A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Natty does some things because of her poverty: She breaks into a movie theater to watch a movie, steals food, and helps some kids steal a cow and car. Men gamble on a dog fight.
Violence & Scariness
A man who picks up Natty hitchhiking attempts to sexually assault her. A train derails and sends Natty flying. Some punching, rock-throwing, slapping, explosions, and a serious fall from a tree. Dogs are shown fighting with bloodied mouths and Wolf attacks two men. Natty skins a bunny and cooks it. Vigilantes torch a shanty town and beat the homeless people there.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Natty and Harry kiss once.
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A few uses of "hell," "son of a bitch," "d--m," and "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Connie smokes cigarettes and drinks liquor. Natty and her friends share a cigarette. Harry smokes cigarettes. The lumberjack foreman smokes a cigar.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is set in the Depression and depicts the bleakness of extreme poverty. Natty's mother is dead and her father leaves her because he found work across the country, so Natty must fend for herself. While there's considerable violence -- from a bloody dog fight to a man who tries to assault Natty when he offers to give her a ride -- the scarier moments aren't portrayed as graphically as they could be. Even when a train derails, Natty walks away with only a few scrapes. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
In an odd way, THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN has more in common with Lassie Come Home and Homeward Bound than teenage coming-of-age movies. It's not about an inner journey, really. It's about a cross-country adventure and the strength and fun that Natty finds along the way.
There are definitely some tense, scary moments on her journey. Natty's saving grace is that she finds parent figures along the way, from a wolf who offers her his kill to Harry (John Cusack) who teaches her how to ride the rails and offers her his meager can of beans when she's hungry. Because of Harry's fatherly kindness to Natty, it's a little off-putting when a romance blooms between the two.
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Our Editors Recommend
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