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Aiming Straight For Your Heart


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A few weeks ago I posted a message requesting everyone to list at least 4 films of John Garfield’s that you would like to see in a box-set. Garfield is the only known major actor of the “Golden Era” (that I know of) who does not have a box-set of his most films. Many of you answered my post and I thank all who did. However I did get as many responses as I had hoped for. So, one more time if you please. This time all I ask is if you would be interested in purchasing a box-set of John Garfield films if one became available? Of course if you wish to list some films you would like to see in a box-set that is fine too.


Before you close this thread without responding I ask you to please read the follow excerpt from a biography on Ida Lupino. This selection can be found on the internet.


After his difficulty obtaining film work, Garfield returned to his roots, the New York stage. He was a smash in "The Big Knife", "Peer Gynt" and "Golden Boy". Garfield had sent Ida tickets to see him onstage. (In Golden Boy). She arrived at his apartment with a writer friend from the New York Times for a toast before the performance. Garfield opened the door in his dressing gown. Ida was taken aback by his haggard appearance. "Hi, doll," she greeted him. "Oh, it's good to see you, Lupi." Ida introduced her escort, then Garfield prepared cocktails. "I have a little present for you, Lupi." He glanced at Ida's friend, then said: "I'm going to ask her to come into my bedroom but not for what you think." As Ida followed him, she felt uneasy. Garfield looked deathly ill, and he lacked energy and exuberance. He pointed to a basket of flowers, champagne and glasses.



Ida read the note: "To my favorite sister. Sorry, I'm not going to make it tonight but I've always loved you, kid. Julie." Ida was perplexed. "What do you mean?" she asked. "I'm not going to make it tonight or any other night," answered Garfield. "I'm booked." Ida was shocked. "I'm glad you gave me a good stiff drink. Now I have a present for you. All that junk about you being a Communist has been cleared up." Ida and her friend declined to see the play, since Garfield wasn't appearing. Ida, as she had promised, returned to Garfield's place to say goodnight. She was still worried about her friend. She tapped softly at the door and found it open. The living room was dark. In his bedroom a single lamp on a nightstand fell on Garfield, propped up on pillows sleeping. "Goodnight, Johnny. We all love you," Ida whispered. He opened his eyes and thanked her. She leaned down and hugged him. **"Would you mind holding my hand till I drop off*?" he asked.** The words sent a chill through Ida. "You bet," she told him. "I'll sit here till daylight if you want." She held his hand until he was sound asleep.



Ida wanted to hire John Garfield for her company but felt it was hopeless. Howard Hughes would never permit such a controversial actor to work at RKO. The heart condition that had prevented him from performing the last evening Ida saw him soon took his life.

—from "Ida Lupino: A Biography" (2000) by William Donati



John Garfield is one of the most forgotten, underrated and now unrecognizable actors of his era. He does not have the star recognition of a Cagney or Bogart, but he was just as fine of an actor as the two afore mentioned. He was the first Method actor to make it big in Hollywood and New York. He is considered by many film historians and fans as one of our truly great actors. His real brilliance was only beginning to fully blossom when he was taken from this world at the young age of 39. He did not deserve to have what happened to him.



He was rose up from the poverty and slums of New York to become one of Hollywood’s most popular actors of the 30’s and 40’s. A true rags to riches story, the American dream coming true. All this was taken away from him when with the 1950’s came, and the HUAC witch hunters made their destroying and untrue acquisitions. John Garfield was a loyal American. He was one of the first to travel overseas to entertain the troops during WWII. He was guilt ridden when he couldn't’t serve his country due to his heart condition during the outbreak of WWII. He was one of the driving forces along with Bette Davis who started the Hollywood Canteen.



He was one of the first actors to insist that Africa American and Hispanic actors have larger and more dignified roles in his films. He was a good man who had his share of faults, but who cared deeply about his country, his friends, and his fellow man, no matter what race or color they were. In refusing to name, names during the HUAC nightmare he in reality destroyed his own career and his own life. He however stayed true to his boyhood roots. He never forgot where he came from, and what he learned as a boy on the streets of New York which was, “you don’t rat on your friends.” He stayed true to himself, and in doing so he lost life.



Please considered saying, “yes I would purchase a box-set of John Garfield films.” I promise if it does come to pass, and you purchase such a box-set you will not regret it.



Thank you.


Edited by: Lori3 on Mar 13, 2012 4:29 AM


Edited by: Lori3 on Mar 13, 2012 4:35 AM

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I think many of us here wouldn't scoff at the idea of accquiring a box set of Garfield movies. And it wouldn't matter which movies are in it. You're right about Garfield. As a kid growing up, Garfield was one of those guys when you saw him in a movie, you know you were going to like it. As the years passed, we learned more and more about his personal character and liked him even more. And he belonged on that list of "cool" actors that thread of mine asked about.






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