got
one day's more grease, two day's
flour, an' ten potatoes. After that...
(Looking at Rosasharn)
An' Rosasharn, we got to remember
she's gonna be due soon.
(shaking his head)
It sure is hell jus' tryin' to get
enough to eat.
Fella tells me they's three hunerd
thousan' aroun' here like us, a-
scrabblin' for work an' livin' like
hogs. Can't figger what it is, but
A BUICK ROADMASTER which has been speeding toward them stops
suddenly. Driving it is a husky man, named Spencer, whose
manner is amiable and disarming.
You people looking for work?
Mister, we're lookin' even under
boards for work.
Can you pick peaches?
We can pick anything.
Well, there's plenty of work for you
about forty miles north, this road
just outside Pixley. Turn east on 32
and look for Hooper's ranch. Tell
'em Spencer sent you.
This is electrifying news, as their faces show.
Mister, we sure that ya!
As they snap into action to get under way again the scene
dissolves to the FRONT SEAT, Al driving, with Ma and Tom
beside him. They are all smiles, their faces glowing with
Fust thing I'll get is coffee, cause
ever'body been wantin' that, an'
then some flour an' bakin' powder
an' meat. Better not get no side-
meat right off. Save that for later.
Maybe Sat'dy. Got to get some soap
too. An' milk. Rosasharn's got to
have some milk.
Get some sugar too, for the coffee.
You know, I jus' can't remember when
I felt so good before!
Know what I'm a-gonna do? I'm a-gonna
save up an' go in town an' get me a
job in a garage. Live in a room an'
eat in restaurants. Go to the movin'
pitchers *ever'* night. Cowboy
The scene dissolves to the ENTRANCE OF THE HOOPER RANCH in
daylight. A gravel road leads from the paved highway to the
big wire gates, which are enclosed. Along the side of the
paved highway are parked a dozen jalopies, the migrants
sitting soberly in them. Fifty or sixty other migrants line
the gravel road and the junction with the paved highway.
Five jalopies are in line waiting to enter the gates. And
the scene is overwhelmingly policed. There must be ten
motorcycle cops around. Six are dismounted and strolling to
keep order among the migrants along the road. Three, their
motorcycles roaring, flank the line of five jalopies. As the
Joad truck drives up, we see the FRONT SEAT. Tom, Al, and Ma
are beholding the scene with bewilderment.
What is it, a wreck?
Where you think you're going?
Fella named Spencer sent us--said
they was work pickin' peaches.
Want to work, do you?
Pull up behind that car.
Okay for this one. Take 'em through.
(the truck moving)
What's the matter? What's happened?
Little trouble up ahead, but you'll
get through. Just follow the line.
The motorcycle escort forms around the line of six cars and
a deafening din is raised, of motorcycles, sirens, and an
inexplicable blowing of horns on the jalopies. At the same
time, as the gates open and the six cars start through,
flanked by the motorcycle cops, the migrants begin spasmodic
shouts, but what they say cannot be understood. As the cars
move slowly, Tom and Al in the FRONT SEAT are puzzled and
worried at the demonstration.
Maybe the road's out.
I don't know what these cops got to
do with it but I don't like it.
An' these here are our own people,
all of 'em. I don't like this.
AT THE GATES the heckling from the bystanders is spasmodic,
not continuous, as the six jalopies in line pass through the
gate into the Hooper ranch. Two men stand beside the gates
with shotguns. They keep calling.
Go on, go on! Keep movin'!
The Joad truck passes through the gates. IN THE HOOPER RANCH
the six jalopies are halted at the end of a camp street. The
houses are small, square blocks, set in line. One, a little
larger, is a grocery store. Casually about are men in pairs
with metal stars on their shirts and shotguns in their hands.
Two bookkeepers are already passing down the cars and jotting
Want to work?
Sure, but what is this?
That's not your affair. Name.
How many men?
Can all of you work?
Why, I guess so.
Okay. House 63. Wages 5 cents a box.
No bruised fruit. Move along and go
to work right away.
He moves to the next car. The Joad truck starts...
AT HOUSE 63, as the Joad truck pulls up, two deputies
approach. They look closely into each face as the Joads pile
out. One of the deputies has a long list in his hand.
Joad. Say, what is this here?
Not here. Take a look at his license.
Ain't got it. Guess they're okay.
Now you look here. We don't want no
trouble with you. Jes' do your work
and mind your own business and you'll
be all right.
(The deputies walk
They sure do want to make us feel at
home all right.
Ma and Rosasharn step inside the house. It is filthy. A rusty
tin stove resting on four bricks is all the one room contains.
Ma and Rosasharn stand looking around at it. Finally:
We gonna live here?
(after a moment)
Why, sure. It won't be so bad once
we get her washed out.
I like the tent better.
This got a floor. Wouldn't leak when
OUTSIDE, a clerk with glasses appears, pushing a cart loaded
with three-gallon buckets.
It's still Joad.
(doling out the buckets)
(at the door)
All y'all go. Me an' Rosasharn'll
With their buckets they shuffle away toward the peach trees--
Tom, Pa, Uncle John, Al, and the two children struggling
with the enormous containers.
The scene dissolves to the INTERIOR OF HOUSE 63 at night, a
lantern lighting the scene. Sitting wherever they can, the
Joads have finished their supper of hamburgers. And grateful
they are too, for the meat.
(wiping his mouth)
Got any more, Ma?
No. That's all. You made a dollar,
an' that's a dollar's worth.
They charge extry at the comp'ny
store but they ain't no other place.
I ain't full.
Well, tomorra you'll get in a full
day--full day's pay--an' we'll have
You wouldn't think jus' reachin' up
an' pickin'd get you in the back.
Think I'll walk out an' try to fin'
out what all that fuss outside the
gate was. Anybody wanta come with
No. I'm jus' gonna set awhile an'
then go to bed.
Think I'll look aroun' an' see if I
can't meet me a girl.
Thing's been workin' on me, what
they was yellin' about. Got me all
I got to get a lot curiouser than I
am--with all them cops out there.
Okay. I be back a little later.
You be careful, Tommy. Don't you be
stickin' your nose in anything.
Okay, Ma. Don't you worry.
IN THE RANCH STREET. There is a faint moonlight, but not
much, and little sound from the other houses as Tom strolls
down the street.
NEAR THE GATE: beyond, cars pass. As Tom approaches the gate
a flashlight plays on his face suddenly and a guard rises
from a box.
Where you think you're going?
Thought I'd take a walk. Any law
Well, you just turn around and walk
the other way.
You mean I can't even get outa here?
Not tonight you can't. Want to walk
back?--or you want me to whistle up
some help and take you back?
I'll walk back.
The guard watches him as he walks back and then douses his
At a SECTION OF WIRE FENCE, watching his chance, moving
silently, Tom drops on the ground, on his back, gets his
head under the bottom wire, and pushes himself under and
outside. Rising, he crosses the paved highway.
AN EMBANKMENT across the road from the wire fence: Tom
clambers down it, moving quietly. He picks his way down the
A TENT: there is a light inside and there are the shadows of
figures. In the background, beyond the tent, is the silhouette
of a small concrete bridge spanning a small stream. Following
a trail, Tom enters and approaches the tent. (The opening is
away from him.) IN FRONT OF THE TENT, a man sitting on a box
looks up suspiciously as Tom enters. His name is Joe.
Who are you?
Jus' goin' pas', that's all.
Know anybody here?
No. Jus' goin' pas', I tell you.
A head sticks out of the tent. Until he speaks, Tom does not
What's the matter?
Casy! What you doin' here?
Well, if it ain't Tom Joad. How ya,
Thought you was in jail.
No, I done my time an' got out. Come
(He pulls Tom into
INSIDE THE TENT, three other men sit on the ground as Casy
brings Tom in. One's name is Frank.
This the fella you been talkin' about?
This is him. What you doin' here,
Workin'. Pickin' peaches. But I seen
a bunch a fellas yellin' when we
come in, so I come out to see what's
goin' on. What's it all about?
This here's a strike.
Well, fi' cents a box ain't much,
but a fella can eat.
Fi' cents! They pain' you fi' cents?
Sure. We made a buck since midday.
(after a long silence)
Lookie, Tom. We come to work here.
They tell us it's gonna be fi' cents.
But they was a whole lot of us, so
the man says two an' a half cents.
Well, a fella can't even eat on that,
an' if he got kids...
(After a pause)
So we says we won't take it. So they
druv us off. Now they're payin' you
five--but when they bust this strike
ya think they'll pay five?
I dunno. Payin' five now.
I don't expeck we can las' much longer--
some a the folks ain't et for two
days. You goin' back tonight?
I aim to.
Well--tell the folks inside how it
is, Tom. Tell 'em they're starvin'
us and stabbin' theirself in the
back. An' as sure as God made little
apples it's goin' back to two an' a
half jus' as soon as they clear us
You hear sump'n?
They listen. Then:
I'll tell 'em. But I don't know how.
Never seen so many guys with guns.
Wouldn't even let us talk today.
Try an' tell 'em, Tom. They'll get
two an' a half, jus' the minute we're
gone. An' you know what that is?
That's one ton a peaches picked an'
carried for a dollar. That way you
can't even buy food enough to keep
you alive! Tell 'em to come out with
us, Tom! Them peaches is *ripe*. Two
days out an' they'll pay *all* of us
They won't. They're a-gettin' five
an' they don't care about nothin'
But jus' the minute they ain't strike-
breakin' they won't get no five!
An' the nex' thing you know you'll
be out, because they got it all
figgered down to a T--until the
harvest is in you're a *migrant*
worker--afterwards, just a bum.
Five they're a-gettin' now, an' that's
all they're int'rested in. I know
exackly what Pa'd say. He'd jus' say
it wasn't none a his business.
I guess that's right. Have to take a
beatin' before he'll know.
We was outa food. Tonight we had
meat. Not much, but we had it. Think
Pa's gonna give up his meat on account
a other fellas? An' Rosasharn needs
milk. Think Ma's gonna starve that
baby jus' cause a bunch a fellas is
yellin' outside a gate?
Got to learn, like I'm a-learnin'.
Don't know it right yet myself, but
I'm tryin' to fin' out. That's why I
can't ever be a preacher again.
Preacher got to *know*.
(Shaking his head)
I don't. I got to *ask*.
(sticking his head in
I don't like it.
What's the matter?
Can't tell. Seems like I hear sump'n,
an' then I listen an' they ain't
nothin' to hear.
'Tain't outa the question, y'know.
All of us a little itchy. Cops been
tellin' us how they gonna beat us up
an' run us outa the country. Not
them reg'lar deppities, but them tin-
star fellas they got for guards.
(After a pause)
They figger I'm the leader because I
talk so much.
Frank's head sticks in the door. His voice is an excited
Turn out that light an' come outside.
They's sump'n here.
Quickly Casy turns the light down and out. He gropes for the
door, followed by Tom and the other man.
IN FRONT OF THE TENT:
What is it?
I dunno. Listen.
There are night sounds but little else to be distinguished.
Can't tell if you hear it or not.
You hear it, Tom?
I hear it. I think they's some guys
comin' this way, lots of 'em. We
better get outa here.
Down that way--under the bridge span.
Casy leads the way softly. THE BRIDGE SPAN is seen from the
stream as Casy, Tom, and the other man wade carefully toward
UNDER THE BRIDGE it is almost black as they creep through
the culvert. Just as Casy and Tom step out from under the
bridge on the other side, a blinding flashlight hits them,
lighting them like day.
There they are! Stand where you are!
Halted, uncertain, they stand as three men with stars on
their coats and pickhandles in their hands slide down the
EMBANKMENT. Two of them hold lighted flashlights.
That's him! That one in the middle,
the skinny one! Chuck! Alec! Here
they are! We got 'em!
There are faint responses from a distance. CASY AND TOM are
alone. The others have fled. The deputies approach, their
lights on Casy and Tom.
Listen, you fellas. You don't know
what you're doin'. You're helpin' to
Shut up, you red--
He swings the pickhandle. Casy dodges but the stick cracks
his skull. He falls face down out of the light. The deputies
watch for a moment but Casy doesn't stir.
Looks like to me you killed him.
Turn him over. Put the light on him.
Bending over, their bodies hide Casy.
TOM, seen close, is breathing hard, his eyes glistening.
Serves him right, too.
As the deputies straighten up, Tom steps forward, grabs the
pickhandle from the man who felled Casy, and swings. The
blow strikes the deputy's arm, sending his flashlight flying,
and the scene is in semi-darkness as Tom swings again. There
is a grunt and a groan as the deputy goes down. Then all is
confusion. Backing away, swinging the pickhandle, Tom bolts,
splashes a few yards through the stream, turns and gains a
better start by throwing the pickhandle at his pursuers.
They duck, and Tom disappears into the night. The other men
rush through the scene in pursuit.
THE SECOND DEPUTY is seen bending over the body of the man
Tom laid out.
Where's that flash?
The light flashes on the man's face.
Boy, he's *good* and dead! You see
that fella that done it?
I ain't sure--but I caught him one
across the face, and believe me, I
give him a trade-mark *he* ain't
gonna be able to shake off easy!
TOM is seen crashing through the bushes, his face bloody.
The scene fades out.
THE EXTERIOR OF HOUSE 63 fades in. It is day. Ma comes down
the street with a bundle under her arm and enters the house.
INSIDE HOUSE 63, Rosasharn sits by the window as Ma enters.
Anybody ask anything?
Stand by the door.
Rosasharn takes her post at the door as Ma kneels on the
floor beside Tom, puts down the rag bundle, and gets a basin.
Tom, who is under a quilt, is with his back alone visible.
She speaks softly, guardedly, as she bathes his face.
How's it feel, Tommy?
Busted my cheek but I can still see.
What'd you hear?
Looks like you done it.
I kinda thought so. Felt like it.
Folks ain't talkin' about much else.
They say they got posses out. Talkin'
about a lynchin'--when they catch
They killed Casy first.
That ain't the way they're tellin'
it. They're sayin' you done it fust.
(after a pause)
They know what--this fella looks
They know he got hit in the face.
I'm sorry, Ma. But--I didn't know
what I was doin', no more'n when you
take a breath. I didn't even know I
was gonna do it.
It's awright, Tommy. I wisht you
didn't do it, but you done what you
had to do. I can't read no fault in
I'm gonna go away tonight. I can't
go puttin' this on you folks.
Tom! They's a whole lot I don't
understan', but goin' away ain't
gonna ease us.
They was the time when we was on the
lan'. They was a bound'ry to us then.
Ol' folks died off, an' little fellas
come, an' we was always one thing--
we was the fambly--kinda whole an'
clear. But now we ain't clear no
more. They ain't nothin' keeps us
clear. Al--he's a-hankerin' an' a-
jibbitin' to go off on his own. An'
Uncle John is just a-draggin' along.
Pa's lost his place--he ain't the
head no more. We're crackin' up,
Tom. They ain't no fambly now.
(a glance at the girl)
--she gonna have her baby, but *it*
ain't gonna have no fambly. I been
tryin' to keep her goin' but--Winfiel'--
what's he gonna be, this-a-way?
Growin' up wild, an' Ruthie, too--
like animals. Got nothin' to trus'.
Don't go Tom. Stay an' help. Help
Okay, Ma. I shouldn't, though. I
know I shouldn't. But okay.
Here come a lot of people.
Tom puts his head under the quilt. Ma turns, faces the door,
her body protectively between Tom and whatever threatens.
How many of you?
Ten of us. Whatcha payin'?
OUTSIDE HOUSE 63, the bookkeeper has encountered the
House 25. Number's on the door.
Okay, mister. Whatcha payin'?
Two and a half cents.
Two an' a half! Say, mister, a man
can't make his dinner on that.
Take it or leave it. There's 200 men
coming from the South that'll be
glad to get it.
But--but how we gonna eat?
Look, I didn't set the price. I'm
just working here. If you want it,
take it. If you don't, turn right
around and beat it.
Which way is House 25?
That Casy. He might a been a preacher,
but--he seen a lot a things clear.
He was like a lantern--he helped mw
see things too.
Comes night we'll get outa here.
At night, the TRUCK is backed up to the door of House 63; it
is already loaded. Ma is speaking in a low voice to Tom, who
is peering out from under a mattress in the truck.
It's jus' till we get some distance.
Then you can come out.
I'd hate to get *trapped* in here.
What's goin' on here?
Tom disappears. Ma turns, her back to the truck. The guard
plays his flashlight on the Joads, who stand watching him
We're goin' out.
We got a job offered--good job.
Yeah? Let's have a look at you.
(He plays his
flashlight on the
Wasn't there another fella with you?
You mean that hitch-hiker? Little
short fella with a pale face?
I guess that's what he looked like.
We just picked him up on the way in.
He went away this mornin' when the
What'd he look like again?
Short fella. Pale face.
Was he bruised up this mornin'? About
I didn't see nothin'.
Okay. Go on.
Quickly, Al is in the driver's seat, with Ma and Pa beside
him. The truck rattles into motion and moves down the street.
AT THE GATES TO THE RANCH another guard flashes a light as
Al stops the car.
Goin' out for good?
Yeah. Goin' north. Got a job.
He opens the gate and the truck goes through. It turns from
the gravel road onto the paved highway.
IN THE FRONT SEAT OF THE TRUCK:
You done good, Al. Just good.
Al shows his pleased pride in her quiet approval.
Know where we're a-goin'?
(shaking her head)
Don't matter. Just got to go--an'
keep a-goin', till we get plenty a
distance away from here.
The TRUCK is rattling along the highway.
Next, it is day, and the TRUCK is still churning along.
In the FRONT SEAT, Tom is driving, his cap pulled as far
down as possible over his wounded cheek. Rosasharn has taken
Pa's place and is leaning wearily against Ma's shoulder.
Ma... you know, if Connie was here I
wouldn't min' any a this.
I know, honey, an' just as soon as
we get settled Al's gonna set out
an' look for him. How 'bout gas,
Full up. Uncle John come through
with five bucks he been hol'in' out
on us since we lef' home.
The TRUCK keeps moving along.
Then it is night, and the TRUCK is still making distance.
On a COUNTRY ROAD, in grey dawn, with a deafening clank under
the hood, the Joad truck pulls to a stop off the side of the
road. Al is driving. Asleep in Tom's arm in the front seat,
Ma stirs awake as Al turns off the ignition and gets out. He
lifts the hood.
She's hotter'n a heifer.
He pulls out the pieces. Tom gets out and takes off the
radiator cap. There is a geyser of steam. In the back of the
truck the others stand looking on, sleepy-eyed.
Picks a nice place for it, too, don't
They all look around. At first they find nothing in sight.
Al and Tom look at each other in disgust.
Gallon or two?
Well, looks like we done it this
(standing in truck)
Some smoke up there.
All look. Tom climbs on the running board the better to see.
Looks like about a mile. Reckon she'll
She got to make it.
(as they get back in)
What is it?
Don't know--but it's better'n this.
As Al starts the truck, the scene dissolves to a weather-
beaten wooden sign: "PERMANENT CAMP NO. 9" "DEPT. OF
We see the GATE TO THE GOVERNMENT CAMP, a wide gate in a
high wire fence, with a caretaker's shack to one side of the
gate. The caretaker stands beside his shack as the Joad truck
swings off the road, hits an unnoticed rut that bounces the
whole truck off the ground, and stops.
You hit 'er too fast.
In the FRONT SEAT Al leans angrily out of the driver's window.
Tom is keeping his face away from the caretaker's line of
What's the idea of that?
Well, a lot a kids play in here. You
tell folks to go slow and they liable
to forget. But let 'em hit that hump
once and they don't forget!
Al starts climbing out. Pa jumps down from the truck.
Got any room here for us?
You're lucky. Fellow just moved out
Down that line and turn to the left.
You'll see it. You'll be in No. 4
Toilet and showers and washtubs.
You mean you got *washtubs?* An'
Camp committee'll call on you in the
morning and get you fixed.
No. No cops. Folks here elect their
The ladies' committee'll call on
you, ma'am, about the kids and the
sanitary unit and who takes care of
Come inside and sign up.
As Ma, Pa, and Al look at each other in almost incredulous
bewilderment, Tom climbs out of the truck.
Take 'er on down, Al. I'll sign.
We gonna stay, ain't we?
You're tootin' we're gonna stay.
(He follows the
caretaker into the
INSIDE THE SHACK, Tom enters warily, alert for any indication
that either his name or his scar may have been learned and
telegraphed here. But the caretaker obviously attaches no
significance to either. The shack is bare but for a cot, a
table, a chair, and an electric light. The caretaker is seated
at the table, pen in hand, a soiled ledger open, when Tom
I don't mean to be nosy, y'understand.
I just got to have certain
information. What's your name?
Joad. Tom Joad.
How many of you?
THE JOAD TRUCK is seen in front of its camp site as the Joads
How 'bout it, Uncle John? Gotta pitch
(groggy with sleep)
You don't look so good.
I *ain't* so good, but--I'm a-comin'.
INSIDE THE CARETAKER'S SHACK:
Camp site costs a dollar a week, but
you can work it out, carrying garbage,
keeping the camp clean--stuff like
We'll work it out. What's this
committee you talkin' about?
We got five sanitary units. Each one
elects a central committee man. They
make the laws, an' what they say
Are you aimin' to tell me that the
fellas that run this camp is jus'
That's the way it is.
(after a pause)
An' you say no cops?
(shaking his head)
No cop can come in here without a
I can't hardly believe it. Camp I
was in once, they burned it out--the
deputies an' some of them poolroom
They don't get in here. Sometimes
the boys patrol the fences, especially
You got dances too?
We got the best dances in the county
every Saturday night.
Say, who runs this place?
Why ain't they more like it?
*You* find out, I can't.
Anything like work aroun' here?
Can't promise you that, but there'll
be a licensed agent here tomorrow
mornin', if you want to talk to him.
Ma's shore gonna like it here. She
ain't been treated decent for a long
(as Tom is at the
That cut you got?
Crate fell on me.
Better take care of it. Store
manager'll give you some stuff for
it in the morning. Goodnight.
As he exits we see the GOVERNMENT CAMP, with Tom coming out
of the shack, amazement still on his face. As he walks slowly
down the main camp street we share the revelation of the
place to him. It is nearly daylight. Roosters crow in the
distance. The street is neat and orderly in a military way,
its cleanliness in sharp contrast to anything he has known
before. Inside the tents people are stirring. In front of
one tent a woman is cooking breakfast. A baby is in her arms.
As he walks on, Tom draws a breath of exultation. As he moves
on, looking around, we see the EXTERIOR OF SANITARY UNIT NO.
4, a cheap frame building the purpose of which is pretty
obvious. Ruthie, warily alert lest she be caught, is peering
in the door. She looks a long time and then she runs out of
WINFIELD is seen asleep in a quilt on the ground when Ruthie
enters and rousts him out.
(in an excited whisper)
Git up. I got sump'n to show you.
It's them white things, made outa
dish-stuff, like in the catalogues!
He stumbles after her.
THE EXTERIOR OF SANITARY UNIT NO. 4. Ruthie is putting on a
bold front as she leads Winfield into sight but she is still
alert for interference.
Come on. Ain't nobody gonna say
Won't they ketch us?
He follows her into the unit, big-eyed with excitement and
apprehension. There is a silence. Then:
Them's where you wash your han's.
Another silence. Then:
Well, I reckon you *stan'* in them
little rooms--an' water come down
outa that there little jigger up
there--take a bath!
Another silence. Then:
Jes' like in the catalogues, ain't
I seen 'em b'fore you did.
Now don't you go monk'ing--
There is the sound of a toilet flushing. It is a cheap toilet
and it is a loud flush which eventually ends in a long
refilling of the tank just as loudly. There is a paralyzed
Now you done it! You busted it!
Terrified, Winfield comes dashing out of the unit but Ruthie
grabs him just outside the door. Beginning to cry, he
struggles to get away.
Lemme go! I didn't go to do it!
Keep qui'te, will ya! Shet your mouth!
I never knowed it! All I done was
pull that string!
Lissen. You done busted it. You hear?
(They listen to the
refilling of the
But lissen here. I won't tell nobody,
--if you won't tell what *I* done!
He nods quickly. Then Ruthie begins to walk away with what
she fancies is an innocent, nonchalant stroll, yawning
casually. Sniffling a little, Winfield mimics her, a very
innocent walk and yawn indeed.
The scene dissolves to a DITCH. Alongside the ditch are some
lengths of concrete pipe. Tom and the two Wallaces are in
the ditch, Tom and Tim picking, Wilkie shoveling.
If this don't feel good!
Wait'll about 'leven o'clock, see
how good she feels then!
Seems like a nice frien'ly fella to
work for, too.
Lotta these little farmers mighty
nice fellas. Trouble is they're
little, they ain't got much say-so.
Shore looks like my lucky day, anyway.
Gettin' some work at las'.
Mr. Thomas, the farmer, a stock man wearing a paper sun
helmet, enters. His face is worried as he squats down beside
the ditch. What he has come to say has taken some effort and
he is still uncertain and annoyed. The men stop work.
Lissen here. Maybe I'm talkin' myself
outa my farm, but I like you fellas,
so I'm gonna tell you. You live in
that gov'ment camp, don't you?
And you have dances every Saturday
We sure do.
Well, look out next Saturday night.
What you mean? I belong to the central
committee. I got to know.
Don't you ever tell I told.
What is it?
Well, the association don't like the
government camps. Can't get a deputy
in there. Can't arrest a man without
a warrant. But if there was a big
fight, and maybe shooting--a bunch
of deputies could go in and clean
out the camp.
(Unfolding a newspaper)
Like last night. Lissen. "Citizens,
angered at red agitators, burn another
squatters' camp, warn agitators to
get out of the county."
(sick of the expression)
Listen. What *is* these reds?
Ever'time you turn aroun' somebody
sayin' somebody else's a red. What
is these reds, anyway?
Well, I tell you. They was a fella
up the country named King--got about
30,000 acres an' a cannery an' a
winery--an' he's all a time talkin'
about reds. Drivin' the country to
ruin, he says. Got to git rid of
'em, he says. Well, they was a young
fella jus' come out an' he was
listenin one day. He kinda scratched
his head an' he says, "Mr. King,
what *is* these reds you all a time
talkin' about?" Well, sir, Mr. King
says, "Young man, a red is any fella
that wants thirty cents a hour when
I'm payin' twenty-five."
I ain't talkin' about that one way
or the other. All I'm saying is that
there's going to be a fight in the
camp Saturday night. And there's
going to be deputies ready to go in.
But why? Those fellas ain't botherin'
I'll tell you why. Those folks in to
being treated like humans. Suppose
the Government closes its camps.
Suppose too many people pass through
'em. Well, when those people go back
to the squatters' camps they'll be
hard to handle.
(Wiping his brow)
Go on back to work now. Maybe I've
talked myself into trouble, but you're
folks like us, and I like you.
(extending his hand)
Nobody won't know who tol'. We thank
An' they ain't gonna be no fight,
They shake hands.
The scene dissolves to the GATE TO THE CAMP, at night. It is
Saturday evening, the night of the dance. Glaring electric
lights hang over the open gate. Parked jalopies line the
highway as the invited guests, small farmers and migrants
from other camps and their families, arrive to be greeted
and checked by a committee of three men.
Ev'nin', ma'am. Who'd you say invited
Mister an' Mizz Clark, they ast us.
Yes, ma'am. Come right in, ma'am.
There is an air of eager anticipation, of gay celebration,
and everyone is in his or her best--the men in clean washed
overalls, clean shirts, some with ties, their hair damp and
slicked down, the women in their nicest. Through the gate,
inside the camp, can be seen the outdoor dance floor, brightly
lighted, with the camp musicians already tuning up, and around
the dance floor scores of wide-eyed children.
INSIDE THE GATE TO THE CAMP, we see Wilkie and a dark-
complexioned man named Jule standing among a group inside
watching the arrivals. They watch sharply, eyeing everyone,
listening to every credential. As his employer, Thomas, comes
through the gate with his wife, Wilkie grins and greets him
with a handshake.
Hidy, Mr. Thomas. Hidy, Mizz Thomas.
You watching out, ain't you?
Don't you worry. Ain't gonna be no
I hope you know what you're talking
(He moves away, Wilkie
grinning after him)
We see the DANCE FLOOR, and after three pats of the foot, to
get the tempo, the home talent dance orchestra swings into
INSIDE THE JOAD TENT, Rosasharn dressed in her nicest, sits
gripping her hands together, the music seeming to bring her
to the verge of tears.
(Ma turns from drying
Ma, I--I can't go to the dance. I
jus' can't Ma. I can't hardly stan'
it, with Connie not here--an' me
(trying to cheer her)
Why, honey, it makes folks happy to
see a girl that way--makes folks
sort of giggly an' happy.
I can't he'p it, Ma. It don't make
*me* giggly an' happy.
Drying her hands, Ma sits beside Rosasharn and takes her in
You an' me's goin' together--jus'
you an' me. We're a-goin' to that
dance an' we're a-goin' to jus' set
an' watch. If anybody says to come
dance--why I'll say you're poorly.
But you an' me, we're gonna hear the
music an' see the fun.
An' you won't let nobody touch me?
No--an' look what I got for you.
Smiling mysteriously, Ma fishes in a pocket in her dress and
brings out the envelope of her treasures. From it she produces
the earrings and holds them up in front of Rosasharn's wide
I used to wear these--when your pa
come callin' on me.
(Then as she puts
them on Rosasharn's
You'll look pretty in 'em tonight.
They smile at each other, proud in the luxury of ornaments.
Down the road from the GATE a touring car with six men pulls
of the pavement and stops. Three men get out. They are
bareheaded and dressed similar to the other migrants. They
stroll down the highway toward the gate. The other men,
deputies, sit watching them.
WITHIN THE GATE:
They tell me you're half Injun. You
look all Injun to me.
No, jes' half. Wisht I was full-
blooded. Gov'ment'd be lookin' out
for me an' I'd be ridin' around in a
The three men from the touring car are at the gate. Wilkie
and Jule watch them.
Who give you the invitation?
Fella named Jackson--Buck Jackson.
Okay. Come on in.
The three men stroll past Wilkie and Jule, whose eyes follow
Them's our fellas.
How you know?
Jes' got a feelin'. They're kinda
scared too. Follow 'em an' get a
holt of Jackson. See if he knows
'em. I'll stay here.
Wilkie moves after them.
We see the DANCE FLOOR. The musicians are at it and the
fiddler is calling turns.
Swing your ladies an' a dol ce do.
Join han's roun' an' away we go!
Swing to the right an' a swing to
the lef'. Break, now break--back to
Well in front, among the older folks and children who surround
the floor, are Ma and Rosasharn, clinging close. A young man
stops in front of them.
Thank you kin'ly but she ain't well.
As Rosasharn's eyes drop. Ma bends toward her, a shy smile
on her face.
Maybe you wouldn't think it, but
your pa was as nice a dancer as I
ever seen, when he was young.
(With a little sigh)
Kinda makes me think a ol' times.
The three men stroll into sight and stand watching the
dancing. One glances at Ma and Rosasharn but does not speak.
Ma has smiled back at him.
WILKIE AND JACKSON are seen; removed somewhat from the dance
floor they are peering in the direction of the three men.
I seen 'em before. Worked at
Gregorio's with 'em. But I never ast
Awright. Keep your eye on 'em. Jus'
keep 'em in sight, that's all.
(He moves quickly
We find ourselves INSIDE TIM WALLACE'S TENT. The five members
of the central committee, Tim Wallace, chairman, look grave
as a 15-year-old boy reports.
I seen 'em, Mr. Wallace. A car with
six men parked down by the euc'lyptus
tree an' one with three men on the
main road. They got guns, too. I
Thank you, Willie. You done good.
(As Willie exits)
Well, it looks like the fat's in the
far this time.
What them deppities want to hurt the
camp for? How come they can't leave
What we oughta do, we oughta git us
some pickhandles an'--
No! That's what they want. No sir.
If they can git a fight goin', then
they can run in the cops an' say we
(He stops as Wilkie
enters followed by
They're here. We got 'em spotted.
There is a grim pause at this news. Tim's eyes go hard.
You sure you got ever'thing ready?
Ain't gonna be no trouble.
You ain't to hurt them fellas.
You don't have to worry. We got
ever'thing arranged. Maybe nobody'll
even see it.
Just don't use no stick nor no knife,
no piece a arn. An' if you got to
sock 'em, sock 'em where they won't
Awright. An' if she gets outa han',
I'll be in the right han' corner,
this side the dance floor.
Ain't gonna get outa han'.
Wilkie makes a mocking military salute as he and Tom exit.
The committee men look worriedly after them.
Mighty sure a themselves, looks like.
All I hope, I hope they don't kill
In front of the JOAD TENT, dressed to kill, is Al, ready for
the festivities. He wears a tight-fitting wool suit, a tie
on his shirt, yellow shoes, and his hair is damp and slicked
down. He rubs his hands together in anticipation as he strolls
in the direction of the dance floor.
At ANOTHER TENT, a blonde girl sits on a box as Al enters.
Casually he throws open his coat, revealing a vivid striped
shirt. This is designed to stun his quarry.
Gonna dance tonight?
I can waltz.
That's nothin'--anybody can waltz.
(shaking his head)
Not like me!
A fat woman thrusts her head out of the tent.
You git right along! This here girl's
spoke for. She's gonna be married,
an' her man's a-comin' for her.
Shrugging, Al winks at the girl and moves on, stepping and
moving his shoulders and snapping his fingers in time to the
music, a very gay fellow indeed. The blonde girl's eyes follow
him. Then she turns and glances cautiously toward the tent.
ON THE DANCE FLOOR, we see Ma and Rosasharn as Tom enters
and stands between them. This is during a pause between dances
and only a few couples stand on the floor waiting for the
music to begin again. We also see the three men very casually
looking around--but no more casual looking than Wilkie,
standing just behind them, idly whistling.
She's gettin' prettier, Ma.
(as Rosasharn hides
Girl with a baby *always* gets
The music starts again, once more the dancers move onto the
dance floor. The three men exchange a glance and step casually
to the edge of the dancing space, one in the lead. They survey
the scene, but for the moment make no further move. The
atmosphere is tense.
Excuse me, Ma.
(He moves quietly out
of the scene, toward
the three men)
AL, taking the blonde girl's hand, steps onto the dance floor.
Encircling her waist, they begin to dance. They are a smooth,
rhythmic couple who move as one being.
Well, you said anybody can waltz...
How'm *I* doin'?
Don't hold me so tight.
Why, I ain't hardly touchin' you!
You're *ticklin' me!*
(grabbing her still
That comes from not holdin' you tight
(complaining but loving
Now I can't breathe.
At this moment the leader of the three men (the other two
directly behind him) enters the scene.
I'll dance with this girl.
You an' who else?
Behind the three men a solid wall of migrants are closing in
quietly, Tom and Wilkie in the middle.
Don't gimme no argament--
(A shrill whistle
sounds in the distance)
His fist goes back, his left hand reaches for Al's collar.
At the same instant Tom grabs him, Wilkie claps his hand
over the leader's mouth, at least fifteen other men have
similarly collard the other two invaders, and they are all
lifted bodily. There is not a sound as the three men, held
in iron grips, are whisked from the dance floor and into the
Two touring cars have stopped in front of the closed GATE
and the deputies have drawn guns.
Open up! We hear you got a riot.
Riot? I don't see no riot. Who're
Got a warrant?
We don't need a warrant if it's a
Well, I don't know what you gonna do
about it, because I don't hear no
riot an' I don't see no riot, an'
what's more I don't believe they
*is* no riot.
(Waving toward the
Look for yourself.
As the deputies, puzzled and uncertain, look toward the DANCE
FLOOR, we see the music, the dancing, the gaiety continuing
as if nothing had happened.
WITHIN THE JOAD TENT at night, several hours later: the tent
is black, Tom strikes a match. From a piece of wood on the
ground or floor he selects one from several cigarette butts
and lights it. While he is doing so, he lifts his head
suddenly, and listens.
In the CAMP STREET we catch sight of legs walking, the ground
lighted from a flashlight. Two pairs of the legs wear state
policemen's leather leggings. The third pair are the
caretaker's. They stop behind a car. The flashlight plays on
the license plate. One of the state cops leans down to copy
the license number in a booklet. Then they move on.
TOM has lifted the edge of the tent a trifle, enough to see
out by flattening his head on the floor. The LEGS are now
seen at the Joad jalopy. The light is on the license plate.
The cop leans over and copies the number. They move on.
TOM, lowering the edge of the tent, sits up. Quietly he pushes
aside the piece of carpet that covers him. He is wearing his
clothes. We see the policeman's CAR at the caretaker's hut.
The two policemen get into the car.
You got no right to arrest anybody
without a warrant, you know.
We'll have a warrant--just as soon
as we check with headquarters.
The car drives off, leaving the caretaker looking somberly
WITHIN THE JOAD TENT, his cap on, fully dressed for travel,
Tom is tieing the ends of the carpet into a shoulder bundle.
Rising, he slings it across his shoulder. As he tiptoes toward
Ain't you gonna tell me goodbye,
For a moment he looks into the darkness in her direction.
I didn't know, Ma. I didn't know if
She has risen, pulling the quilt around her. He takes her by
They go out. Tom leads Ma around BEHIND THE TENT, to a SECTION
OF WIRE FENCE. There is a bench there. Tom leads Ma to it
and sits her down. He sits beside her.
They was some cops here, Ma. They
was takin' down the license numbers.
It looks like somebody knows sump'n.
It had to come, I reckon, soon or
I'd like to stay. I'd like to be
--an' see your face when you an' Pa
get settled in a nice little place.
I sure wish I could see you then.
(shaking his head)
--I guess I won't never be able to
do that. Not now.
I could hide you, Tommy.
(touching her hand)
I know you would, Ma. But I ain't
gonna let you. You hide somebody
that's kilt a man an'... an' you'd
be in trouble too.
(touching his face
with her fingers)
Awright, Tommy. What you figger you
You know what I been thinkin' about,
Ma? About Casy. About what he said,
what he done, an' about how he died.
An' I remember all of it.
He was a good man.
I been thinkin' about us, too--about
our people livin' like pigs, an'
good rich lan' layin' fallow, or
maybe one fella with a million acres,
while a hundred thousan' farmers is
starvin'. An' I been wonderin' if
all our folks got together an' yelled--
Tommy, they'll drive you, an' cut
you down like they done to Casy.
They gonna drive me anyways. Soon or
later they'll get me, for one thing
if not another. Until then...
You don't aim to kill nobody, Tom!
No, Ma. Not that. That ain't it. But
long as I'm a outlaw, anyways, maybe
I can do sump'n. Maybe I can jus'
fin' out sump'n. Jus' scrounge aroun'
an' try to fin' out what it is that's
wrong, an then see if they ain't
sump'n could be done about it.
But I ain't thought it out clear,
Ma. I can't. I don't know enough.
(after a pause)
How'm I gonna know 'bout you? They
might kill you an' I wouldn't know.
They might hurt you. How'm I gonna
Well, maybe it's like Casy says, a
fella ain't got a soul of his own,
but on'y a piece of a big soul--the
one big soul that belongs to ever'body--
Then what, Tom?
Then it don't matter. Then I'll be
all aroun' in the dark. I'll be
ever'where--wherever you look.
Wherever there's a fight so hungry
people can eat, I'll be there.
Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a
guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the
way guys yell when they're mad--an'
I'll be in the way kids laugh when
they're hungry an' they know supper's
ready. An' when our people eat the
stuff they raise, an' live in the
houses they build, why, I'll be there
I don't understan' it, Tom.
It's jus' stuff I been thinkin' about.
Gimme you han', Ma. Good-by.
(He climbs over the
Good-by, Tom. Later--when it's blowed
over--you'll come back? You'll try
to fin' us?
He walks away. She stands looking after him. He's leaving
her forever--she knows it. She lifts her hand and waves. She
tries to smile. TOM turns, waves, smiles. His lips form the
words: "Good-by, Ma." Then he strides away into the darkness.
The scene fades out.
The JOAD TRUCK fades in. It stands loaded in front on the
Joad tent while Al, Pa, Uncle John, Ma, and the little fellas
pile in the last article in a fury of excitement. Beyond, in
the background, another jalopy is being prepared for travel
with the same feverish haste. It is day.
AL, PA, JOHN
Get them buckets on! Somebody tie
down the mattress! You little fellas
keep outa the way!
(from the other truck,
What y'all hurryin' so for? Tell me
they got twenny days work.
Yes, sir, an' we aim to git in all
twenny of 'em.
Other jalopies in the background are being readied for leaving--
an excited, hopeful exodus on a new report of work.
I'll get Rosasharn.
All aboard, ever'body! All aboard
Ma comes out of the tent supporting Rosasharn tenderly. For
the plumpness has gone from the girl and she is thin again,
her face drawn and unhappy, her eyes swollen with weeping
Try to be strong, honey. Someday
it'll be diff'rent--someday you'll
have another one. You're still jus'
a little girl, remember.
Pa takes Rosasharn's other arm. He and Al and Uncle John
help Rosasharn onto the truck. She lies down on the mattress,
her face away from them.
Make her easy, John. Watch her.
She'll be awright.
(in the driver's seat)
(as he and Ma climb
in the front seat)
Let 'er go, Gallagher!
The truck wabbles into motion. Al races the engine. It nearly
crashes another wheezing jalopy at the corner. When it turns
the corner we see the GATE, and a line of loaded jalopies
that ride out to the highway. The caretaker waves and the
migrants wave back.
Good luck to you! Good luck,
Good-by, Mr. Conway! Much oblige to
you for ever'thing!
The Joad truck turns onto the highway. In the FRONT SEAT Al
is driving, Ma in the middle, Pa on the outside.
Twenty days work, oh boy!
Be glad to get my han' on some cotton.
That's the kin' a pickin' I
Maybe. Maybe twenny days work, maybe
*no* days work. We ain't got it till
we get it.
Whatsa matter, Ma? Gettin' scared?
No. Ain't ever gonna be scared no
(After a pause)
I was, though. For a while I thought
we was beat--*good* an' beat. Looked
like we didn't have nothin' in the
worl' but enemies--wasn't *no*body
frien'ly anymore. It made me feel
bad an' scared too--like we was
lost... an' nobody cared.
Watch me pass that Chevvy.
You the one that keeps us goin', Ma.
I ain't no good any more, an' I know
it. Seems like I spen' all my time
these days a-thinkin' how it use'ta
be--thinkin' of home--an' I ain't
never gonna see it no more.
Ma places her hand on one of Pa's and pats it.
Woman can change better'n a man. Man
lives in jerks--baby born, or somebody
dies, that's a jerk--gets a farm, or
loses one, an' that's a jerk. With a
woman it's all one flow, like a
stream, little eddies, little
waterfalls, but the river it goes
right on. Woman looks at it like
(at the jalopy ahead)
Look at that ol' coffeepot steam!
(thinking of what Ma
Maybe, but we shore takin' a beatin'.
I know. Maybe that makes us tough.
Rich fellas come up an' they die,
an' their kids ain't no good, an'
they die out. But we keep a-comin'.
We're the people that live. Can't
nobody wipe us out. Can't nobody
lick us. We'll go on forever, Pa.
We're the people.
(She says this with a
The TRUCK, steaming and rattling and churning, passes the
Chevrolet and Al leans out of the window and waves a jeering
hand at it. As the Joad truck pulls in front, we see Ruthie
and Winfield laughing with excitement over the triumph. Even
Uncle John shares the general satisfaction. Grinning, he
waves. As the truck moves away along the road, all three and
beaming and waving. Further along the truck passes a sign on
the side of the road. It says NO HELP WANTED.
The scene fades out.