7:11am

Sun October 21, 2012
Movies I've Seen A Million Times

The Movie Susan Sarandon Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 8:12 am

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

For actress Susan Sarandon, whose credits include Bull Durham, Thelma & Louise, Dead Man Walking — for which she won a Best Actress Academy Award — and the new film Cloud Atlas, the movie she could watch a million times is John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath.


Interview Highlights

On when she first saw The Grapes of Wrath

"I definitely saw it on TV and I was little, I mean I was probably 11, and I just remember that I was so shaken by the look of it."

On what she thinks the movie is really about

"I think it's about family and home and what constitutes a family, and how people under duress reach out to each other."

On how she thinks the film has influenced her

"I don't know how it affected me as an actress, but I think that what it did was in some way activate my deep, heart-rending feelings about homelessness."

On what she remembers most about it

"I just remember Henry Fonda's face. He managed to register on his face this look of loss and, at the same time, hope. I don't know how he did that, with very little acting it seemed. I wish that I would be in a classic like that, that would hang around after I'm gone."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

On this program, we've been asking filmmakers, actors, writers and directors about the movies they never get tired of watching, including this one from the Academy Award-winning actress who starred in "Dead Men Walking."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SUSAN SARANDON: My name is Susan Sarandon. I'm an actor. And the film that I've seen over and over is "Grapes of Wrath," starring Henry Fonda, directed by John Ford.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GRAPES OF WRATH")

JOHN CARRADINE: (as Casy) Ain't you young Tom Joad, old Tom's boy?

HENRY FONDA: (as Tom) Yeah. I'm on my way home now.

SARANDON: I definitely saw it on TV, and I was little. I mean, I was probably 11. And I just remember that I was so shaken by the look of it.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GRAPES OF WRATH")

FONDA: (as Tom) (Singing) I'm going down the road feeling bad...

SARANDON: I think it's about family and how people under duress reach out to each other.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GRAPES OF WRATH")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as Character) Sings real nice. What state you all from?

RUSSELL SIMPSON: (as Pa) Oklahoma. Had us a farm there, sharecropping.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as Character) We're from Arkansas. Had me a store there, a kind of a general notion store. When the farms went, the stores went too.

SARANDON: Our hero, Tom Joad, has lost his farm and is trying to get to the promised land of California where they think everything's going to be so much better. But, of course, the journey isn't that easy, especially if you don't have anything.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GRAPES OF WRATH")

CHARLEY GRAPEWIN: (as Grandpa) Wait till I get to California. I'm gonna reach up and pick me an orange whenever I want it.

SARANDON: It's just heartbreaking to see their hearts getting broken and everything that they have turning out to be empty.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GRAPES OF WRATH")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (as Character) Just where do you think you're going?

FONDA: (as Tom) We're strangers here, mister. We heard about there was work in a place called Tavares.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (as Character) Yeah, well, you're heading the wrong way. What's more, we don't want no more Okies in this town. There ain't enough work here for them that's already here.

SARANDON: I mean, I just remember Henry Fonda's face. He managed this look of loss and at the same time hope. I don't know how he did that.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GRAPES OF WRATH")

JANE DARWELL: (as Ma) How am I gonna know about you, Tommy?

FONDA: (as Tom) Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beating up a guy, I'll be there.

SARANDON: I wish that I would be in a classic like that, that would hang around after I'm gone.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GRAPES OF WRATH")

FONDA: (as Tom) I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready.

SARANDON: I don't know how it affected me as an actress, but I think that what it did do was in some way activate my deep feelings about homelessness. And I think something about this film resonated somewhere in my imagination and my soul.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "GRAPES OF WRATH")

DARWELL: (as Ma) We're the people that live. They can't wipe us out. They can't lick us. We'll go on forever, Pa, 'cause we're the people.

RAZ: That's Susan Sarandon talking about the film she could watch a million times, John Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath." Susan Sarandon's new film, "Cloud Atlas," opens in theaters next week. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.