Comparing Two Film Version of Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men is a book exploring into the lives oftwo migrant workers, George and Lennie and their dream of one daysetting up their own ranch and as Lennie would say “Live of the fat ofthe land”. This for men like George and Lennie would allow them to betheir own masters and live a free life away from rules and the abilityto be canned.
Both film versions of Of Mice and Men begin with a chase scene showingGeorge and Lennie being pursued by a group of angry workers wieldingpowerful weapons; however the manner in which they are chased differsgreatly. In the 1939 film starring Lon Chaney Junior and BurgessMeredith, George and Lennie are chased by men with dogs running onfoot. Earlier in the film there were signs that something bad wouldhappen. The black mushroom cloud symbolized that a bad event hasoccurred and possibly something bad will happen in the future. Alsothe rabbits scurry in all directions, just as George and Lennie arriverunning away from the chasing group of workers giving the notion thatall is not well.
On the other hand in the 1981 film starring Randy Quaid and RobertBlake the pursuers are on horseback and the chase scene is shot in afield rather than the woods used in the earlier film. Also there aretwo points at which George and Lennie in the later film are looked forby the workers once before they meet with Aunt Clara and once after.The music in this section suits the action very clearly there isseparate music for both the chasers and George and Lennie whichemphasises the video. Furthermore when George and Lennie return to thehome of Lennie’s Aunt the tune “Red River Valley” is played. This is asong about returning to the place where you feel safe home.
During the chase scene in the earlier film George, Lennie and thehunting pack of furious workers are never seen in the same shot, this