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Body and Soul [Import]


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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, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Republic Pictures
  • Release Date: Aug. 14 2001
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005YUP0

Product Description

One of the great Film Noir classics, and one of the last of its kind. Garfield, Rossen and others would shortly thereafter be called before the House Un-American Activities Committee.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Lovins TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 18 2011
Format: DVD
United Artists presents "BODY AND SOUL" (9 November 1947) (104 min/B&W) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) -- The fight film to which all others are compared. John Garfield portrays Charlie Davis, a Jewish prizefighter whose parents want him to hang up the gloves and get an education --- When his father is killed in a bomb explosion, however, the proud Charlie prevents his mother (Anne Revere) from accepting government relief, turns pro, and by hook and crook, rises quickly to the top, winning the championship from Ben (onetime welterweight Canada Lee), who is left with a life-threatening blood clot in his brain --- As the champ, Charlie slides into a dissipated lifestyle and throws over his artist girlfriend, Peg Born (Lilli Palmer), for a floozy (Hazel Brooks), falling deeper into the clutches of the gangster who owns him (Lloyd Goff) in the process.

The results are not unexpected but highly satisfying --- When Davis leaves the ring he's threatened again by his mob handler.

"Get yourself a new boy. I retire."
"What makes you think you can get away with this?"
"What are you gonna do? Kill me? Everybody dies."

Garfield's riveting, Oscar-nominated performance lifts this film to the masterpiece level, as do Robert Rossen's superb direction, the marvelous photography of James Wong Howe and the Oscar-winning editing --- The fight sequences, in particular, brought a kind of realism to the genre that had never before existed (Howe wore skates and rolled around the ring shooting the fight scenes with a hand-held camera) --- A knockout on all levels.

Academy Award for Best Film Editing. Academy Award Nominations for Best Actor & Original Screenplay.
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Format: VHS Tape
"Body and Soul" was the pride and joy of Enterprise Productions, an independent company located just off Melrose Avenue near RKO and Paramount. It was dedicated to developing productions for its superstar, John Garfield. This is a morality play in which New Yorker Garfield, playing a role not unlike his own life, rises above temptation, reclaims his respectability, and bows out his professional boxing career as winner and still champion.
After his father is killed, an accidental victim of a turf war involving New York gangland elements, Garfield turns to the world of professional boxing despite his mother Ann Revere's admonitions against it. His mind is made up after a government official shows up at their apartment to ask Revere questions concerning going on relief, or in today's parlance, welfare. Garfield finds the process dehumanizing, evicts the government worker, and enters the professional boxing realm, aided by the area's noted boxing manager, William Conrad.
Eventually Garfield hits the big time and wins the world championship, but sells his soul in a Faustian bargain to unscrupulous promoter Lloyd Gough. In the process his decent, highly ethical girlfriend Lillie Palmer drops him, saying she will not deal with him as long as the unsavory Gough guides his destiny. After that he takes up with opportunistic night club singer Hazel Brooks, who lives for luxury in the fast lane.
Gough hits his lowest point when matching Garfield with the talented and popular champion Canada Lee, whose manager beseeches him to quit due to brain damage. One more extra hard blow can do the champion in, he has been warned by doctors. Gough explains that Lee need not worry, and that he will tell Garfield that he should carry him and not land any hard blows.
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Format: VHS Tape
Body and Soul is a gripping tale about one of the most corrupt sports, both now and then: boxing. As we watch "the Champ" emerge from poverty, aching to hit the big time, we understand why he would make a Faustian bargain with the sleazy big-time boxing promoter. The Champ figures he'll be smart and shrewd enough to be the one pulling the strings, but of course he is deluded, and when the promoter tells him to lose a big fight, the Champ finally has to wrestle with his conscience. The big fight is the movie's spectacular climax.
My two main complaints are that the Champ's girlfriend Peg (played by Lilli Palmer) is a stock character: the wholesome girl who tries to guide her boyfriend down the right path and waits like an angel, ready to forgive all, for her wayward boyfriend to return to her fold. Also, the ending is a cop-out. PLOT SPOILER TO FOLLOW. While it is inspiring to see the Champ refuse to throw the fight, we know that as a result the promoter probably will try to kill him, so the happy ending as the Champ and Peg walk off in each other's arms after the big fight is premature. The point of the film is that the Champ's reckless actions had gotten himself into a no-win situation: either he would throw the fight and lose his integrity or he would not throw the fight and would lose his life. The film's happy ending covers over that tragedy and dilutes the moral of the story.
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Format: VHS Tape
Produced in 1947, this film received three Oscar ominations. It's a story of a fighter who gets drawn into the corruption of the boxing world. John Garfield does an excellent job in the role, which, I understand, parallels some of his own early life growing up on the streets of New York. Lilli Palmer, cast as his "nice" girlfriend does a good job too. But Hazel Brooks, his sultry gold digger girlfriend seems to be overacting the whole time. And his mother, played by Anne Revere, doesn't come across as Jewish, which is what the role calls for. But yet, the film moved quickly and held my interest throughout and the tension was there the whole time. Will he or won't he throw the fight? It's not until the very end, after a scene using the best film editing and cinematography available at the time, that we finally find out. I also like the song "Body and Soul" which was played in the background throughout and I found myself humming the tune all the next day. This is a tight, well-done video, and certainly worth seeing. I do recommend it. I just stop short though of rating it a #5.
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