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He Ran All the Way: The Life of John Garfield [Hardcover]

Robert Nott
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2006 Limelight
(Limelight). This definitive biography, superbly reseached and compellingly written about the original film rebel, is as exciting as the best of Garfield's films. In a sense, Garfield never left the Bronx, but he began his acting career not far away, on Broadway as a member of the Group Theater in the mid-thirties. But soon, seduced by the myth of Hollywood and the reality of Warner Brothers, he made his movie debut, in 1938, in Four Daughters and immediately established himself as an earthy, rebellious and electrifying presence on the screen in retrospect the James Dean of the Depression era. Frequenty cast as a lawbreaker, in such films as They Made Me a Criminal, Dust Be My Destiny, Castle on the Hudson and, late in his career, the cult favorite Force of Evil , Garfield went on to roles in classics like The Postman Always Rings Twice (with Lana Turner), Body and Soul and Gentleman's Agreement .

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars At last...A fitting tribute Jan. 23 2004
By .
Format:Hardcover
I could barely believe my eyes when I found this book available whist scouring the Amazon pages as it is so difficult to find anything about John Garfield. This book did not disappoint. It is a fitting tribute to a fantastic actor who has sadly and unjustly been largely swept under the carpet along with some of the finest work ever captured on film. The book shows you the real side of "Julie", a witty, mischievous man who kept true to the boy inside and his roots. He seems to have had a naivity which partially contributed to his tragic end and shows the extent to which he was literally hounded to death by the unrelenting HUAC. What a waste that such an outstanding talent should suffer for staying true to his country and true to his profession. This man was brilliant...just compare his Frank Chambers to that of Jack Nicholson in The Postman Always Rings Twice or the way he carries the part of Danny in Tortilla Flat, two roles in stark contrast of one another.
I have been an avid Garfield fan for many years and my uncle was even lucky enough to have met him which is fantastic... but I can only thank the author, Robert Nott, for this outstanding book and insight further into John Garfield.
This book invoked many emotions, it retold many amusing stories of his antics, showed his funny side, his serious side, his determination, faults, strengths and weaknesses and in the end, sorrow for such a sad loss. If you are at all interested in this charismatic character, buy this book. A wonderful book about a wonderful man. Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, Solid Bio Jan. 5 2004
Format:Hardcover
John Garfield has been mostly forgotten by the movie going public. He has fans yes-but a place with the 'greats' of the movies seems to be just out of his reach.
This new biography of Garfield reminds us...what a true raw talent he was. The author tells us how Garfield burst opon the movie scene in 1938-causing such a spash that Warner Brother's were shocked and...not sure what to do with there new discovery. They plunked him in some 'B' potboilers that didn't utilize has talent but still made...money. Garfield languished for awhile and while bored still delivered some standout performances. He began to grow as an actor in the 1940's delivering what I believe to be a Oscar worthy performance in the classic BODY AND SOUL.
The bio does a good job of detailing the 'times' that Garfield lived in and sadly what destroyed his career. The chapters about his childhood are most fasinating.
The only reason I did not give this book '5 stars' is because I feel that the author took some 'pot shots' at Garfield...'shots' that he had already told us about earlier in the book.
Other then these 'few' comments I feel the book is a worthy and a fine way to remember, and give our 'due' too a truely unique actor.
Was this review helpful to you?
3.0 out of 5 stars He Ran "Midway" April 26 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book has potential and I would recommend purchasing it, but it is verbose and "text booky", something I don't want in a Hollywood autobiography.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last...A fitting tribute Jan. 23 2004
By . - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I could barely believe my eyes when I found this book available whist scouring the Amazon pages as it is so difficult to find anything about John Garfield. This book did not disappoint. It is a fitting tribute to a fantastic actor who has sadly and unjustly been largely swept under the carpet along with some of the finest work ever captured on film. The book shows you the real side of "Julie", a witty, mischievous man who kept true to the boy inside and his roots. He seems to have had a naivity which partially contributed to his tragic end and shows the extent to which he was literally hounded to death by the unrelenting HUAC. What a waste that such an outstanding talent should suffer for staying true to his country and true to his profession. This man was brilliant...just compare his Frank Chambers to that of Jack Nicholson in The Postman Always Rings Twice or the way he carries the part of Danny in Tortilla Flat, two roles in stark contrast of one another.
I have been an avid Garfield fan for many years and my uncle was even lucky enough to have met him which is fantastic... but I can only thank the author, Robert Nott, for this outstanding book and insight further into John Garfield.
This book invoked many emotions, it retold many amusing stories of his antics, showed his funny side, his serious side, his determination, faults, strengths and weaknesses and in the end, sorrow for such a sad loss. If you are at all interested in this charismatic character, buy this book. A wonderful book about a wonderful man. Enjoy!
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, Solid Bio Jan. 5 2004
By John J. Raspanti - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
John Garfield has been mostly forgotten by the movie going public. He has fans yes-but a place with the 'greats' of the movies seems to be just out of his reach.
This new biography of Garfield reminds us...what a true raw talent he was. The author tells us how Garfield burst opon the movie scene in 1938-causing such a spash that Warner Brother's were shocked and...not sure what to do with there new discovery. They plunked him in some 'B' potboilers that didn't utilize has talent but still made...money. Garfield languished for awhile and while bored still delivered some standout performances. He began to grow as an actor in the 1940's delivering what I believe to be a Oscar worthy performance in the classic BODY AND SOUL.
The bio does a good job of detailing the 'times' that Garfield lived in and sadly what destroyed his career. The chapters about his childhood are most fasinating.
The only reason I did not give this book '5 stars' is because I feel that the author took some 'pot shots' at Garfield...'shots' that he had already told us about earlier in the book.
Other then these 'few' comments I feel the book is a worthy and a fine way to remember, and give our 'due' too a truely unique actor.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing but readable Jan. 12 2005
By Laura Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I was very pleased to have found a John Garfield bio. He is one of my favorite actors who,sadly, is underrated or even forgotten by most. I'm sorry to say then that "He Ran All the Way" is a disappointing,uneven,and incomplete portrait of such an interesting life. Nott's book is not especially well written. The reader never gets a true sense of Garfield, his relationship with his wife and children, or his colleagues. The book is full of generalities about Garfield's personality especially his womanizing and intellegence. The author also makes grand judgements about Garfield's movies that fans may not agree with. I did find it helpful as a resource for general facts about Garfield, especially his blacklisting. I hope to find another Garfield bio that's better written and more fleshed out. I'd love to see Patricia Bosworth write one. (She's written interesting bios about Brando and Clift.)
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars worthwhile ,but disappointing March 18 2007
By J. kershaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
If you are a fan of John Garfield,or even just curious to know more about this neglected star,who was the FIRST movie 'rebel',then this book is a worthwhile read.If,like me you rate Garfield as one of the great acting talents,then it will be disappointing,as it is to some of the other reviewers.
There is far too much emphasis,(and judgement) on his womanising and 'intellectual' shortcomings.At times it seems like the author is indeed taking 'pot shots',as another reviewer observed,instead of unbiased criticism.The book is rather shallow as a whole,but I did get some terrific information about Garfield and his films,probably because there is so little in the way of other books on the subject for comparison.
Had the author been someone like Lawrence Grobel,who wrote a masterpiece on John Huston's life and family in 'THE HUSTONS',we would have had,I'm sure, the definitive version.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Shed A Few Tears Feb. 15 2013
By Marylou - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Very compelling book. Garfield was one of the few Hollywood actors admired by men and women. You always pulled for this guy in movies and you will continue to do that when you read this book. He was naive in many ways, too trusting. When I finished the book, I just wanted to be able to call him up to let him know he was in my thoughts and prayers. I felt I understood him and wanted to shield him from people who did not. Absolutely super book!
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