THE MOVIE VERSION OF OF MICE AND MEN
IS NOT LIKE THE BOOK by John Steinbeck
RECOMMENDED MOVIE: Of Mice and Men (1992) starring John Malkovich, Gary Sinise. Screenplay by Horton Foote. Directed by Gary Sinise. A Metro-Goldyn-Mayer Picture.
WHAT’S IN THE BOOK THAT’S NOT IN THE MOVIE?
Lennie’s visions of Aunt Clara and the giant rabbit, George playing solitaire, Lennie’s black hat, Curley’s wife in Crooks’ room, Crooks’ offer to work on George and Lennie’s place for free, Lennie taking the dead puppy with him after the murder, Curley making George join the search for Lennie, the search party’s encounter with George after Lennie dies, Slim’s comprehension of the truth about Lennie’s death.
WHAT’S IN THE MOVIE THAT’S NOT IN THE BOOK?
George and Lennie escape on a train, George and Lennie visit a small town, the character of the bus driver, Curley’s punching bag, the boss’s office, the boss cracking nuts, George and the injured mule in the barn, George and Slim’s friendship, the game of gin rummy in the bunkhouse, Curley’s discovery of Lennie’s cap in the barn, George’s refusal to join the hunt for Lennie, George’s ride in a railway car after killing Lennie.
WHAT’S THE SAME?
The place by the river, the dead mouse, George’s lie that he and Lennie are cousins and that a horse kicked Lennie in the head, the story of the girl in the red dress, the barley harvest, Lennie’s fight with Curley, the shooting of Candy’s dog, George and Lennie’s dream farm, Curley’s glove filled with Vaseline, the dead puppy, Lennie’s murder of Curley’s wife, George’s murder of Lennie.
THE MOVIE: SUMMARY
The following is a scene-by-scene comparison of the movie to the corresponding chapters in the book.
THE MOVIE: CHAPTER 1
OPENING SCENE: Briefly, we see a pensive man (George) riding in a dark railway car. The rest of the film is seen as a flashback. (ERROR: In the book there is no train and no flashback) A woman wearing a torn red dress runs across a field. (ERROR: The opening scene of the book is of George and Lennie walking through the woods) The scene switches to George and Lennie running from a group of armed men on horseback with tracking dogs. The men and dogs chase them. George and Lennie run to an irrigation ditch and hide in the water behind some bushes. (ERROR: In the book the story of how Lennie touched the woman’s red dress and George and Lennie’s escape from the armed men by hiding in the irrigation ditch is told by George to Slim in Chapter 3. The story is related in conversation only)
The scene switches to George and Lennie running to board a freight train. (ERROR: No train in the book) Lennie asks George where they are going and says he is all wet. George helps him out of his wet coat and tells him to lie down and get some rest. (ERROR: Not in the book)