- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Take in Context
- Sam Bryks
I just watched this film a few hours ago and enjoyed the superb cast, the wonderful cinematography, and the location as well. I think that the comments about non-Latino actors playing Latinos is missplaced in the context of when this film was made. Had this film been made more recently, of course, one would expect characterizations that were truer to the context of the ethnicity of the characters in the story, but an actress like Meryl Streep and others as well as non-Latino actors would have got it right and likely studied the actual accents (if they existed) of the locale. I had read the original story years ago, and don't recall that Steinbeck focused on this overly. One also has to remember that it only takes a generation for ethnic Americans to take on the regional accents. As others have commented, it is also a matter of studio decisions about casting in terms of "star" value as well as authenticity. Audrey Hepburn in "My Fair Lady" was that kind of decision when Julie Andrews really should have been cast as Eliza Doolittle, though Hepburn did a superb job in the film. I loved Tortilla Flat.. A truly rich experience with amazing acting by all. I loved watching Frank Morgan's expression as he told his story in the film, and the Lamarr - Garfield chemistry was wonderful.. I wish there was more of that!!!!! And of course Spencer Tracy in the pivotal role of the film. the bottom line is the enjoyment of watching these stars and the entire cast... Wonderful...
- Michael Maloney
I've recently been getting into the older movies of the 30s and 40s. I'm a huge John Garfield fan, so it goes to say I loved this movie. Spencer Tracy, Garfield and the others play perfectly off of one another and that makes the movie very believable in the sense that the friendships make this movie great.The movie never gets slow or boring and keeps getting more interesting and funny as the story unfolds.All in all it's a great movie and definitely worth a watch if you're a fan of comedies and any of these actors as they are all great in this movie.
Good acting in pre-politically correct Hollywood
- Jeff Boston
I differ with Mr. Weber's post, especially "being non-Latino, they don't really have an understanding of the characters they are playing." Reasonable, but such thinking would have prevented many a Jew playing an Italian in great roles in great films, many an Italian playing a Jew, etc, etc. "West Side Story" would not have been made as it was (I believe Rita Moreno was the only hispanic in a role of significance , and that movie was made a generation after "Tortilla Flat"). In our not-so-distant past, political correctness did not rear its ugly head as it does today. Enjoy the movie (Mr. Weber himself states that he has watched it more than once - because it's a good movie, and book). Spencer Tracy is one of the all-time greats (and also played the Latino lead in "The Old Man and the Sea") and Frank Morgan (awesome in "The Wizard of Oz") was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in this film - and he played a Latino (could that happen today?). This a movie. People act in movies. Playing a character unlike one's self, and doing it well, is called good acting.
Caucasians Playing Latinos
- Bruce Reber
I find it incredible and disappointing that a film about an ethnic group (in this case Latinos) doesn't have a single one of them cast in any one of the roles. This seems to be the case in many Hollywood films of this type from the 30's and 40's. I guess that casting caucasians to play Asians and Latinos was easier for the studios and would ensure that the films would be acceptable to predominantly white American audiences. "Tortilla Flat" is the worst example, with stars from various ethnic backgrounds such as Spencer Tracy (an Irish American from Milwaukee), Hedy Lamarr (Austrian-born), and John Garfield (a Jewish stage actor from Brooklyn) cast as the 3 main characters. I have seen "Tortilla Flat" several times, and while it's a pretty good film, I get the feeling that no matter how great these stars are, being non-Latino they don't really have an understanding of the characters they are playing. If the film had actual Latino actors it would be a much better film.
This Hispanic-themed movie on DVD
- Jeffrey Kenison
This movie should be on DVD. I like Spencer Tracy.