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44 minutes ago, SadPanda said:

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

 

MissWonderly and I HAVE been good friends over the years. Don't make fun of her.

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I think Patricia Neal was still trying to seduce Garfield right through their last meeting. He was

tempted but never went very far. I laughed at the bar scene when he tells her to turn it off,

turn it off. She turns it down, but never completely turns it off.  In a generally realistic flick,

their constantly bumping into each another seemed a bit unrealistic.

 

Eddie's suitjacket last night was awful. It looked like something I wore to church when I was ten years

old. 

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4 hours ago, laffite said:

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 feel it was a harbinger that the Hollywood era of happy, sentimental endings was ending. This was when more realism was being injected into films. Part of noir is that there really are any "good guys". Most movies like this, everybody loses something or someone.

I thought it was a great memorable ending. I was glad they didn't forget about the child altogether. Might be a bit exploitive but, that's nit picking.

4 hours ago, TomJH said:

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.

 

To me, those films are so different that, I don't compare them at all. THATHN is more Casablanca part II. And TBP is set in such a different location and time, the only comparison would be the book they come from.

1 hour 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.

I couldn't disagree more. He tried to separate from Wesley in Mexico and again at the end. Harry got himself into a mess and was trying to wind his way out of it and only getting deeper into the muck. Wesley was naive and loyal to a fault and that cost him. I can't blame Harry for that.

The biggest point to me, growing up in Southern California, is the location "a sleepy fishing town called Newport". If only Harry could have hung on to that house for a  few decades, his financial troubles would all disappear !

 

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1 minute ago, SadPanda said:

Did Ernest Hemingway dislike John Steinbeck?

I don't know. Probably not. I would believe that they were friends. It would have been in the spirit of a friendly sally.

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 I just discovered this on the puter just now. I wrote this some years ago and not sure if I ever posted it or not. Doesn't matter. I am thrusting it upon you now. Not one word changed in view of latest viewing Please indulge. Thanks.

The Breaking  Point (1950) - Best John Garfield I've seen. He is the same guy as always, struggling against odds, railing about making it, etc., but toned down a bit. He takes umbrage but there is a restraint that is not present in his earlier more angry-young-man roles. Maybe because he looks as little filled out and older and is a family man to boot. There is a relative maturity in the character that is appealing. Despite playing the proverbial "same role" as some actors are thought of as doing, there is no sense that he is phoning it in. And he holds up more effective than ever with the ultimate no-nonsense imperative of tough guys. Tough but regular too, I like the opening sally, i.e., to the effect that when out to sea a certain tranquillity can reign but back on land nothing but trouble. I like that, especially the ultimate irony to come. The domestic scenes are not Hemingway (as I read in the short on Curiz) but added for the movie. A wonderful decision. It rounds out Garfields character giving him a softer side and allows for the domestic sweetness and wholesome prettiness of Phyliss Thaxter to be his wife. I like to feel that her all-to-obvious new hairdo was not lost on her husband and that it might have helped decide him on another matter regarding a certain lady. Garfield's remark to his 10-year-old daughter about being "too old to run around [the house]like that" (i.e., in night clothes) was a surprising but effective slice-of-life detail that perhaps only in a small way ushers in the new 50s sort ot sensibility regarding such details that will make films more frank and real with teens and such. Patricia Neal is stunning as the would-be femme fatale, would-be because she falls short of treachery. Her worldly manner and sophisticated beauty provides a stark contrast to Garfield's women in the story. She wants to seduce and pending the outcome has the goods on him for revenge. Is she too sympathetic for fatales? Up in the air pending definitions. Reliable veteran character actor Wallace Ford has a good gig as a low-level conduit to the underworld. He has good dialogue, pushy and sarcastic with his own clients but totally subservient when around the big boys. A happy addition to the story. The poor little black boy alone on the pier resonates and is discomforting. ///

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18 minutes ago, laffite said:

I don't know. Probably not. I would believe that they were friends. It would have been in the spirit of a friendly sally.

I see. I doubt it was a thinly veiled attack then. Probably no significance - or maybe he got the wrong change from a shopkeeper in Salinas at some time, so he had one of his characters say I don't wanna go there.

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19 minutes ago, SadPanda said:

I see. I doubt it was a thinly veiled attack then. Probably no significance - maybe he got the wrong change from a shopkeeper in Salinas at some time, so he had one of his characters say I don't wanna go there.

It's Salinas that makes it thinly-veiled and would apply whether friendly or no. If serious, so it is ; if friendly, it mocks, feigning seriousness. Same thing. Probably no significance, maybe so ; but it's still a potentially amusing comment. And I enjoyed making it.

I don't think so on your second point. The not wanting to go to Salinas has context. Have you seen the movie?

 

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4 hours ago, laffite said:

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.

I don't see how. Morgan's wife pleads with him to quit the boat in the film. I'm just saying that following up on her suggestion and going to Salinas  could have been one of his options rather than working with criminals.

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8 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

I couldn't disagree more. He tried to separate from Wesley in Mexico and again at the end. Harry got himself into a mess and was trying to wind his way out of it and only getting deeper into the muck. Wesley was naive and loyal to a fault and that cost him. I can't blame Harry for that.

 

Yes, Harry did try to keep Wesley out of the line of fire (so to speak) but he failed to do so in the end, didn't he? You don't think those final minutes of Wesley hanging out on the Sea Queen just before Harry knew the criminals would arrive won't run through Harry's mind for years afterward wondering if he couldn't have done more to get him to leave (even be downright rude to him and tell him to get lost)?  Harry didn't mean for it to happen, of course, but in gambling that he could work with gangsters Wesley became an innocent victim of Harry's money making plans. Yes, I think Harry holds responsibility, unintentional though it may be, for Wesley's death and he will be haunted by it.

It's the unpredictable consequences of a desperate action that is one of the hallmarks of film noir.

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I  liked Phyllis Thaxter, but she seems too nice.  She did not portray the range that Patricia Neal did.

As for her suggestion to sell out and move to Salinas, that would have destroyed the plot of the movie.  Also, the Harry character would not do something such as that.

Harry should not feel any guilt over Wesley's death.   It seemed to me that Wesley knew early on that Harry was capable of doing things that were probably illegal to keep the  boat.  This was just one more.  He was told to leave and he deliberately interjected himself into the situation.  Also, Harry could not possibly have foreseen that the William Campbell character would kill someone just for being on the boat.

Of course, the real guilty people are the wealthy ones who did not pay Harry and therefore Wesley for services rendered.  Therefore beginning the road to ruin for Harry and death for Wesley.

As for the fade out scene, I don't think the intention was to portray a black boy as much as any child left alone and not understanding why.   The cost of criminal activity.  Another step away from the "Code" and showing that bad things do happen to good people, not just the bad people.

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On 7/27/2020 at 11:28 AM, TheCid said:

Harry should not feel any guilt over Wesley's death.   It seemed to me that Wesley knew early on that Harry was capable of doing things that were probably illegal to keep the  boat.  This was just one more.  He was told to leave and he deliberately interjected himself into the situation.  Also, Harry could not possibly have foreseen that the William Campbell character would kill someone just for being on the boat.

 

The fact that Wesley knew Harry was a risk taker doesn't negate Harry's responsibility for Wesley getting killed. It wouldn't have happened if Harry, who did everything hard, hadn't decided to gamble with his life, accidentally making his friend a victim in the process.

And I don't know what you mean by Wesley "deliberately interjected himself into the situation." You make it sound as though Wesley was responsible for his own death. Wesley didn't do anything to force himself into any situation. He innocently wandered down to the Sea Queen one morning (the wrong morning as it turns out) because he had nothing else to do. Wesley is a total innocent in what happened to him, and Harry will be haunted by the fact he didn't try harder to get him off the boat when he knew the criminals would be arriving any minute.

Wesley's death will be one of the greatest regrets of Harry's life.

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16 hours ago, TomJH said:

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.

Tom, there are not many scenes in Howard Hawks films that touch us emotionally, or are meant to, in my opinion. "Slick, rather superficial entertainment" is what Hawks does really well. He does comedy well. Something else he doesn't do is family. He's interested in groups of men who work together and the women who are tough and sassy enough to fit in with them.

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53 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Tom, there are not many scenes in Howard Hawks films that touch us emotionally, or are meant to, in my opinion. "Slick, rather superficial entertainment" is what Hawks does really well. He does comedy well. Something else he doesn't do is family. He's interested in groups of men who work together and the women who are tough and sassy enough to fit in with them.

Generally speaking I like Hawks films. But the Hawks aficionados do like to concentrate on certain films in his career, largely ignoring others (such as Sergeant York, one of the biggest hits of his career, bringing him his sole Oscar nomination and, for my money, one of his best films). There are also some family scenes in this film, in particular exploring the emotionally reserved relations between a rural mother and her son, their feelings for one another expressed more through their eyes than their poker faces or anything they say, that I think work.

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51 minutes ago, kingrat said:

Tom, there are not many scenes in Howard Hawks films that touch us emotionally, or are meant to, in my opinion. "Slick, rather superficial entertainment" is what Hawks does really well. He does comedy well. Something else he doesn't do is family. He's interested in groups of men who work together and the women who are tough and sassy enough to fit in with them.

Such are known as "Howard Hawks-type women". They are such a staple of Hawks' style, they've been given a name.

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9 hours ago, TomJH said:

I don't see how. Morgan's wife pleads with him to quit the boat in the film. I'm just saying that following up on her suggestion and going to Salinas  could have been one of his options rather than working with criminals.

Okay, if you wish.

However, within the universe of the story that was not a viable option for Harry to do. I can't accept your view because why stop there? Let's change the whole story to make a point?

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1 minute ago, laffite said:

Okay, if you wish.

However, within the universe of the story that was not a viable option for Harry to do. I can't accept your view because why stop there? Let's change the whole story to make a point?

I'm taking about what Harry's options were, and Salinas was one of his options (which was pushed by his wife in the film). He didn't have to go with criminals. It would have made for a less interesting story, of course, and all film noir fans want to see gangsters, not farm country. But that's a side issue. The point is Harry made a choice and that choice tragically lead to the death of his best friend.

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32 minutes ago, TomJH said:

I'm taking about what Harry's options were, and Salinas was one of his options (which was pushed by his wife in the film). He didn't have to go with criminals. It would have made for a less interesting story, of course, and all film noir fans want to see gangsters, not farm country. But that's a side issue. The point is Harry made a choice and that choice tragically lead to the death of his best friend.

You could bolster your argument with that last scene, the boy all alone on the pier. Maybe your take is validated by that. The one loose end that will turn Harry Morgan into a Chris Cross. As long as we are entertain theories, maybe we can say that Harry will adopt the kid. Too bad they didn't do a THE BREAKING POINT II. It will take him awhile to get over carping on what a bad break having only one arm. He will be emotionally dependent on wife now, he will probably give nary a thought for Wesley. Can he still skipper a ship with only one arm? All the these things that must needs be considered for Harry's future. Maybe it would be better rewind back to the end of the movie and leave it like that. But I still doubt that he will suffer inordinately over Wesley. Maybe he should say, gee, if I never had been a skipper, Wesley would still be alive. If I had never been born Wesley would still be alive. If I hadn't married my wife I would have been a completely different person and Wesley would still be alive. If I had only run away with Leona Wesley would still be alive. Ooo, boy.

;)

///

 

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2 hours ago, TomJH said:

The fact that Wesley knew Harry was a risk taker doesn't negate Harry's responsibility for Wesley getting killed. It wouldn't have happened if Harry, who did everything hard, hadn't decided to gamble with his life, accidentally making his friend a victim in the process.

And I don't know what you mean by Wesley "deliberately interjected himself into the situation." You make it sound as though Wesley was responsible for his own death. Wesley didn't do anything to force himself into any situation. He innocently wandered down to the Sea Queen one morning (the wrong morning as it turns out) because he had nothing else to do. Wesley is a total innocent in what happened to him, and Harry will be haunted by the fact he didn't try harder to get him off he boat when he knew the criminals would be arriving any minute.

Wesley's death will be one of the greatest regrets of Harry's life.

Did we see the same movie?  I distinctly remember Wesley being told not to be there and to leave and he chose not to.  Also, Harry had no knowledge that the criminals would be threatening murder when they came.

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20 minutes ago, laffite said:

 

You could bolster your argument with that last scene, the boy all alone on the pier. Maybe your take is validated by that. The one loose end that will turn Harry Morgan into a Chris Cross. As long as we are entertain theories, maybe we can say that Harry will adopt the kid. Too bad they didn't do a THE BREAKING POINT II. It will take him awhile to get over carping on what a bad break having only one arm. He will be emotionally dependent on wife now, he will probably give nary a thought for Wesley. Can he still skipper a ship with only one arm? All the these things that must needs be considered for Harry's future. Maybe it would be better rewind back to the end of the movie and leave it like that. But I still doubt that he will suffer inordinately over Wesley. Maybe he should say, gee, if I never had been a skipper, Wesley would still be alive. If I had never been born Wesley would still be alive. If I hadn't married my wife I would have been a completely different person and Wesley would still be alive. If I had only run away with Leona Wesley would still be alive. Ooo, boy.

;)

///

 

I don't see my statement, that Harry will suffer guilt over Wesley's death, as any "theory" but a natural conclusion as a result of his risky behaviour. I'll repeat what I said previously because Wesley's death in The Breaking Point is a perfect illustration of it - the unpredictable consequences of a desperate action by an individual. In this case those unpredictable consequences resulted in the death of a friend (and a young boy losing his father, to extend it a logical step further, to add to that guilt). I don't understand why you and Cid have so much difficulty accepting this.

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