Early screen adaptation of the John Steinbeck classic. In depression era America, George Milton (Burgess Meredith), a world-weary, wandering farmhand and Lenny Small (Lon Chaney Jr.), his gentle giant pal find work at the Tyler Ranch and think they've struck it big. Lenny has learning disabilities, making him the brunt of scorn and ridicule wherever the pair go, and George takes the role of his protector very seriously. The Tyler Ranch is run by a brutal ganger called Curly (Bob Steele) who really has a thing about hiring a half-wit but George is a good worker and Lenny has the strength of ten men. Curly's flirtatious wife Mae (Betty Field) will stop at seemingly nothing to rile her already fiery husband so, when she starts flirting with the hulking Lenny - there's trouble in the wind.