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Thanks very much for that rundown on Eddie's comments, kingrat. Much appreciated. Interesting about the true feelings of Gomez and Pearson for one another considering the fact their characters are so fond of one another in the film (convincingly so, I thought).

It's interesting that so many on this thread, if not actually down on Force of Evil, have, at least, limited enthusiasm for the film. It's a film that was unappreciated at the time of its 1948 release and has since been "rediscovered" by many film noir critics and fans.

I like the film quite a lot, regarding the performances of Garfield, Gomez and even Windsor, small as her role is, as all first rate. And the last 20 minutes or so, with the shootout in the darkened room and the discovery at the waterside dramatically gripping and, ultimately, with the ending, emotionally bleak.

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3 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Thanks very much for that rundown on Eddie's comments, kingrat. Much appreciated. Interesting about the true feelings of Gomez and Pearson for one another considering the fact their characters are so fond of one another in the film (convincingly so, I thought).

It's interesting that so many on this thread, if not actually down on Force of Evil, have, at least, limited enthusiasm for the film. It's a film that was unappreciated at the time of its 1948 release and has since been "rediscovered" by many film noir critics and fans.

I like the film quite a lot, regarding the performances of Garfield, Gomez and even Windsor, small as her role is, as all first rate. And the last 20 minutes or so, with the shootout in the darkened room and the discovery at the waterside dramatically gripping and, ultimately, with the ending, emotionally bleak.

I'm not certain, but I think Force of Evil was the first John Garfield film that I ever saw. It was on VHS as part of a collection of films presented by Martin Scorsese, which is why I rented it at the time (or took it home for free; I worked at the store). I liked it, and it was a good introduction to Garfield, but I haven't seen it in 20+ years. Since then I've seen all of Garfield's other films, and count several others as my favorites of his, but I still have fond memories of Force of Evil.

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18 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I'm not certain, but I think Force of Evil was the first John Garfield film that I ever saw. It was on VHS as part of a collection of films presented by Martin Scorsese, which is why I rented it at the time (or took it home for free; I worked at the store). I liked it, and it was a good introduction to Garfield, but I haven't seen it in 20+ years. Since then I've seen all of Garfield's other films, and count several others as my favorites of his, but I still have fond memories of Force of Evil.

 

I think it's safe to say that it's Garfield's participation in film noirs in the final years of his career that has largely helped to keep his name alive to a degree with old film buffs. My favourite Garfield movies (excluding The Sea Wolf, in which he has a supporting role) are The Postman Always Rings Twice, Body and Soul, Force of Evil and The Breaking Point. Many noir buffs would also include his final film, He Ran All The Way as a film of note, as well.

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These would probably be my favorite John Garfield films, in chronological order:

Four Daughters

Daughters Courageous

The Sea Wolf

The Fallen Sparrow

Between Two Worlds

Pride of the Marines

The Postman Always Rings Twice

Nobody Lives Forever

Body and Soul

Gentleman's Agreement

We Were Strangers

The Breaking Point

He Ran All the Way

Overall, Garfield's filmography is pretty strong. I didn't include films like Out of the Fog, Destination Tokyo, and Humoresque, which have their good points, too. The peak of his career was the film noir era, which suited his looks, his screen persona, and his abilities very well. He has screen chemistry with ladies as diverse as Priscilla Lane, Ida Lupino, Maureen O'Hara, Eleanor Parker, Lana Turner, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Jennifer Jones, Patricia Neal, and Shelley Winters.

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Garfield was cursed by Warner Brothers giving him a lot of second rate material during his contract years with the studio. It must have been frustrating for him as an actor to be assigned to the likes of Castle on the Hudson, Flowing Gold, Dangerously They Live, etc., and he was seriously miscast as a Mexican rebel in a small role in Juarez. Clearly Warners did not regard him as one of the big guns of the studio, like Cagney or Bogart (once he finally became a star). Garfield had to get away from the studio in his final years to get some of his best film roles.

You listed Garfield's leading ladies, kingrat. I thought he had particularly potent sexual chemistry with Turner in Postman, one of the main contributing virtues of that film.

It's ironic, after largely being wasted by Warner Brothers (with a handful of film exceptions), that he returned to the studio at the end of his career for what was to have been a two film assignment. First he was cast in The Breaking Point in which he delivered a beautiful, nuanced performance as good as anything that he ever did (it's my favourite Garfield performance).

The Breaking Point was released to fine reviews (Garfield said he considered the film better than Body and Soul, his last big hit which had netted him an Oscar nomination). But, unfortunately, the actor had become a liability for the studio by September, 1950, the time of the film's release, because of the Red scare talk with which he was associated. Jack Warner limited the release of the Garfield film so that it disappeared at the box office and then cancelled making that second film with him.

The actor was forced to scrounge around for another film assignment, finally landing the small budget He Ran All The Way at a small studio. After that there was nothing for him, outside of some talk of TV and a desperate consideration on his part (which he dismissed) of going to Europe for work.

The Breaking Point would largely disappear from view, receiving little in the way of television broadcasts over the years, and becoming a Garfield film that few ever saw. It wasn't until the past few years that the film was "rediscovered," getting frequent broadcasts on TCM, as well as a restoration by the Film Noir Foundation,with Eddie Muller's involvement. Now, finally, the film is being hailed as one of the outstanding films of Garfield's career, as well as just being a fine film in its own right. Hemingway who, admittedly, hated what Hollywood did to most of his novels, told Patricia Neal that The Breaking Point was his favourite Hollywood adaption of any of his works.

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Recorded Force of Evil and watched it last night.  I give it 2 stars out of 4 at best.  As noted by another poster, too much talking.  The plot also seemed a little disjointed at times to me.

Enjoyed Eddie's comments as usual.  Too little of Marie Windsor in it and not impressed at all with Beatrice Pearson.

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Force of Evil, stylish crime movie with some nice cinematic touches and good location shots.

Walmart is coming to put all the local mom and pop stores out of business. I thought Beatrice

Pearson was very fetching, including her hairdo. Her character had that somewhat meek, under

stated vibe which I found attractive, especially in that environment. Now state governments

run the numbers' game. I agree with Polonsky's disdain for Elia "Lifetime Rat Achievement Award"

Kazan.

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I'd normally just post this in the DVD section, but I thought more people would be interested in this here:

81aGKG8HkTL._SX342_.jpg

Flicker Alley, the Film Noir Foundation, and UCLA Film & Television Archive are proud to present a brilliant new restoration of Richard Fleischer s gripping (and nearly lost!) film noir Trapped (1949), starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton, in a deluxe Blu-ray/DVD dual-format edition.

Before making Hollywood epics such as Tora! Tora! Tora! and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, director Richard Fleischer started his career with a series of low-budget B-features, often taking ripped-from-the-headlines crime stories and spinning them into noir gold... of which an exquisite example is 1949's endlessly entertaining Trapped.

A young Lloyd Bridges stars as hardboiled hood Tris Stewart, a convicted counterfeiter doing time in the Atlanta pen. When a fresh batch of fake bills starts circulating, treasury agents bail Stewart out to help lead them to the maker of the fake plates. But Tris double-crosses the Feds, hooking up with his gun-moll sweetie (22-year-old Barbara Payton in her breakout role). They plan to heist the plates and hightail it across the border. With the Feds closing in and the double-crosses piling up, Stewart finds himself between a rock and a hard place... and this time, he may be trapped for good!

Although long sought by the Film Noir Foundation, Trapped was believed to have suffered the unfortunate fate of many B-films of the era: oblivion. But when a private collector deposited a 35mm acetate print at the Harvard Film Archive, the Film Noir Foundation and UCLA Film & Television Archive (with support from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Charitable Trust [The HFPA Trust]) sprang into action, restoring the film. The result, presented in a Blu-ray/DVD dual-format edition by Flicker Alley, honors the pitch-perfect performances, assured direction, and gorgeous cinematography of this edge-of-your-seat, noir classic.

BONUS FEATURES:

Freeing Trapped a documentary on the film s creation and history, featuring interviews with Eddie Muller, Donna Lethal, and others.

A Sedulous Cinderella: Richard Fleischer Remembered a remembrance of the man, the director, and the father, by his son, Mark Fleischer.

Audio Commentary Track Featuring author Alan K. Rode and film historian Julie Kirgo.

24-Page Souvenir Booklet Featuring rare photographs, poster art, and commentary by Czar of Noir Eddie Muller.

 

Trapped will be released on Blu-ray/DVD December 31st.

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Was surprised to hear that Pearson and Gomez were gay! WTH? Also surprised they would be that bold to demand their partners be allowed on the set. Interesting to say the least......

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6 hours ago, Hibi said:

Was surprised to hear that Pearson and Gomez were gay! WTH? Also surprised they would be that bold to demand their partners be allowed on the set. Interesting to say the least......

Especially in that era.  Gomez was established to some degree, but Pearson sure wasn't.

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On 10/28/2019 at 5:38 PM, LawrenceA said:

I'd normally just post this in the DVD section, but I thought more people would be interested in this here:

81aGKG8HkTL._SX342_.jpg

Flicker Alley, the Film Noir Foundation, and UCLA Film & Television Archive are proud to present a brilliant new restoration of Richard Fleischer s gripping (and nearly lost!) film noir Trapped (1949), starring Lloyd Bridges and Barbara Payton, in a deluxe Blu-ray/DVD dual-format edition.

Before making Hollywood epics such as Tora! Tora! Tora! and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, director Richard Fleischer started his career with a series of low-budget B-features, often taking ripped-from-the-headlines crime stories and spinning them into noir gold... of which an exquisite example is 1949's endlessly entertaining Trapped.

A young Lloyd Bridges stars as hardboiled hood Tris Stewart, a convicted counterfeiter doing time in the Atlanta pen. When a fresh batch of fake bills starts circulating, treasury agents bail Stewart out to help lead them to the maker of the fake plates. But Tris double-crosses the Feds, hooking up with his gun-moll sweetie (22-year-old Barbara Payton in her breakout role). They plan to heist the plates and hightail it across the border. With the Feds closing in and the double-crosses piling up, Stewart finds himself between a rock and a hard place... and this time, he may be trapped for good!

Although long sought by the Film Noir Foundation, Trapped was believed to have suffered the unfortunate fate of many B-films of the era: oblivion. But when a private collector deposited a 35mm acetate print at the Harvard Film Archive, the Film Noir Foundation and UCLA Film & Television Archive (with support from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Charitable Trust [The HFPA Trust]) sprang into action, restoring the film. The result, presented in a Blu-ray/DVD dual-format edition by Flicker Alley, honors the pitch-perfect performances, assured direction, and gorgeous cinematography of this edge-of-your-seat, noir classic.

BONUS FEATURES:

Freeing Trapped a documentary on the film s creation and history, featuring interviews with Eddie Muller, Donna Lethal, and others.

A Sedulous Cinderella: Richard Fleischer Remembered a remembrance of the man, the director, and the father, by his son, Mark Fleischer.

Audio Commentary Track Featuring author Alan K. Rode and film historian Julie Kirgo.

24-Page Souvenir Booklet Featuring rare photographs, poster art, and commentary by Czar of Noir Eddie Muller.

 

Trapped will be released on Blu-ray/DVD December 31st.

"The DVD section" - what is that?

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On 10/27/2019 at 9:57 AM, TomJH said:

You must live in Canada. Force of Evil was replaced by the other Garfield film there. That's why you didn't see Eddie Muller. Dust be My Destiny is OK but pretty cliche from the "society drove me to crime" school so popular in Hollywood as that time in the FDR era.

Force of Evil is a far more interesting film, with Garfield, who was maturing as an actor (reaching his peak as a performer, I feel, in The Breaking Point two years later), demonstrating a skilfull ability to deliver stylized faux poetic dialogue in his courtship scenes with Beatrice Pearson. It's an unexpected and odd aspect of the Polonsky screenplay to have dialogue like that (especially in a crime film) but it's interestingly different. Thomas Gomez delivers a wonderfully stressed performance as Garfield's older harassed brother, while Marie Windsor, in a frustratingly small role, is sleekly beautiful, sensuous and dangerous to be around (for Garfield anyway). The film's final image is memorable and about as bleak as you will find in any film noir.

I was sorry to miss Eddie Muller's take on FOE since the film wasn't shown in Canada. Anyone care to drop any nuggets from his intro/outro of the film?

It happens sometimes but it's been a while since we last got a replacement flick for Noir Alley. At least we aren't missing out on this week's flick, only on Arsenic and Old Lace after it. But especially Sweet Smell of Success.

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44 minutes ago, Ampersand said:

It happens sometimes but it's been a while since we last got a replacement flick for Noir Alley. At least we aren't missing out on this week's flick, only on Arsenic and Old Lace after it. But especially Sweet Smell of Success.

I know how frustrating it must be to not be able to see a film you really want to see.  On two separate occasions (during the 5 years I've had Dish), my US TCM feed got crossed with a Canadian TCM feed and I missed out on the movie that I really wanted to see (an Errol Flynn film, which really rubbed salt in the wound). I don't really know how that happens, only that perhaps my proximity to British Columbia (Only 5 hours north of me) was a contributing factor?? 

I'm glad you get to see this week's film. I love Sweet Smell of Success.  The jazz score is everything.  I also like the vibe and overall aesthetic of this film.  Unlike the noir of the 40s, 'Success' has a less glamorous appearance, it is grittier and louder (if that makes sense).  This film, and Odds Against Tomorrow are two of my favorite late 50s noir. 

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19 minutes ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Wonder why it was necessary to mention Pearson's and Gomez's gayness.  Did that have something to do with why they hated each other?  So what if they both wanted their partners on the set. 

I assume you're not asking "so what if,,,,",   because you don't understand how that (anything that broadcast one is gay) would be an odd thing to do in almost any setting back in that era.  

One "tell" I get is that the production company, the independent The Enterprise Studios, was founded by John Garfield.   Garfield,  being Jewish,  as well as having left-leaning views (that would get him in trouble with the HUAC),  was most likely sympathetic to the treatment of non-minority members of society.    I.e.  a major studio wouldn't have allowed such openness.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Bronxgirl48 said:

Wonder why it was necessary to mention Pearson's and Gomez's gayness.  Did that have something to do with why they hated each other?  So what if they both wanted their partners on the set. 

Yeah, it was an odd mention. Added nothing to the backstory really. Wasnt made clear WHY they hated each other...or what their being gay had to do with anything.....

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On 10/29/2019 at 8:38 PM, speedracer5 said:

I know how frustrating it must be to not be able to see a film you really want to see.  On two separate occasions (during the 5 years I've had Dish), my US TCM feed got crossed with a Canadian TCM feed and I missed out on the movie that I really wanted to see (an Errol Flynn film, which really rubbed salt in the wound). I don't really know how that happens, only that perhaps my proximity to British Columbia (Only 5 hours north of me) was a contributing factor?? 

I'm glad you get to see this week's film. I love Sweet Smell of Success.  The jazz score is everything.  I also like the vibe and overall aesthetic of this film.  Unlike the noir of the 40s, 'Success' has a less glamorous appearance, it is grittier and louder (if that makes sense).  This film, and Odds Against Tomorrow are two of my favorite late 50s noir. 

I love all the footage of the old Times Square that is no more. Sad.

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3 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I love all the footage of the old Times Square that is no more. Sad.

I love seeing vintage footage of major cities. It is even more interesting when it's a city that I've actually visited. The San Francisco footage in Dark Passage and yes, the NYC footage in Sweet Smell of Success is fascinating to look at. 

Does anyone know if there's a noir that takes place in Portland, OR? I doubt it, as Portland doesn't seem very noir-like. Though there is Old Town at night that can be a bit sketchy... but not in an interesting, noirish way.

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2 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I assume you're not asking "so what if,,,,",   because you don't understand how that (anything that broadcast one is gay) would be an odd thing to do in almost any setting back in that era.  

One "tell" I get is that the production company, the independent The Enterprise Studios, was founded by John Garfield.   Garfield,  being Jewish,  as well as having left-leaning views (that would get him in trouble with the HUAC),  was most likely sympathetic to the treatment of non-minority members of society.    I.e.  a major studio wouldn't have allowed such openness.

 



  

I have to echo Hibi's answer -- it wasn't made clear WHY they hated each other.

For myself, I wouldn't make the assumption that Garfield's political views made him sympathetic to "fringe" members of society at that time.   Don't like to paint people with that broad a brush.  Just my opinion.  

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