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Body and Soul

4.6 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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(Aug 14, 2001)
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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: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 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: #119,306 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Body and Soul" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
If your a fan of John Garfield like I am then Christmas came early this year when Olive Films released two of his classic films on blu ray this week(July 31). "Body and Soul"(1947) is probably his most famous film and he deserved his only Oscar Nomination for Best Actor for his performance. Boxing has been a subject matter for films for many years going all the way back to "The Champ"(1931) in which Wallace Beery won an Oscar for Best Actor and all the way to "Raging Bull"(1980) which brought Robert DeNiro a Best Actor Oscar also. In between there was not only "Body and Soul" but "Champion"(1949) with Kirk Douglas and also "Rocky"(1976) with Sylvester Stallone which became a franchise. Those of you who bought or owned the regular DVD of "Body and Soul" from Republic should be very pleased with this new blu ray transfer. An independant production originally released thru United Artists the print appears to be from a fine grain master postive but not the original negative. The reason I say that is because there's still a lot of grain and specks in some of the scenes but the close ups are crystal clear. Except for some of the fight scenes and some transition shots, James Wong Howe's beautiful cinematography looks great on blu ray. All the performances are top notch, including not only Garfield but the supporting players as well. Anne Revere, Canada Lee, Lloyd Gough, William Conrad, and Lilli Palmer all give fine performances. Sadly, except for Conrad and Palmer, most of the principles were blacklisted a few years later, including the screenwriter Abraham Polondky who directed Garfield the following year in "Force of Evil". Once again it's the writing and authentic dialogue that makes this picture. The scenes between Canada Lee and John Garfield are very touching.Read more ›
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