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I agree that THE BREAKING POINT is well made and the actors do a fine job.  Also, it follows Hemingway's short story more faithfully. Having said that, I'll probably skip it. I've seen it several times . While I enjoyed it, no matter how hard I try not to  compare it with the Hawk's film,  I always do.  I'm a big Bogart fan and TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT is one of my favorites.  I really love Noir Alley and like  hearing Eddie's comments. I realize this will be the last one until September.  I'm just not fired up about watching THE BREAKING POINT again.  I do hope all that do partake enjoy it.

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Enjoyed Breaking Point and all the actors gave good performances.  Would be better if I had never heard of nor seen To Have and to Have Not.  Keep trying to make comparisons.  BP is better if watched as a stand alone movie.  More depressing that THATHN for sure.  

Eddie"s commentaries were excellent as usual.  Loved the tie he wore.  Wonder how many old clothes stores he had to go to to find it or if it was custom made.

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I agree with the above comments about "The Breaking Point".  It's a well-made film.  I liked Eddie's pre- and  post-movie comments, especially how John Garfield thought it was the best performance in a movie that he ever gave.  It was also telling about Garfield's personal character when he insisted the camera stay on Phyllis Thaxter, who played his wife, while she's trying to reason with him toward the end of the movie about saving his life, even if it means living without his left arm (as he drifted in and out of consciousness).  In that scene, given her facial expressions and hair style, I thought Thaxter bore a resemblance to a cross between June Allyson and Tereasa Wright!  Eddie was right about the end scene being one of the saddest in all moviedom, with Juano Hernandez' son standing alone near the dock...looking, waiting, hoping for his dad to show up.  In a scene that wasn't really funny, I sort of got a kick out of the little girl who said to one of Garfield and Thaxter's daughters, "Your daddy's loaded!", which prompted the daughter to smack her friend across the chops!

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41 minutes ago, midwestan said:

I agree with the above comments about "The Breaking Point".  It's a well-made film.  I liked Eddie's pre- and  post-movie comments, especially how John Garfield thought it was the best performance in a movie that he ever gave.  It was also telling about Garfield's personal character when he insisted the camera stay on Phyllis Thaxter, who played his wife, while she's trying to reason with him toward the end of the movie about saving his life, even if it means living without his left arm (as he drifted in and out of consciousness).  In that scene, given her facial expressions and hair style, I thought Thaxter bore a resemblance to a cross between June Allyson and Tereasa Wright!  Eddie was right about the end scene being one of the saddest in all moviedom, with Juano Hernandez' son standing alone near the dock...looking, waiting, hoping for his dad to show up.  In a scene that wasn't really funny, I sort of got a kick out of the little girl who said to one of Garfield and Thaxter's daughters, "Your daddy's loaded!", which prompted the daughter to smack her friend across the chops!

In that scene where Lucy tries to convince go to go ahead with the amputation. her face way over done with tears dripping of her face and her squinty face and invisible eyes was more than a touch too much. It was distracting IMO.

"Your daddy's loaded" , a well done little bit scene. The victim's reaction was perfect.

The last scene was a bit disturbing especially with the current trend that Black Lives Matter. Somebody tell me, what statement were trying to make? Did they think that is a cool way to end the film? The shooting of the boy's father was bad enough. Throwing him overboard was just as bad.

//

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The Breaking Point works far better for me than To Have and Have Not (a film I like) because, unlike the Hawks film, it touches me emotionally.

The Hawks film works well as a slick, rather superficial entertainment, clearly Casablanca derived, more memorable for its place in Hollywood history as the beginning of the romance between Bogie and Baby and for the sexually bantering dialogue between them than for its story, superficially derived from the Hemingway novella. Bogart is in Super Hero form, and its audience never has any doubts that, in the end, he will be triumphant.

That is not the case at all with The Breaking Point. Aside from this film's realistic and moving portrait of a family man so desperate for money to support that family that he puts his life on the line, the Harry Morgan of this film is highly uncertain that he will succeed. His emotional vulnerability, as performed by John Garfield in what I think may well have been the performance of his career, is palpable and pulls me into the film, even upon repeat viewings. As masterfully directed by Michael Curtiz, the entire cast is excellent and very real in their portrayals. Phyllis Thaxter's finest hour as Morgan's wife, particularly in her final scene in which she pleads with her proud husband to let his injured arm be amputated.

"A man alone ain't got no chance" Morgan says, a theme in this film never more clear than that final scene when the former war hero, now feeling helpless, begs his wife to never leave him.

A special note to the performance of Juano Hernandez and his character's relationship with Morgan. The love these two men have for one another, without a single reference in the screenplay to their different skin colours, makes this film, in its own modest way, a poignant plea for racial harmony. One more thing, that final crane shot of the little boy alone on the wharf as he looks for his father. I've yet to see this film without that scene leaving me blubbering like a baby.

The Breaking Point is a great film.

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27 minutes ago, laffite said:

In that scene where Lucy tries to convince go to go ahead with the amputation. her face way over done with tears dripping of her face and her squinty face and invisible eyes was more than a touch too much. It was distracting IMO.

"Your daddy's loaded" , a well done little bit scene. The victim's reaction was perfect.

The last scene was a bit disturbing especially with the current trend that Black Lives Matter. Somebody tell me, what statement were trying to make? Did they think that is a cool way to end the film? The shooting of the boy's father was bad enough. Throwing him overboard was just as bad.

//

I think that closing scene may have served as a 'teaching moment' to audiences in 1950 who may have thought about society's disparities as it related to black and white people.  A white child would have been consoled by some adult on the dock.  There was no one to console the black child though.  The one person who would have definitely done it, was hauled off in an ambulance with a life-threatening injury.  There was mention of Hernandez' character having a wife, but we never see her on screen.  She most likely would have been at the dock once word got out about what was happening on board the Sea Queen.  

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33 minutes ago, midwestan said:

I think that closing scene may have served as a 'teaching moment' to audiences in 1950 who may have thought about society's disparities as it related to black and white people.  A white child would have been consoled by some adult on the dock.  There was no one to console the black child though.  The one person who would have definitely done it, was hauled off in an ambulance with a life-threatening injury.  There was mention of Hernandez' character having a wife, but we never see her on screen.  She most likely would have been at the dock once word got out about what was happening on board the Sea Queen.  

Well, that's a switch. Since when did Hollywood start teaching anything like that. But your probably right. Good Point. Also about the wife. They didn't want that because they didn't want the boy consoled. It would have been a better "teaching" moment if she had been present, IMO.

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I wonder why Phyllis Thaxter didnt have a better career? She was great in this and many other films, but she never made it to leading lady status. Here she has the better part, (and the bigger part) but Patricia Neal gets top billing and Thaxter co-starring credit.

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56 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I wonder why Phyllis Thaxter didnt have a better career? She was great in this and many other films, but she never made it to leading lady status. Here she has the better part, but Patricia Neal gets top billing and Thaxter co-starring credit.

When Phyliis changed her hairdo I went Oh no, not this. But then I looked at her and forgot all that. She was so pretty. Normally when a lady does that she looks terrible and then either comedy ensues, or distress. Garfield does a great double take when he sees her. Garfield was impressive with a more filled out and older face. How brilliant he would have been if had lived longer. There are sorts of little business to be mined from this performance. He was right, this was probably his best.

Patricia Neal was scintillating. I didn't like her first scenes when she was overtly throwing herself at Harry. But from then on she was brilliant. When finding herself on the boat and what with the danger, she suddenly got scared. Those pretty eyes with a palpable sense of alarm. She becomes sympathetic because we can see the fear. Later. after the fiasco in Mexico, she happens at the bar where Harry has just wrangles credit from the bartender wanting to tie one on. Leona comes and sits down with him and they have a GREAT conversation. She respects him more now because she has seen that he is a tough nut to crack so no need to fling herself at him anymore. Their conversation becomes very real. She is magnificent here. There is a point where she chides him about what she knows about Mexico. There IS a tone of seriousness but she's not really. Here we know for the first time that she is no femme fatale, not in the true sense. Otherwise, she would have jumped on that. Garfield is good too. He reveals himself a little tipsy but very well modulated. He softens up a bit, "You kind of wear a guy down." "Are you getting worn down? Are you?" Her face brightens up and those lovely eyes are wide open. A later scene at the watering spot on the dock they have another give and take where he blurts out, "A man can still be in love with his wife, and want something exciting to happen."  Again, the face and eyes. She tells him where she lives. He gets up and says, "Don't get carried away. I got things on my mind." And then the finale with these two. He decides to test his theory about what happily married like. In her apartment another great confab, then finally, the kiss and he breaks it off. It's not working. She tries to take it philosophically and bears up well despite her obvious disappointment (good acting). She is no longer the playful half-acting girl on the make. She says in deadly earnest, "What wrong with me, Harry." The eyes are so different now. Vulnerability. As I said at the top, scintillating. So breezy cool. And depth.

Sorry for the play-by-play but I played all of their scenes about three times.

///

 

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2 hours ago, laffite said:

In that scene where Lucy tries to convince go to go ahead with the amputation. her face way over done with tears dripping of her face and her squinty face and invisible eyes was more than a touch too much. It was distracting IMO.

"Your daddy's loaded" , a well done little bit scene. The victim's reaction was perfect.

The last scene was a bit disturbing especially with the current trend that Black Lives Matter. Somebody tell me, what statement were trying to make? Did they think that is a cool way to end the film? The shooting of the boy's father was bad enough. Throwing him overboard was just as bad.

//

I'm sorry, laffite, I disagree with both points you make in the above post.

I did not think Phyllis Thaxter was "overdone" in that final scene;  I believe her character of Lucy would have been crying like that. In fact, I found that scene extremely touching, and was almost brought to tears myself by it.   It "worked" because it was in no way maudlin or sentimental, it did not feel emotionally manipulative to me, it felt authentic, and therefore very moving.  All the story that had gone before, about Lucy and Harry's marriage, their struggles and yet their genuine love for each other, was culminated in that scene.

Also  -- again, I've no desire to be so disagreeable with you, I always enjoy reading your posts whether I agree with them or not--    I don't think Phyllis Thaxter has "a squinty face" at all.  It's true she is no beauty by regular Hollywood standards, but she has a pleasant face, she is nice-looking.  And in fact, I especially like her eyes, which I think look kind.  She gives a performance here as Lucy which makes you believe Harry would be in love with her and want to stay with her and their little family.

As for the little boy at the very end, that's a fantastic final image.  I did not think about the kid's race one way or the other,  I just thought it was heart-breaking that the poor little boy had lost his father and didn't know what had happened to him.  One thing I liked about "The Breaking Point" was the lack of racism;  I liked the way Harry's friend and assistant in his fishing boat business was just some guy, a nice man who, like Harry, enjoyed the fishing boat work and just wanted to earn his living that way.  Even the thugs who shot him made no reference to his race, and I did not think that was why they killed him; they killed him because they were heartless thugs who thought Wesley was in the way and didn't want his presence to complicate their escape plans. 

So, no, I never thought the final shot on the forlorn figure of Wesley's son was meant to be "cool";  it's meant to remind us of Wesley, for one thing, and to make us think about the sadness of how random and pointless such a loss of life can be.  It's just a very sad and moving shot, and I think the fact that the film's last focus is about Wesley and his son is testament to how not racist the movie is.

edit:  I do not think that if the child had been white, we would have seen an adult trying to console him.  The kid's race was not a factor in that final scene at all.  It's just a great shot, the camera slowly moving up from the dock where the poor kid is standing there, wondering what's happened to his father. As a few others here have said, it's profoundly moving.

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10 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

did not think Phyllis Thaxter was "overdone" in that final scene;  I believe her character of Lucy would have been crying like that. In fact, I found that scene extremely touching, and was almost brought to tears myself by it.   It "worked" because it was in no way maudlin or sentimental, it did not feel emotionally manipulative to me, it felt authentic, and therefore very moving.  All the story that had gone before, about Lucy and Harry's marriage, their struggles and yet their genuine love for each other, was culminated in that scene.

My point was the way they made her up. I agree her acting was appropriate. But too many tears made her unnatural looking and undermined the whole scene. I agree, she does not have a squinty face. But that's what she was doing in the scene, too much. Her acting was good, i agree, but her facial appearance looked manufactured. As if the make-people had a hand in it. it was distracting.

I like your take on the last scene with the boy and about the lack of racism in the film. That was how I want to see it too. I just wanted to ask the question anyway.

Thanks, MissWonderly, no need to apologize. Respectful disagreement is allowed, as you of course know.

///

 

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6 minutes ago, laffite said:

Thanks, MissWonderly, no need to apologize. Respectful disagreement is allowed, as you of course know.

Just because she started her post with "I'm sorry, but..." doesn't make it an apology.

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Another aspect of The Breaking Point: the knowledge that Harry Morgan will be forever haunted by the death of Wesley. He couldn't have foreseen the shooting, of course, but if he hadn't made the decision to work with criminals his friend would still be alive and a little boy would not be without a father.

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19 minutes ago, SadPanda said:

Just because she started her post with "I'm sorry, but..." doesn't make it an apology.

I don't know if I'd call it an apology per sec, however, I was genuinely regretful to disagree with lafitte, especially because I countered both the points he'd made not just one;  I felt like I was being perhaps a little rude,  didn't want to be, and that was why I said "sorry".  Also, I feel like lafitte and I are old friends here, we've known each other  (TCM message-boards -speaking)  for years, and I always appreciate his contributions.

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16 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Another aspect of The Breaking Point: the knowledge that Harry Morgan will be forever haunted by the death of Wesley. He couldn't have foreseen the shooting, of course, but if he hadn't made the decision to work with criminals his friend would still be alive and a little boy would not be without a father.

He had to work with the criminals. It was a firm decision and yes he was quite leery of it. But he couldn't have possibly foreseen the death of his friend. I don't see the connection between the decision and the death as compelling enough to warrant a haunting. He couldn't have possibly thought well I had better not do this because Wesley might be killed. The latter showed up at the boat unexpectedly. But, in your favor, I did think he might have tried to get Wesley to leave earlier. That was running through my mind, get rid of him, get rid of him. If Harry starts ruminating too much with that, then yes you may be right.

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11 minutes ago, laffite said:

He had to work with the criminals. It was a firm decision and yes he was quite leery of it. But he couldn't have possibly foreseen the death of his friend. I don't see the connection between the decision and the death as compelling enough to warrant a haunting. He couldn't have possibly thought well I had better not do this because Wesley might be killed. The latter showed up at the boat unexpectedly. But, in your favor, I did think he might have tried to get Wesley to leave earlier. That was running through my mind, get rid of him, get rid of him. If Harry starts ruminating too much with that, then yes you may be right.

Wesley was a complete innocent and a friend of Harry's who worried about him and tried to be there for him. Harry was pushed into a corner of desperation, I agree, but I don't see how you can say he HAD to work with the criminals. He could have quit as a skipper, as his wife pleaded with him, for example, and tried to take up farming. Instead Harry decided to gamble by going for a big cash haul, the $1000. If he hadn't done that Wesley would not have died. Harry loved Wesley, I'm sure, and he's clearly, despite the surface macho bluster, a sensitive man. I can't see how Harry will not be haunted by his responsibility for his friend's death, especially every time he looks into the eyes of Wesley's son.

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46 minutes ago, misswonderly3 said:

I was genuinely regretful to disagree with lafitte

That's abstruse to me on account of I disagree with him all the time.

Quote

I feel like lafitte and I are old friends here, we've known each other  (TCM message-boards -speaking)  for years, and I always appreciate his contributions.

That's really nice. The warmth and fuzzies are permeating my essence now - kinda like a drink of hot milk at bedtime.

 

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12 minutes ago, TomJH said:

Wesley was a complete innocent and a friend of Harry's who worried about him and tried to be there for him. Harry was pushed into a corner of desperation, I agree, but I don't see how you can say he HAD to work with the criminals. He could have quit as a skipper, as his wife pleaded with him, for example, and tried to take up farming. Instead Harry decided to gamble by going for a big cash haul, the $1000. If he hadn't done that Wesley would not have died. Harry loved Wesley, I'm sure, and he's clearly, despite the surface macho bluster, a sensitive man. I can't see how Harry will not be haunted by his responsibility for his friend's death, especially every time he looks into the eyes of Wesley's son.

But, respectfully, your changing the movie. Quitting the boat and doing something else has nothing to do with the movie, it is beyond the ken. So it invalidates the point, it seems to me.

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11 minutes ago, SadPanda said:

That's abstruse to me on account of I disagree with him all the time.

You don't disagree with me all the time. I hate to mar your rep but you have even LIKED my posts on occasion. Not that often, but still yes. It's that you don't like me (which is fine) and you never have. This is not surprising as you have always had a decidedly contrary and negative disposition.

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5 minutes ago, laffite said:

You don't disagree with me all the time. I hate to mar your rep but you have even LIKED my posts on occasion. 

"all the time" is colloquial in this case, laffite.

You might want to look it up if you're unsure of what the word means.

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6 minutes ago, SadPanda said:

"all the time" is colloquial in this case, laffite.

Fancy that. Considering the obvious, it was not to be necessarily taken that way.

 

7 minutes ago, SadPanda said:

You might want to look it up if you're unsure of what the word means.

Oh, spare me :lol:.

///

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