YEAR: 2016

ROLE:  Mr. Anderson

DIRECTOR:  James Franco

PREMIERE: Venice Film Festival - 9/3/16

Plot Summary

Published in 1936, "In Dubious Battle" is considered John Steinbeck's first major work. Set in a fictionalized valley in California, the story explores themes Steinbeck continued to develop: group behavior, social injustice, man's inhumanity to man - all themes which continue to be relevant today. A labor conflict between migrant apple pickers and the local growers' association is the backdrop against which Jim Nolan (played by Franco) becomes involved in the labor movement and rapidly matures as he learns what it means to do organizational fieldwork.

James FRANCO...............Mac McLeod
Vincent D'ONOFRIO........Al Anderson
Selena GOMEZ.................Lisa London
Bryan CRANSTON....................Xerife
Josh HUTCHERSON.................Vinnie
Robert DUVALL........................Bolton
Ed HARRIS....................................Joy
Sam SHEPARD.............Mr. Anderson

Production Notes:

Filming took place in the Atlanta, GA area, specifically Bostwick and Senoia, during March and April 2015.

Publicity Stills
Film Festivals

Italy 3 September 2016 (Venice Film Festival)
France 5 September 2016 (Deauville American Film Festival)
Canada 12 September 2016 (Toronto International Film Festival)
USA 8 October 2016 (Mill Valley Film Festival)
Sweden 12 November 2016 (Stockholm International Film Festival)


Boyd van Hoeij, The Hollywood Reporter:
"It is sadly unlikely that this will be playing on a big screen anywhere outside of festivals and special events... Great actors including Shepard, Harris, Bryan Cranston and Vincent D’Onofrio don’t have more than a scene or two each."

Lee Marshall, Screen Daily:
...An ensemble cast that includes some standout performances – particularly by veterans Robert Duvall and Sam Shepard, both in minor roles. It’s the adaptation itself that is the main issue: too respectful by half of its source material, it gets bogged down, alongside the strike it depicts, in this overlong film’s second hour... The estate's workers out on strike take refuge on the farm of taciturn, old-school farmer Anderson with Shepard, emanating old-school-acting authority."

Owen Gleiberman, Variety:
"Sam Shepard plays a rival farmer who agrees to house the workers in tents on his land in exchange for their picking his crop for free. Shepard, who has always looked like he came from the '30s, makes this farmer a compelling contradiction, a hard case with a soft spot."

Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi,
"The film boasts a cast of first class actors such as Sam Shepard, Robert Duvall, Vincent D’Onofrio and Ed Harris who deliver some of the best performances of their careers. James Franco does a terrific job both as an actor and director."

Roger Moore, Movie Nation:
"Franco is well-cast as the veteran organizer who sees the cause and the big picture as paramount. But Ed Harris all but steals the movie as Joy, a clear-eyed fanatic whose passion has not dimmed even as the years of beatings by armed strike-breakers have made him punch drunk."

Brian Tallerico,
"As a director, Franco knows to get out of the way and let his veterans do that which they do best. So, D’Onofrio, Duvall, Sam Shepard, and Ed Harris give magnetic, lived-in performances. For the record, Franco himself is very good here as well."

Travis Hopson,
"I think if there is a consistent thread to Franco's work it's his ability to coax great performances from his cast. It may be his own experience in front of the camera but he does have a knack for it, which is why he's always able to get so many talented people for what amount to extended cameos. Josh Hutcherson, Bryan Cranston, Sam Shepard, Ashley Greene, and many more make worthy contributions without overstaying their welcome."

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, A.V. Club
"Not even the holy trinity of codgers—Robert Duvall, Ed Harris, and Sam Shepard, as, respectively, the pickers’ boss, an activist, and a local farmer—can give life to this thing."