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Body and Soul

39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A young boxer fights his way unscrupulously to the top, becoming involved with the mob, and loses his self-respect.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: NR
Release Date: 26-MAR-2002
Media Type: DVD

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: John Garfield, Lilli Palmer, Hazel Brooks, Anne Revere, William Conrad
  • Directors: Robert Rossen
  • Writers: Abraham Polonsky
  • Producers: Bob Roberts
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Republic Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2001
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B00005YUP0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,230 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Body and Soul" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Steven E. Courtney on July 6, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Don't let the stars fool you, I love this movie and if I were reviewing the movie itself on its merits alone, it would get 6 stars. My love for this classic is the reason I can give this DVD version only two stars. The print is very poor - the lighting in some scenes is too dark to pick up some details. There are skips and jumps in the frame. The sound transfer is also very uneven. In fact my 20 year-old VHS tape is STILL better quality than this DVD. But all those technical faults could be forgiven were it not for the most egregious cut of all - a few lines of dialogue. In a pivotal scene where the grocer delivers to the Davis house, Charley has just told Peg that he needs his money to bet on the fight. The grocer comes in and talks about everyone betting on the fight - Charley says anyone who bets is foolish. The grocer disagrees. The words that were cut out of this print, essentially the heart of why the neighborhood loves their champ, are very simple "In Europe, the Nazis are killing our people, but here Charley is Champeen! No, it's not about the money." I have no idea why these lines are missing, but it was the final straw before I returned the DVD for a refund.

Unfortunately us movie fans lose out again. We can't get a decent transfer or an unedited copy of a great film. Many lesser films released in the last 5 years have several editions available, with added footage, interviews, alternate endings, "director's" cuts and other gimmicks to drive sales. It's a good thing I haven't given away my VHS tape or dumped my VCR, otherwise I'd never again see this movie in a facsimile of its intended presentation. I guess the simple grocer was wrong, it's always about the money.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 22, 2005
Format: DVD
When actor John Garfield wanted to make a boxing movie, Abraham Polonsky came up with this story on the spur of the moment. "Body and Soul" found great popular success and went on to garner Garfield an Oscar nomination for Best Actor, Polonsky a nod for Best Screenplay, and win the 1948 Oscar for Best Editing. In addition to being one of John Garfield's most popular roles, "Body and Soul" is remembered for its realistic depiction of boxing matches, filmed by cinematographer James Wong Howe, who had been a professional boxer in his youth. It probably didn't hurt that John Garfield had been an amateur boxer when he was young also, although he had to be doubled in some of the fight scenes due to his heart condition.

"Body and Soul" begins the night before World Boxing Champion Charley Davis (John Garfield) is to defend his title. He's supposed to throw the fight and make a bundle for the promoter, Mr. Roberts (Lloyd Goff). He's uneasy, can't sleep, and wanders around town seeking comfort -or something- in friends and family with little luck. Right before the fight, Charley drifts into sleep, murmuring "It's all gone down the drain" as he begins to dream. Most of the film is in flashback. Charley recalls his humble beginnings as an amateur champion and the pride of his old neighborhood. His mother (Anne Revere) disapproved of boxing, but Charley wanted to break free of the Lower East Side's violence and poverty. He wanted success more than anything in the world. With the help of his old friend Shorty (Joseph Pevney) and his manager Quinn (William Conrad), Charley became a pro with a promising future. But he sacrificed control of his career in a corrupt partnership with Roberts in order to get a championship fight.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on October 5, 2004
Format: DVD
Charlie Davis grew up poor but proud, a brash young kid with fists of stone and an appetite for the better life. John Garfield plays Davis in BODY AND SOUL, one of the starkest morality plays Hollywood has ever produced.

BODY AND SOUL is deeply cynical and enjoys a pessimism untainted by many promises of redemption. People don't fall in love in the world Charlie is so eager to join - they negotiate angry contracts with each other. William Conrad plays Charlie's manager who at one point loses his girl to Charlie. In a happier moment Conrad once told her, "Remember, first mink and then ermine." It's a constant theme in the movie - everything is for sale, and the more of you you shell out the better the reward. The girl's bitter fall from Charlie's grace takes her back to Conrad and his rabbit fur territory. Conrad welcomes her back with a snarled "Looks like you're back in my league." "I don't know," she says, "you're getting kind of old." Conrad ends this little woo-pitching session with the pleasant observation that "You could use a new paint job yourself." This is a Social Darwinism without much sociability and one where all the predators are keeping score.

About the only light radiated in Charlie's life come from girlfriend Peg and his mother, both long-suffering forgivers. But the lure of the Damned overshadows that of the Graced. The former dress better and have bigger toys. Besides, we imagine Charlie tells himself, I can always step away when I've had my fill....

BODY AND SOUL was custom made for its star and plays to all his strengths.
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