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Showing 1-10 of 28 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 54 reviews
TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 10, 2017
After recently complaining about another boxing movie (“Bleed For This” which isn’t bad) hitting the streets and more on the way, why would I want to watch this old story. Frankly the plot isn’t new but it was for the time. The film has been sitting on my shelf, begging to be watched and then I remembered why I bought it. It stars John Garfield who was nominated for an Oscar. He’s also one of my favorite actors whose career was cut short by McCarthyism and an early death at 39. The film is essentially the life story of boxing champion Barney Ross. When Ross became involved in a heroin scandal, the character became Charley Davis (Garfield).

Davis helped out his father in his store and boxed for fun. When his father was killed in a gangland explosion, Charley decided to make a career out of it, much to his mother’s (Anne Revere) dismay. The film also starred the excellent Lilli Palmer as Peg, Charley’s artist fiancé. Peg supported Charley’s decision to fight, at least until he got caught up in the sport’s dark underbelly, organized crime. Charley’s manager, Quinn (William Conrad) becomes a shill for a mobster named Roberts (Lloyd Gough). Everything is going well until a new, younger up-and-comer works his way up to a title fight with Davis. Roberts and one of his goons are partially responsible for the death of Charley’s best friend, Shorty (Joseph Pevney). That and the memory of an experience years earlier when Charley almost killed a fighter, bring to a head where Charley’s morals and capitalistic opportunities collide.

Frankly the film is a bit tired by today’s standards but was certainly original for its day. Directed by Robert Rossen (“The Hustler”) there is no denying the excellent acting and screenplay (Abraham Polonsky). In addition to Garfield and Polonsky’s Oscar nominations, the movie won the Oscar for editing (Francis D. Lyon and Robert Parrish). The film has some ground breaking fight sequences shot by legendary cinematographer James Wong Howe. The title references the 1930 Johnny Green song which has been performed by nearly every jazz artist from Coleman Hawkins to the Tony Bennet & Amy Winehouse duet.
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on August 4, 2012
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. Friends in real life the stess from their blacklisting probably contributed to their early deaths. Ironically, they both died within ten days of each other in May, 1952. Lee was 45 and Garfield only 39. It was a sad double loss for all of us fans of these two remarkable human beings. This year marks the 60th Anniversery of John Garfield untimely death and Olive Films is doing him justice by releasing "Body and Soul" and "Force of Evil" on blu ray. Hopfully with Warner Home Video releasing "The Postman Always Rings Twice" in October, this great actor will get re-discovered by a whole new generation of fans.
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on May 6, 2014
John Garfield as Charley Davis and Lili Palmer, as Peg Born ignite the screen as two unlikely people who meet and fall in love. She, an unknown artist and he, an up and coming small time fighter whose only matches thus far have been in the neighborhood rings poverty and small time crooks dictate. When his father is accidentally killed Charley begins to fight for real money so can support his mother, amply played by the wonderful character actress, Anne Revere, who abhors fighting. Up from the streets of New York comes a winning boxer to whom money means more than anything else in the world. Fight after fight sees Charley becoming wealthier yet more and more ensnared in the trap laid for him by a big time promoter who plays for large stakes and who arranges bets, wins and losses within the ring! In the end, Charley must make the decision his career, his entire future and his integrity hinges on. Great performances by Garfield and the entire cast.

Anne Revere, in her usual flawless interpretation, sparkles as the mother who knows her son all too well
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on July 10, 2015
This is without a doubt one of the best fight movies, ever. I think that this is one of John Garfield's best with The Postman Always Rings Twice as his best work. It's a story about the fight game and it's dirty little secrets, the money involved and the men behind the scenes doing all the deals. It's a force to be reckoned with about the fight game. This is for the people who love movies of old with dialogue that isn't around anymore, good writing, directing and acting.
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on May 4, 2016
I purchased this item for my parents, who are both in their 80's and requested this purchase. It is a clastic fight movie that speaks for its-self, rated 7.8 at IMDb and nominated for three academy awards with one win. The quality of the dvd was excellent and the only flaw in the picture quality would be from the techniques available 70 yrs ago.
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on August 12, 2016
A great movie with John Garfield and an excellent supporting cast. Robert Rossen's direction and Abraham Polonski's screenplay are top notch. This bluray release is wonderful and shows James Wong Howe's exquisite cinematography better than any previous video version.
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on June 28, 2013
Except for that deeply moving scene in GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT when he violently reacts to an insulting drunkard, I believe BODY AND SOUL contains John Garfield's best acting moments. Thank you Olive Films for preserving this film in great condition on this DVD.
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on March 13, 2016
I like all John Garfield 's movies HE was a good actor and to bad he died so young.
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on January 5, 2017
Love this classic!
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on October 29, 2016
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