The 1992 film "Of Mice and Men," based on the 1937 tale by author John Steinbeck, tells the story of two men as they struggle to survive during the hard years of the Great Depression in California. Although a critical success, it was not nearly as successful at the box office.
The film follows two men, George Milton and Lennie Small, as they struggle to survive in the bleak and trying world of the Great Depression. Although they dream of one day owning a farm together, they frequently get into trouble as a result of Lennie's mental disability, which at one point led to a charge of attempted rape. Although they appear to move closer to their goal after they befriend some other men, Lennie's accidental murder of a young woman sets off a chain of events that leads to his own death at George's hands and George's realization that he will never be truly happy.
The film stars a number of prominent actors, including John Malkovich, who portrays Lennie Small, and Gary Sinise as George. Sherilyn Fenn, famous for her role as Anna Nardini in "The Gilmore Girls," plays the part of Curley's wife, whose death sparks the tragedy of the film while Casey Siemaszko plays Curley, who leads a deadly lynch mob. Ray Walston plays the role of Candy, the ranch-hand who offers to help the two men buy the farm they desire.
The film was well-received by the majority of critics. Roger Ebert, writing for the "Chicago Sun-Times," was particularly pleased with Sinise's acting. He also praised the fact that the filmmakers allowed the bones of the story -- the friendship of the two men -- to take center stage. Desson Howe, writing for "The Washington Post," observed that the film managed to keep the emotive power of the story intact. However, it was a significant disappointment at the box office, and only made a little over $5 million at the American box office. It was also nominated for one award, the Palme d'Or, for Gary Sinise's portrayal of George.
The film was directed by Gary Sinise who, in addition to his acting credits, has also directed episodes of such television series as "China Beach" and "thirtysomething." It was filmed in a number of locations around California, including Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Santa Ynez. It was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and received a PG-13 rating for violent scenes.
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