My Car Quest

June 16, 2024

John Steinbeck – His 112th Birthday Is Today

by Mike –

John Steinbeck is one of the great American writers of the 20th Century – his 112th birthday is today.

I was required to read his short novel, “Of Mice and Men”, in high school as many others were. It is a book that inspired me.

John Steinbeck

Of Mice and Men

I did not know at the time that later I would live in the town where he wrote this great novella and also wrote what many consider to be his best work, “The Grapes of Wrath”.

At the time he lived in Los Gatos, California and where he lived then is now in the town of Monte Sereno which separated from Los Gatos many years ago. I have lived in Monte Sereno for a long time.

John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California and lived much of his life in Northern California: Salinas, Monterey, San Francisco, Los Gatos (Monte Sereno) and Palo Alto while studying at Stanford. He also lived for a time in New York.

He won the Pulitzer Prize for “The Grapes of Wrath” and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

I met John Steinbeck’s son, Thom Steinbeck, a few years ago in Monterey. He is also an accomplished writer.

John Steinbeck helped make Monterey, California famous with his novel “Cannery Row” and “East of Eden” was made into a movie staring James Dean. Many of his novels were made into movies and some more than once. “The Grapes of Wrath” stared Henry Fonda.

Grapes of Wrath

John Steinbeck’s Writings Made Into Movies

1939—Of Mice and Men—directed by Lewis Milestone, featuring Burgess Meredith, Lon Chaney, Jr., and Betty Field
1940—The Grapes of Wrath—directed by John Ford, featuring Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell and John Carradine
1941—The Forgotten Village—directed by Alexander Hammid and Herbert Kline, narrated by Burgess Meredith, music by Hanns Eisler
1942—Tortilla Flat—directed by Victor Fleming, featuring Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr and John Garfield
1943—The Moon is Down—directed by Irving Pichel, featuring Lee J. Cobb and Sir Cedric Hardwicke
1944—Lifeboat—directed by Alfred Hitchcock, featuring Tallulah Bankhead, Hume Cronyn, and John Hodiak
1944—A Medal for Benny—directed by Irving Pichel, featuring Dorothy Lamour and Arturo de Cordova
1947—La Perla (The Pearl, Mexico)—directed by Emilio Fernández, featuring Pedro Armendáriz and María Elena Marqués
1949—The Red Pony—directed by Lewis Milestone, featuring Myrna Loy, Robert Mitchum, and Louis Calhern
1952—Viva Zapata!—directed by Elia Kazan, featuring Marlon Brando, Anthony Quinn and Jean Peters
1955—East of Eden—directed by Elia Kazan, featuring James Dean, Julie Harris, Jo Van Fleet, and Raymond Massey
1957—The Wayward Bus—directed by Victor Vicas, featuring Rick Jason, Jayne Mansfield, and Joan Collins
1961—Flight—featuring Efrain Ramírez and Arnelia Cortez
1962—Ikimize bir dünya (Of Mice and Men, Turkey)
1972—Topoli (Of Mice and Men, Iran)
1982—Cannery Row—directed by David S. Ward, featuring Nick Nolte and Debra Winger
1992—Of Mice and Men—directed by Gary Sinise and starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise

There aren’t many writers with these kind of credits!

John Steinbeck - His 112th Birthday Is Today
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John Steinbeck - His 112th Birthday Is Today
John Steinbeck is one of the great American writers of the 20th Century - his 112th birthday is today.

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