Movie Review: “Of Mice and Men” (1992)

Okay, I know nobody reads these reviews anyways, but I’ll put them up just for fun. This movie review was actually written for my English class, and not for film class. I got a fairly good mark on this assignment. The review is on a film adaptation of the famous John Steinbeck novel of the same title. It’s not a very interesting film, but it’s not the worst thing I’ve ever seen.


Of Mice and Men (1992) is a film version of the class novel of the same title by John Steinbeck. The movie is directed by Gary Sinese, who also stars with John Malkovich as the two main characters in this tale about two drifters who share a dream. This version of Of Mice and Men follows the novel pretty closely, so it should be very recognizable for those who have read the novel itself. The film has some good points about it, but overall it is just an average movie.

Set in the early twentieth century, the film starts off as George (Gary Sinese) and Lennie (John Malkovich) run across a field and jump into a ditch to escape their pursuers, after Lennie did something bad. George and Lennie are an odd pair, with George being quick and wiry while Lennie is large and mentally underdeveloped. These two travel together from ranch to ranch doing back breaking work in order to fulfill their dream to own a plot of land. The pair arrives at a new ranch to start work and their dream seems to be closer to coming true, but there are people at the ranch who will make their goal more difficult to achieve, such as the boss’ son Curly, who happens to dislike Lennie at first sight, and his wife who seems to wander in and out of the ranch.

This film version of Of Mice and Men has most of the scenes and dialogue that are in the novel itself, but there are a few differences from the book and the movie. The most notable difference between the book and movie is the way Curly’s wife (played by Sherilyn Fenn) is portrayed. In the movie, there are some extra scenes with Curly’s wife that are not in the novel. The movie tries to portray Curly’s wife as more of a victim of spousal neglect and abuse in order to get some sympathy from the audience. Well, this change didn’t quite work because the message delivered by the new scenes are a bit too subtle and wasn’t quite enough to change the audience’s opinion of this character, especially for those who have read the novel. It seems like the director wasn’t quite sure which direction to go for, since Curly’s wife seems like a slut in one scene and a distressed victim in the next one.

The acting performances in this film are acceptable. Gary Sinese is believable as George but there’s nothing notable about his acting. John Malkovich delivers a memorable performance as Lennie, with the funny way of speaking and the body language to make himself seem like a man with the mind of a five-year-old. The effort by the actor was commendable but at certain points in the film, Malkovich seems to overact and the character becomes irritating. The voice becomes too high pitched and the body movement becomes an annoying fidgeting motion. The performances of the other cast members are okay, but there’s nothing special about any of them.

Overall, Of Mice and Men is a pretty good translation of the novel into motion picture, as the story is kept largely intact and most of the elements of setting and mood are present. Those who like the novel itself or are just fans of literatures in general should give this movie a look. This movie is a lot better than many of the movies out there, but it’s not especially great or even memorable.

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