The Fat of the Land

Of Mice and Men (1992) is another perfect adaptation of an already perfect John Steinbeck novel. To be fair, it is difficult to mess up such a simple story, but it helps to have great performances. My mom actually met Gary Sinise and John Malkovich during her college days at Steppenwolf Theater. Sinise was a fan of the play since high school. His passion for Of Mice and Men led to him both directing and acting in his first lead role as George. Sinise’s George has a more tough love friendship with Lennie.

Malkovich isn’t the first person I’d think of to play the large and unintelligent Lennie, but he does well with a more mentally disabled take on the character. Ironically, this won’t be the last time Sinise has to deal with a slow-witted companion. George & Lennie’s dream to own their own land and rabbits remains the same. The difference is all the profanity and occasional use of the “N” word that made the book so controversial. When they get to the ranch, George & Lennie are greeted by Ray Walston as Candy.

Candy’s dog is put down like the 1939 original, but he’s the only one made aware of their land owning plan. Joe Morton has Crooks crooked back, but he’s only around to question Lennie. John Terry is a likeable Slim and Casey Siemaszko is an unlikeable Curley. Curley’s wife remains unnamed like the book, but Sherilyn Fenn is always around to cause trouble. Lennie doing bad things is more realistic and just as disturbing by showing more. His ultimate fate is sudden and more heartbreaking on George’s part. Of Mice and Men (1992) is a dream come true.

Of Mice and Men 1992

George and Lennie get work

4 thoughts on “The Fat of the Land

  1. I only ever caught the ending of this one, and I think Sinise’s tough love take on the character adds a little more punch as it hits harder that George truly loved Lennie like a brother, but also knew the world at the time wasn’t ready to accept Lennie’s condition and didn’t want to see his friend suffer for what he couldn’t control.

    Liked by 1 person

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