The Breaking Point The Criterion Collection
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Michael Curtiz brings a master skipper s hand to the helm of this thriller, Hollywood s second crack at Ernest Hemingway s To Have and Have Not. John Garfield stars as Harry Morgan, an honest charter-boat captain who, facing hard times, takes on dangerous cargo to save his boat, support his family, and preserve his dignity. Left in the lurch by a freeloading passenger, Harry starts to entertain the criminal propositions of a sleazy lawyer (Wallace Ford), as well as the playful come-ons of a cheeky blonde (Patricia Neal), making a series of compromises that stretch his morality and his marriage farther than he'll admit. Hewing closer to Hemingway s novel than Howard Hawks s Bogart-Bacall vehicle, The Breaking Point charts a course through daylight noir and working-class tragedy, guided by Curtiz's effortless visual fluency and a stoic, career-capping performance from Garfield.
BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
- New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
- New interview with biographer and film historian Alan K. Rode (Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film)
- New piece featuring actor and acting instructor Julie Garfield speaking about her father, actor John Garfield
- New video essay by filmmakers Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos, analyzing Curtiz s directorial techniques
- Excerpts from a 1962 episode of the Today show showing contents of the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida, including items related to To Have and Have Not, the novel on which The Breaking Point is based
- PLUS: An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek
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Much of The Breaking Point was shot on location in sun light.....yet, the feeling of doom and dread prevails without the iconic film noir tropes of well defined shadows and pin point lighting. Of the many great things about this movie, the photography was the most impressive to me. The entire cast is on point, and at home scenes with Garfield and his family are even more important than the more melodramatic scenes..... also a departure from more typical film noir. Patricia Neal plays what you think will be a femme fatale, but her character arc is somewhat different. She is magnificent in the role...............this performance is equal to those in A Face in the Crowd and The Day The Earth Stood Still.
I might be overstating it, but this may be equal to or better than the Curtiz noir masterpiece Mildred Pierce.....this is a must watch for fans of film noir.