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John Garfield fans, if you please.


Lori3
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Hello. If you could pick 4 John Garfield movies to be part of a box set what would they be? His doesn’t have a box set and I think he deserves one and it is way over due. I hope some of you agree with me. My choices would be, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Body and Soul, and He Ran All The Way. I not sure what would be my fourth choice though. It is between, The Fallen Sparrow, The Pride of the Marines, or Four Daughters. I will post the results in a week or two or after I feel I have enough responses. OK?

 

Thank you very much.

 

 

Lori3

 

Edited by: Lori3 on Feb 27, 2012 3:30 AM

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I really haven't seen too many Garfield movies outside of the ones you mention, or else I just can't remember their titles. One you don't have on your list is "Between Two Worlds". Sorry I can't add more, but I do agree he deserves a box set!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Garfield always plays to pretty much the same character type, with "good" and "bad" variants, which somewhat limits him in terms of roles. But if the role fits the type, he can be very good. I'd take these four for my boxed set:

 

Force of Evil (IMO this is his best film)

Body and Soul**

The Postman Always Rings Twice

He Ran All The Way

 

**Definitely overdue for a TCM screening

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Love John Garfield ! I'd buy a boxed set of Garfield films as soon as one appeared.

*Force of Evil,* for sure.

*Between Two Worlds*, for sure NOT.

( Not even Garfield can save this messy fantasy. Sorry, *Between Two Worlds* fans, but it's really a very silly movie. I like fantasy, I like movies that speculate on the after-life, that's not my problem with it. But Eleanor Parker is her usual over-anxious annoying self, and it's just so frigging claustrophobic and melodramatic. )

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> {quote:title=AndyM108 wrote:}{quote}Garfield always plays to pretty much the same character type, with "good" and "bad" variants, which somewhat limits him in terms of roles. But if the role fits the type, he can be very good. I'd take these four for my boxed set:

>

> Force of Evil (IMO this is his best film)

> Body and Soul**

> The Postman Always Rings Twice

> He Ran All The Way

>

>

> **Definitely overdue for a TCM screening

>

 

It's going to have to be a 5 disc boxed set, because I want to see all of those, and *The Fallen Sparrow*. But then, we've left out *They Made Me a Criminal*, *The Sea Wolf*, and *Dangerously We Live*. I guess we'll have to do two boxed sets... :)

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This is a tough one for me because there are FIVE Garfield films that I particularly like. To go with just four then, it would be Postman Always Rings Twice ('46), Body and Soul (47), Force of Evil ('48) and Breaking Point ('50). The fifth one to lose out is The Sea Wolf ('41), a great adaption of the Jack London novel with director Michael Curtiz at his best with a wonderful cast. This one comes in fifth, however, because Garfield is a supporting player in it.

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{font:Arial}{color:black}Ok, the way I see it is to have two box sets, in a volume one and two, made up of five films per box set. My choices would be for volume one:{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}“They Made Me A Criminal”{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}“Dust Be My Destiny”{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}“Castle on the {font}{font:Arial}{color:black}Hudson{font}{font:Arial}{color:black}”{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}“Sea Wolf”{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}“Out of the Fog”{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}Volume two:{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}“Tortilla Flat”{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}“Pride of the Marines”{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}“The Postman Always Rings Twice”{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}“Body and Soul”{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}“He Ran All the Way”{font}

 

 

 

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{font:Arial}{color:black}While I know there are other titles of Garfield’s career that could be placed into this double volume box set, I decided on going for a comprehensive selection along the lines of good dramatic diversity. To create a box set of {font}{font:Arial}{color:black}Garfield{font}{font:Arial}{color:black} can be difficult, based around the subject matter, because most of his best films are of a criminal nature or that of a rebellious character on the outskirts of society. My list is made up of films that I find his performances to be first rate, while the list pretty much reflects upon his specialty of being an outcast to most of the roles he played. Rather than go with the usual TCM, four film box set, I added an extra film. Perhaps even a sixth film would be more flexible towards expanding on the subject matter.{font}

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Miss wonderly, as annoying as Elinor Parker can be in just about anything, *Between Two Worlds* is OK on some levels. The Garfield character, who figured out the whole scheme first was convinced he was going to Hell, mostly based on how nobody gave a damn about him while alive, winds up in Heaven to be looked after by the mother that had to give him up. Knowing right from wrong and still choosing wrong, the Judge realized it was largely due to his circumstances and overlooked them.

 

 

It also put forth the message that no one can assume they're a Heaven "shoo-in". A point that should be driven in to those people today who figure so and claim their pious beliefs despite their unChristian behavior will see them through.

 

 

Sure, it's melodramatic, but given the subject matter, it can't help but be. And claustophobic? Well, who said judgement is supposed to be comfortable?

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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Misswonderly, I sort of like Between Two Worlds. Melodramatic? You bet, after all this is Warner Brothers, and, yes, it is rather stagey in appearance. The two lovers, Paul Henreid and Eleanor Parker, have waaaay too much screen time for two such boring characters.

 

However, the rest of the cast is quite good, I feel. Garfield brings his usual intensity and sensitivity to his tough guy role, Faye Emerson plays off him well, and Sidney Greenstreet is a joy to watch. Plus the film has that great Korngold musical score which, In understand, was also the composer's personal favourite (notice my Canadian spelling of favourite there?).

 

However, Misswonderly, it is not a film that enjoys a good reputation and I suspect I'm in the minority for find small pleasures in the production. And, if it means anything to you, John Garfield regarded the film as his worst.

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Funny, I liked Eleanor Parker in Between Two Worlds. I also thought that she and Garfield made a great team in The Pride of the Marines. I wish that they had made another film together. To me, Eleanor Parker is a very under rated actress and not so well known today. She did score 3 Academy Award nominations and starred opposite the likes of Errol flynn,William Holden, Robert Taylor, charlton Heston, Fred MacMurray, Robert Mitchum, etc. etc.

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> {quote:title=MovieProfessor wrote:}{quote}{font:Arial}{color:black}Ok, the way I see it is to have two box sets, in a volume one and two, made up of five films per box set. My choices would be for volume one:{font}

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> {font:Arial}{color:black}While I know there are other titles of Garfield’s career that could be placed into this double volume box set, I decided on going for a comprehensive selection along the lines of good dramatic diversity. To create a box set of {font}{font:Arial}{color:black}Garfield{font}{font:Arial}{color:black} can be difficult, based around the subject matter, because most of his best films are of a criminal nature or that of a rebellious character on the outskirts of society. My list is made up of films that I find his performances to be first rate, while the list pretty much reflects upon his specialty of being an outcast to most of the roles he played. Rather than go with the usual TCM, four film box set, I added an extra film. Perhaps even a sixth film would be more flexible towards expanding on the subject matter.{font}

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I'm all for a few John Garfield box sets, but I am disapointed that Warners didn't see fit to include any of his gangster films in any of their four GANGSTER film box sets. That was an insulting omission. In my opinion, OUT OF THE FOG, CASTLE ON THE HUDSON, EAST OF THE RIVER, BLACKWELL'S ISLAND, FORCE OF EVIL, and HE RAN ALL THE WAY were every bit as entertaining as any of the CAGNEY, BOGART, ROBINSON, and RAFT gangster films. I wish Warners would continue the series, but all we would probably get at this point is those horrible no frills MOD DVD-Rs. Garfield rates nothing less then pressed DVDs with the same type of extras the other sets included.

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Well, Tom, I don't want to derail this into a thread about *Between Two Worlds*, when it's a thread about one of my very favourite actors.

BUT ! ! !

 

I want you to know that I am indeed aware of the more, shall we say, positive elements of the film that you pointed out. Garfield, bless him, is, as you say, his usual intense self, and perhaps this otherwise annoying movie is worth watching if only for that. And I agree that Sidney Greenstreet turns in an enjoyable performance as well - good old Sidney.

 

I think the aspect of *Between Two Worlds* that really makes me roll my eyes is, as you say, the Paul Henreid/Eleanor Parker "love story" . Aside from anything else, the self-pitying character of Henreid, his decision to "end it all" because he's going through some kind of musician's block, makes me want to shake his self-absorbed shoulders and shout at him to get over it. And moon-eyed Eleanor, instead of doing something sensible like talking him out of it, maybe reminding him of their supposed love, isn't that worth living for? , decides that she might as well end it all, too. This is not romantic, it's self-indulgent and just plain silly. I'm almost mad that they get that second chance in the end. ( but not quite.)

 

 

Sepiatone, while the "message" that people should not expect their entrance to heaven to be a "shoo-in" is one worth making, it's not as though I'd never thought about such matters before. The way this message is depicted in the film is more obvious than I need or want it to be.

 

 

Sometimes when I, perhaps a little too emphatically, declare my dislike for a film, people will jump to the film's defence and explain to me why they think it's good. This is part of the fun of these forums, I wouldn't want it any other way. However, often they seem to think that I've missed the "point" or "message" of the movie, and if it's a good one, that appears to endear the film to them.

 

 

Fair enough. Chacun a son gout. I'll just say that for me, regardless of how wise or significant the "message" of a film may be, if that's the best thing that can be said about it, I probably won't like it. It's not just the message, baby, it's the medium ( to paraphrase Marshall McLuhan.)

 

 

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Hi everyone. I just want to thank all of you for replying to my post. I appreciate and understand all the discussion regarding Between Two Worlds, and I know a lot of people like and a lot of people aren't so fond of the film. I don't think it is one of Garfield's best, but I still kind of like it.

Really what I requested when I started this subject was "What four films of John Garfield's would you like to see in a box set? Some have listed 5 or 6 films, and even suggesting a two volume set. That would be wonderful!

 

Infinite1 you wrote:

I'm all for a few John Garfield box sets, but I am disappointed that Warners didn't see fit to include any of his gangster films in any of their four GANGSTER film box sets. That was an insulting omission. In my opinion, OUT OF THE FOG, CASTLE ON THE HUDSON, EAST OF THE RIVER, BLACKWELL'S ISLAND, FORCE OF EVIL, and HE RAN ALL THE WAY were every bit as entertaining as any of the CAGNEY, BOGART, ROBINSON, and RAFT gangster films.

 

I agree with you Infinite1, it is an insulting omission that his films were not included in their Gangsters box set of films. So why hasn't Warners put together a box set of Garfield films? When he was under contact to them you know he made them (The Bros) lots of money. I am truly confused on why no box set for John Garfield? Is it that he is not remembered because that he died so young? Well James Dean and Marilyn Monroe died young and they are remembered and have box sets. Is it because he was Blacklisted? Well the HUAC monsters cleared his name after he died. Or did his daughter Julie know the truth when she said "It is like Hollywood was so ashamed at what they did to him that "they" just made him disappear." In the last 18 months of his life he saw friend turns their backs on him, and he saw his "star" image taken away from him. He had a very rough life, yet managed to change to art of acting in Hollywood (The first Method actor to make it in Hollywood), and in doing so he left us many truly great performances on film for us and future generations to enjoy. Before there was Brando, Dean, Cliff, and DeNiro there was John Garfield..He therefore in my opinion deserves to have of box set of his films put together and we the classic movie fans deserve it too.

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I'd like to add some of my favorites, the last two of which were based upon stories by Hemingway:

 

 

The Fallen Sparrow

 

 

Nobody Lives Forever

 

 

Humoresque

 

 

They Were Strangers

 

 

Under My Skin

 

 

The Breaking Point

 

 

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I noticed that WGL was the only person, apart from myself, to include *THE BREAKING POINT* as one of their favourite Garfield films. I have to wonder if the reason for this is because most of you have never seen the film. Even Lori didn't list it.

 

This is a wonderful adaption of Hemingway's novella, To Have and Have Not, far more faithful to the author's work than the much more celebrated Bogart version filmed six years before. Michael Curtiz, one of Garfield's favourite directors, is in great form with this tale of a starving small time skipper of a boat so desperate to get food on the table for his family that he agrees to get involved with gangsters.

 

Garfield delivers one of his most heart felt performances, really at the peak of his professional powers, in my opinion, with more than solid support from Phyllis Thaxter as his wife, Patricia Neal in a rather discreet version of a prostitute, Wallace Ford as a sleazy little man eager to act as a connection to the underworld and, particularly, the wonderful Juano Hernandez as Garfield's shipmate.

 

Personally, I think this movie works better than the Bogart version. The emphasis in the earlier film is not so much the story line as it is Bogart's sexual chemistry with Bacall (which, admittedly, is pretty terrific, love watching their banter). But with Bogart in the lead the viewer just knows that he's Mr. Super Cool who will probably be triumphant against the Fascist elements he faces. It's Rick from Casablanca transplanted to Martinique. The viewer waits to see the action get resolved just so he can get back to the real interest of the film, watching Bogie and Baby interact.

 

Garfield, however, unlike Bogart, is a flawed hero, bringing an additional tension to The Breaking Point lacking in the previous film. The viewer is not at all certain that he will triumph in the end, partially due to the actor's image as one of society's losers but also because of the insecurity that Garfield brings to his role as Harry Morgan.

 

This film works beautifully as a character study, made even more compelling when the lead character places himself into a situation of extreme peril, and the consequences of his actions, which he doesn't forsee, on those around him.

 

Oh, and one more thing, the final shot in this film is heart breaking, an image that has stayed with me for years after first seeing the film.

 

TCM has shown The Breaking Point a few times now, and is scheduled for re-broadcast again on *March* *10th at 7:30am*. For Garfield fans, this film is a little known absolute must see!! The actor's second last film appearance is one of the best things he ever did.

 

Edited by: TomJH on Feb 29, 2012 11:35 AM

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Tom, thank you for the thoughtful and well-written post concerning *The Breaking Point*. I have not seen it. I know TCM aired it last year, but I missed it. I think I may have recorded it and forgotten to label the recording...maybe I have it somewhere, I'll have to check. I remember there was an in-depth discussion here, at the time. Now I really want to see it !

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I hope you are able to see the film, MissWonderly. John Garfield is a subject that only a handful of people seem to care about today. Even many Garfield fans, however, seem to be unfamiliar with *The Breaking* *Point* because the film has been largely inaccesible for so many years. For me, this film has quite an emotional jolt, and it makes me bemoan the world's loss when Garfield died such a young man all the more.

 

Once again, next TCM broadcast date is *Saturday, March 10th at 7:30am*. I hope to hear your opinion of it.

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Yes, sorry all. This thread WAS about what Garfield films one would like included in a box set. NOT about WHY one of his films should be. But about this I can only say one thing...

 

 

I haven't seen all the movies Garfield made. Of those I have, I've seen him in movies where he had a small role. And I've seen him in films where he hade a huge role. And in all of them his performance was outstanding. It is only the entirety of the film that can be judged as good or bad. I've seen this in other movies where a particular actor's work was phenominal, but the rest of the movie stunk! Garfield certainly had his share of those, but it really shouldn't reflect on his abilities. I think all of us here think along these lines.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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*This thread WAS about what Garfield films one would like included in a box set. NOT about WHY one of his films should be.*

 

This is a thread that appeals to fans of John Garfield. I made a point of writing about The Breaking Point because it is, I strongly suspect, a film that many of his fans are not familiar with. The more of them that see it may, in turn, desire to have that same film in a Garfield boxset. I fail to see anything wrong with that. If anything it's doing them a service by pointing out, in my opinion, one of the best films he ever made.

 

 

 

 

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It's possible, Tom, that Sepiatone was ( gently) reproaching me more than you. I'm the one who brought in a "negative" note with my criticism of *Between Two Worlds*.

 

There was definitely something special about this actor ( sorry to use the word "special", an over- and often incorrectly-used word. But in this case, it applies.) John Garfield was one of those actors whose energy "crackled" off the screen. I love his tough, "don't do me any favours" attitude.

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All the films listed on this page, and no one's mentioned GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT. Granted, Garfield played a supporting role (incisively, I might add), but the film's topic, anti-Semitism, was very important to the actor, who never forgot where he came from. It was mportant, too, that there should be at least a couple of real Jews in such a movie (the other being Sam Jaffe), in which you have a Gentile actress, June Havoc, playing a Jew, and, of course, Gregory Peck as a Gentile passing himself off as Jewish.

 

Watching Garfield as Dave Goldman, I get the sense that it really may take a Jew to play a Jew, as the atavistic memory of five-thousand years of inherited suffering, lamentations and achievement cannot be adequately written on a script page, nor refined in rehearsal.

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