California, in the 1930s, just before the start of the second World War. In Dubious Battle treats us to a story about an activist who gets caught up in the labour movement for farm workers, and all the struggles and hardship that goes along with life at that time.
Directed by James Franco (The Night Before, Oz the Great and Powerful), In Dubious Battle is a stark, and harsh, look at life in these times. Based on the novel, of the same name, by Pulitzer prize winning author John Steinbeck.
The film contains an ensemble of great characters, played by a talented cast, namely Jim (Nat Wolff), Mac (James Franco), London (Vincent D’Onofrio – CHiPs), Lisa (Selena Gomez – Hotel Transylvania 2), Mr. Anderson (Sam SHepard – Killing Them Softly), Bolton (Robert Duvall), Joy (Ed Harris – Gravity), Sheriff (Bryan Cranston – Power Rangers), Connor (Zach Braff), to name a few.
With a story that adds much interest, given the current political turmoil in South Africa, In Dubious Battle follows a fight not between race, but between class, with the right orchard owners bringing all the money, while the workers are paid the smallest of day wages. With few rights, terrible living conditions, and mob justice meted out to any who go against the status quo, the film leaves one with a new understanding of history at that time, as well as provokes thought and debate.
Well shot, presented, and acted, In Dubious Battle is a film captures the viewer’s attention. While it might not be fraught with plot twists and surprise reveales, it delivers on the drama and entertainment.
In Dubious Battle opens 21 April 2017, in South