Horton Foote's adaptation of John Steinbeck's tragic tale about two migrant farmworkers in Depression-era California. Lennie, a sweet-natured, mentally-retarded man who doesn't realize his own crushing strength, and George, his companion and protector, befriend an aging farmhand on the ranch where they work as wheat harvesters. The three men resolve to buy a farm together and escape their down-trodden existence as itinerant laborers. But their dream is shattered when the child-like Lennie accidentally strangles the flirtatious wife of the ranch owner's son and George and Lennie are forced to run for their lives.
John Steinbeck's novel "Of Mice and Men" was published in 1937. It was made into a Broadway play, a 1939 film starring Lon Chaney and Burgess Meredith in the roles of Lennie and George, and, in 1980, a stage piece presented by the Steppenwolf Theater in Chicago. In the latter, George and Lennie were played by Steppenwolf co-founders Gary Sinise and John Malkovich, both of whom reprise these roles in the film. A version was made for TV in 1981, directed by Rezi Badiyi, and starring Robert Blake and Randy Quaid as George and Lennie. Permission for this second filming of the novel was given by Steinbeck's widow. Shot in DeLuxe color.
"...A remarkable film..." - 10/29/1992 Rolling Stone, p.77
"...The film is undeniably handsome....Malkovich is exceptional...while Sinise is neat and effective..." - 01/01/1993 Sight and Sound, p.50
"...A mournful, distantly heard lament for the loss of American innocence....The script is good and the physical production is first-rate..." - 10/02/1992 New York Times, p.C5