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john garfield bio


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Am I the only one who was driven crazy last night during the premiere telecast of the "John Garfield Story?" I mean that gallery of babbling talking heads who took up 90 per cent of the program? We had Richard Dreyfuss, Joanne Woodward, Danny "Lethal Weapon" Glover, etc. They never even knew the star! But minute after minute was wasted as Dreyfuss and Woodward and Glover, etc. all looked very earnest and actory as they explained Garfield's charisma. I kept wanting this to be as good as the terrific TCM biography on Joan Crawford: "The Ultimate Star." This one didn't come close. I kept waiting for them to bring on Michael Jackson and Britney Spears to give their two cents. Anyway, I guess we should be grateful for TCM for at least recognizing this terrific superstar. I know I've skipped other star bios on other programs--A&E, E!, AMC--because you saw five minutes of the star subject and the rest were all these babbling talking heads who never even knew the subject!

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You make a good point Pattypancake about all those babbling heads however its apparent that these stars are

devoted fans of Garfield like you and I. Its very rare that you see Joanne Woodward gushing over something or even in an interview. It would have been nice to hear from more of his co-stars who are still living such as

Shelley Winters, Bobby Hyatt (kid in "He Ran All The Way")

Maureen O'Hara, Bernard Punsley (Surviving Dead End Kid),

Eleanor Parker etc. However it was nice seeing co-stars Norman Lloyd, Patricia Neal and Hume Cronyn comment on the rebel star. However there was no mention of co-star Ida Lupino who was a big supporter of Garfield.

I did enjoy the film clips especially the outtake with Beulah Bondi who I believe was replaced by May Robson (hmmmm). Also the narration from his daughter Julie lent a deep sentiment to the presentation.

All in all it was better than nothing at all.

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Oh come on, Patypancake! Sure, I'd like more dish with Norman Lloyd, Patricia Neal, and the people who were actually there during the creative process; but the younger actors who expressed their appreciation for Garfield were okay with me! So they had to sprinkle the documentary with a few "names"--didn't you think that Phoebe Brand's tender, funny memories of Julius Garfinkle from the Group theater were insightful and fresh?


And I loved Garfield's friend, Michael Coppola, when he recreated, in their high school auditorium, Garfield's lines from his high school performance--in a proper Bronx accent--"My golden spurs now bring to me! And bring to me my richest mail; for tomorrow I go over land and sea in search of the holy grail!"


Hey, and how about Lee Grant's rueful accounting of the pass that she dodged from Garfield--to her lifelong regret!


Not to mention fellow actor Joe Bernard's funny memories of trying to decipher the Garfield electricity and mysterious verbal shorthand between Garfield and Strasberg while in rehearsal.


And Paty, it was good to see that his daughter seems to be a warm, articulate woman. Enjoy this documentary for what it is, Paty, not what it isn't. Besides, there are always those magnetic performances we can enjoy on film all month!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I did like the bio of john garfield, but i must agree

that more film clips would have helped. But the main

reason for my reply is that i am looking for help about

a set of 78 records that i have. The set is called

Herman Ermine in rabbit town-the story is read and sung

by John Garfield, it is on mercury records and as far as i know one of the few kids records that mercury did.

Please reply if anyone knows anything about this.

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papabear it sounds as though you have a real collectors item on your hands. I never realized that Garfield ever made a childrens recording. Be sure to check this out carefully since it should be worth something especially to Garfield fans. I wonder if ebay could help you with more info.



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I just saw the bio on John Garfield. I thought it was very informative and gave a good overall view of his life and work. I felt it was too short though.

I wasn't bothered at all by actors like Joanne Woodward and Danny Glover discussing their thoughts and opinions about John Garfield's work. I felt it added insight. It would have been nice to have more actors who actually worked with Garfield, but I realize some may have passed away or perhaps were not available to be interviewed.

Julie Garfield did a nice job narrating. They could have easily spent two hours on a biography of John Garfield.


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