I remember having to read this story in junior high and then the reward for the entire class finally getting through the book was that we got to watch the film. Not a lot of people cheered for that but I happened to have thought it was great since the story was so compelling and well written. I would have groaned in high school when it was assigned again but honestly I just waited for the payout I knew was coming. Thankfully this time around a new version had been filmed and it was quite a bit different, and better, than I can remember the original being.
It was also just as heart-rending as the first time if I’m being completely honest.
10. Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4.
If you can remember how harsh of a critic this guy was then you know this is high praise coming from him.
9. Curley’s wife never was named.
Seriously, she was always known as Curley’s wife. If there’s a scene in which her actual name is said then I honestly don’t remember it.
8. Several of the supporting cast members would eventually star on Law and Order: SVU
Being as this was filmed in 1992 it was the right time for a lot of actors to start getting noticed.
7. The author actually did George and Lennie’s job.
Steinbeck’s story was so great because he’d actually done the job and been through some of the things that the main characters had.
6. Lennie was based on a real person.
The character was based off of someone that Steinbeck actually knew and worked with. He didn’t kill a woman though, he killed a foreman.
5. The title was almost something far more simple.
The title of the book was almost Something That Happened. It’s not nearly as catchy and is as vague as anything can possibly be. Thankfully he changed it.
4. The book that made the movie is one of the most read books in American high schools.
If you’re lucky you got to read this in junior high and therefore had the knowledge already stored by the time you hit high school. It wasn’t that common though.
3. The book and the movie had an impact on Looney Tunes.
You know those supposedly dumb characters that say “Which way did he go George, which way did he go?”? Those are the characters inspired by the film and the book.
2. The old man that played Candy is missing a hand, whereas in Fast Times at Ridgemont High he is named Mr. Hand.
In Of Mice and Men he’s a kind old man with a rather tame back story, but in Fast Times he’s one of the toughest teachers around.
1. Dreams are a big part of the story.
George has a dream of owning his own homestead and being his own boss. Lennie as a dream of being on that homestead with George and getting to pet and love the little animals they’ll have. Needless to say George’s dreams are kind of wrecked because Lennie can’t control his impulses.
I think this is one of the movies that almost jerked a tear out of me.