Body and Soul (November 9, 1947)

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John Garfield and Lilli Palmer in Body and Soul
 

Released on November 9, 1947: John Garfield was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award for this performance as boxer Charlie Davis in this noir crime adventure, which is widely recognized as the best movie about boxing ever produced.

Produced by Bob Roberts

Directed by Robert Rossen

The Actors: John Garfield (Charley Davis), Lilli Palmer (Peg Born), Hazel Brooks (Alice), Anne Revere (Anna Davis), William Conrad (Quinn), Joseph Pevney (Shorty Polaski), Lloyd Gough (Roberts), Canada Lee (Ben Chaplin), Larry Anzalone (fighter being knocked out), Eddie Borden (man in fight crowd), James Burke (Arnold), Wheaton Chambers (Ben's doctor), Mary Currier (Miss Tedder), Sayre Dearing (bartender), Joe Devlin (Prince), Artie Dorrell (Jack Marlowe), Al Eben (taxi driver), Ceferino Garcia (boxer in training camp), Joe Gray (corner man), Virginia Gregg (Irma), John Indrisano (Davis-Marlowe Fight Referee), Sheldon Jett (pool hall proprietor Sam), Milton Kibbee (Marlowe's manager Dan), Mike Lally (timekeeper), Glen Lee (Marino), Theodore Lorch (man at weigh-in), George Magrill (fight stadium cop), Pat McKee (man in fight crowd), Sid Melton (ringsider), Harold Miller (fight crowd extra), Forbes Murray (weigh-in official), William H. O'Brien (bartender), Mike Ragan (ring photographer), Frank Riggi (boxer in training camp), Cyril Ring (Victor the butler), Shimen Ruskin (Shimen), Tim Ryan (Jack Shelton), Art Smith (David Davis), Larry Steers (man in fight crowd), Bert Stevens (man at party), Dan Tobey (fight announcer), George Tyne (Charlie's friend), Sailor Vincent (man in fight crowd), Peter Virgo (Roberts' bodyguard Drummer), John Wald (ringside announcer), Ulysses Williams (boxer getting knocked out)

 

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John Garfield . . . Body and Soul

Before there was a Superbowl . . . before there was college basketball 'March Madness' . . . young boys growing up in a small town or the big city often found a path to wealth by learning to fight . . . the world paid and gambled and eagerly watched professional boxing . . . mano-a-mano . . . one man trying to beat the brains out of another man. This movie is widely considered as the best story about boxing in America when that sport was the most popular sport in the nation. It won an Acadamey Award for best editing and John Garfield was nominated for Best Actor, along with a nomination for Best Original Screenplay. For the first time ever, cameraman James Wong Howe used a hand-held movie camera and wore roller skates to glide around the ring, capturing fight scenes as they had never before been shown on the big screen.

In the mid 1940's the movie star that was the face of a tough city kid fighting the world and fighting his way out of poverty was played best by John Garfield. Garfield on screen was the picture of Depression Era working class tough guy who always gave as good as he got. He grew up in a small apartment on the lower East side of Manhattan and never forgot how the poorest in America struggled for their next meal, and often brought those emotions of struggle to the screen. John Garfield became a movie star with a big Warner Brothers contract, but his spirit of being the little guy fighting the world brought him into great conflict with the studio system and he refused to perform in many of the parts that the studio ordered him to take.

When World War II broke out John Garfield quickly tried to enlist, but because of a bad heart he was rejected for military service, so he immediately helped actress Bette Davis create the Hollywood Canteen to provide free food and entertainment for servicemen heading off to war. In 1946 when his Warner Brothers contract ended he became one of the first actors to go independent from the big Hollywood studios, and in 1947 when he appeared in this independent movie he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.

Being outside the protection of the big studio system possibly helped end his career a few years later when he was called to testify in Congress before a committee searching for Communist enemies of America. Always a political liberal fighting for the poorest instead of the richest, John Garfield was accused by Republican senators of being a Communist and knowing other actors who were Communists. His response to their accusations was, "I have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. My life is an open book. I am no Red. I am no 'pink.' I am no fellow traveler. I am a Democrat by politics, a liberal by inclination, and a loyal citizen of this country by every act of my life."

In those days all liberals were painted by Republican politicians as Un-American and his movie career was virtually over just by the accusations from conservative congressmen. In 1952 at the age of 39, while walking back to his Manhattan apartment after enjoying dinner at a nearby restaurant he suffered a fatal heart attack. But in this 1947 movie you can meet the real John Garfield, Body and Soul, and decide for yourself what kind of man he might have been. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.

Anne Revere and John Garfield
Anne Revere and John Garfield
Lilli Palmer and John Garfield
Lilli Palmer and John Garfield
Lilly Palmer
Lilly Palmer
Anne Revere
Anne Revere
Anne Revere, John Garfield and Mary Currier
Anne Revere, John Garfield and Mary Currier
Anne Revere and John Garfield
Anne Revere and John Garfield
Anne Revere and Joseph Pevney
Anne Revere and Joseph Pevney
Anne Revere and Mary Currier
Anne Revere and Mary Currier
Anne Revere and Lilli Palmer
Anne Revere and Lilli Palmer
Anne Revere
Anne Revere
Art Smith and Anne Revere
Art Smith and Anne Revere
Art Smith and Anne Revere
Art Smith and Anne Revere
Canada Lee
Canada Lee
Canada Lee and James Burke
Canada Lee and James Burke
Canada Lee
Canada Lee
Dan Tobey
Dan Tobey
Hazel Brooks
Hazel Brooks
Hazel Brooks and John Garfield
Hazel Brooks and John Garfield
Hazel Brooks
Hazel Brooks
Hazel Brooks
Hazel Brooks
James Burke
James Burke
James Burke and Lloyd Gough
James Burke and Lloyd Gough
James Burke and Lloyd Gough
James Burke and Lloyd Gough
John Garfield in 1947
John Garfield in 1947
John Garfield and Anne Revere
John Garfield and Anne Revere
John Garfield and Hazel Brooks
John Garfield and Hazel Brooks
John Garfield, Joseph Pevney and William Conrad
John Garfield, Joseph Pevney and William Conrad
John Garfield and Shimen Ruskin
John Garfield and Shimen Ruskin
John Garfield and Tim Ryan
John Garfield and Tim Ryan
John Garfield meets William Conrad
John Garfield meets William Conrad
John Garfield
John Garfield
John Garfield and Lilli Palmer
John Garfield and Lilli Palmer
Joseph Pevney and Glen Lee
Joseph Pevney and Glen Lee
Joseph Pevney and John Garfield
Joseph Pevney and John Garfield
Joseph Pevney and John Garfield
Joseph Pevney and John Garfield
Joseph Pevney and Lilli Palmer
Joseph Pevney and Lilli Palmer
Lilli Palmer in 1947
Lilli Palmer in 1947
Lilli Palmer and John Garfield
Lilli Palmer and John Garfield
Lilli Palmer and Joseph Pevney
Lilli Palmer and Joseph Pevney
Lilli Palmer and Shimen Ruskin
Lilli Palmer and Shimen Ruskin
Lilli Palmer and John Garfield
Lilli Palmer and John Garfield
Lilli Palmer
Lilli Palmer
Lloyd Gough
Lloyd Gough
Lloyd Gough and James Burke at the fight
Lloyd Gough and James Burke at the fight
Lloyd Gough and William Conrad
Lloyd Gough and William Conrad
Lloyd Gough meets John Garfield
Lloyd Gough meets John Garfield
Lloyd Gough
Lloyd Gough
Peter Virgo, Lloyd Gough and Joseph Pevney
Peter Virgo, Lloyd Gough and Joseph Pevney
Shimen Ruskin and Anne Revere
Shimen Ruskin and Anne Revere
Tim Ryan
Tim Ryan
Virginia Gregg
Virginia Gregg
William Conrad
William Conrad
William Conrad and Hazel Brooks
William Conrad and Hazel Brooks
William Conrad and John Garfield
William Conrad and John Garfield
William Conrad and Joseph Pevney
William Conrad and Joseph Pevney
Willliam Conrad
Willliam Conrad