Tortilla Flat (1942)


“They say that a little love is like a little wine. Too much of either makes a man sick.” – Pilon

Number of Times Seen – 1 (9 Jan 2019)

Brief Synopsis – After gaining an inheritance from a deceased relative, a man’s friends try to take advantage of his good nature and use the inheritance for themselves.

My Take on it – This is another film that I knew absolutely nothing about before hearing that one of its cast was nominated for an Oscar for their performance here.

I have never read the John Steinbeck novel this is based on, but the way that the story unfolds here is quite farcical and might have been much more enjoyable if it had delved more deeply into the lives of the characters.

Steinbeck’s novels are usually much more poignant and this adaptation is far from the other stories that I know of his because there is no emotional connection with any of the characters at all.

Spencer Tracy is among my favorite actors, but his performance here as an immigrant farmer just isn’t believable in any way and seems too comical.

The way that the story unfolds is also quite unbelievable and doesn’t work well as it probably should.

Frank Morgan is also a great actor, but I’m quite shocked that he was somehow able to get an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor here because this is very far from being among his best work.

Bottom Line – Pretty silly idea that doesn’t work very well at all.  The story isn’t as dark and deeply emotional as it should be and instead comes across as seeming quite much like a farce. Hard to believe Tracy in this film as an immigrant farmer and it’s quite difficult to believe the way the story actually unfolds here. Morgan was somehow nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this film and even though he might have been a great actor, his performance here is quite lacking and is far from being among his best work.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Originally M.G.M. wanted Anthony Quinn or Desi Arnaz for the role of Danny, Rita Hayworth as Dolores Sweets Ramirez and Maria Montez for the role of Fran(Cesca). Maria Montez was dating, who would become her second husband and father of her daughter Christina, Jean-Pierre Aumont who was under contract to Metro. Montez was under contract to Universal Pictures. M.G.M. wanted to cash in on that publicity of the romance between Aumont and Montez. Montez was as equally as big a star as Hedy Lamarr and the same type. So M.G.M. probably then decided to put Betty Wells in the role of Cesca. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (4/10)

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2 thoughts on “Tortilla Flat (1942)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1942 | MovieRob

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