Tortilla Flat

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  • NR
  • 1942
  • 1 hr 45 min
  • 6.2  (2,014)
  • 70

Tortilla Flat is a charming film set in Monterey, California in the 1940s, starring Spencer Tracy, Hedy Lamarr, and John Garfield. It tells the story of a group of vagabond friends who call themselves the paisanos and live in the poor neighborhood of Tortilla Flat. The movie is a perfect example of classic Hollywood storytelling, filled with humor, drama, and romance.

The movie opens with the narrator, Pilon (played by Garfield), introducing us to the colorful characters that populate the world of Tortilla Flat. There's Pablo (Tracy), the self-appointed leader of the paisanos who believes in living life to the fullest, and Danny (Frank Morgan), the kind-hearted owner of the local store who gives the group credit on the promise that they will eventually pay him back. The film also features the beautiful Dolores (Lamarr), a wealthy young woman who captures the hearts of both Pablo and Pilon.

While the paisanos may not be the most productive members of society, they are fiercely loyal to each other, and their sense of community is at the heart of the film. They spend their days working odd jobs, drinking wine, and pursuing their own passions, whether it's painting, playing the guitar, or just lounging in the sun. However, their easygoing way of life is disrupted when they are given a house by a deceased friend's will. Suddenly, they find themselves thrust into the responsibilities of homeownership, and their idyllic existence begins to unravel.

At its core, Tortilla Flat is a movie about friendship. The paisanos may not have money or ambition, but they have each other, and that's all they need to be happy. However, their loyalty is tested when they are given the house, as each member of the group begins to covet the property for their own purposes. Pablo wants to use it as a base for his romantic pursuits, while Pilon sees it as a way to pay back Danny's debt. This conflict drives much of the plot, as the paisanos struggle to balance their desire for the house with their love for each other.

Spencer Tracy is the standout of the cast, bringing a rugged charm to the role of Pablo. He's a man who lives life on his own terms, unencumbered by the constraints of society. However, as much as he might protest, he deeply cares for his friends and is willing to make sacrifices for their sake. Lamarr is radiant as Dolores, bringing a warmth and gentleness to the role that makes her stand out among the other characters. Garfield is similarly impressive as Pilon, bringing a sly wit and intelligence to the role that makes him an engaging narrator.

The film is shot in gorgeous black and white, with the Monterey coastline serving as a stunning backdrop. The cinematography is especially effective in capturing the beauty of the natural environment, from the rolling hills to the crashing waves. Director Victor Fleming, who also helmed The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, infuses the film with a sense of whimsy and charm that makes it stand out from other dramas of the era.

Overall, Tortilla Flat is a lovely film that captures the spirit of a bygone era. It's a celebration of friendship and the joys of living a simple life, and its message is as relevant today as it was when it was released in 1942. The film showcases the talents of an incredible cast and offers a glimpse into a world that will enchant viewers for generations to come.

Tortilla Flat is a 1942 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.2 and a MetaScore of 70.

Tortilla Flat
Where to Watch Tortilla Flat
Tortilla Flat is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Tortilla Flat for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 45 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.2  (2,014)
  • Metascore