John Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat

John Steinbeck's Tortilla Flat

DVD - 2009
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Story of a group of Paisanos, descendants of early Mexican settlers in Northern California. They live in the tiny town of Tortilla Flat and spend their days eating, drinking and relaxing in the sun. When one of them inherits two houses the rest are soon living in the houses without paying rent. The situation is further complicated when the house owner falls for a beautiful woman.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Distributed by Warner Home Video, [2009]
Edition: Remastered edition
Branch Call Number: DVD JOHN ST
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (99 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Tortilla Flat


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Jan 14, 2017

A group of unemployed Californian Mexican-Americans sit around each day trying to determine a way to get a few dollars to buy wine and to live another day. This film, with a bunch of Caucasians with brown makeup on their faces, did not bother American audiences one bit. I suspect that very few in the audience ever asked why Mexicans and Native Americans always had to be played by white guys with a little tint added to their skin. And we then get to the last few years where all of the Oscar nominees for best acting were white. Outside this racial question, one could think the film is just a simple film, but the construction of the book suggests that the story is a retelling of King Arthur and his Court! Wow! The book and film could take a few weeks to digest in a college course on literature and film.

May 09, 2013

I sought this one out because it was directed by the great Victor Fleming ("Gone With The Wind", "The Wizard Of Oz"). Unfortunately, there's a reason it's somewhat overlooked. The heavily ethnic premise is crude and even likely potentially insulting, to some. It's eye-opening to witness how different attitudes were some seventy years ago. Ignoring that ignorance, the film still holds several charming sub-plots (a love/hate relationship between John Garfield & Hedy Lamarr, and an extremely sweet quest of a lonely old man, portrayed exceptionally well by Frank Morgan, *The* Wizard Of Oz, and his family -- of dogs).


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May 09, 2013

Pilon: "...They say a little love is like a little wine. Too much of either makes a man sick."


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