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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knock out, 8 Feb 2009
By 
A. Ashaye (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Body And Soul [DVD] (DVD)
A fabulous well constructed movie that deserves repeated viewingss. The structure of the movie and the pacing means this film has held up well through the years. A wonderfully intelligent performance by John Garfield keeps you rooting for a character that in lesser hands would be cliched and one dimensional.
The cast in many of these old movies were always deep in talent making even a 'minor' character memorable. A true classic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "What ya gonna do, kill me? Everybody dies!", 6 May 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Body And Soul [DVD] (DVD)
Body and Soul isn't the great fight movie - the first half of the movie is often too conventional and formulaic for that - but it's certainly a contender even if it loses the title to The Set-Up. It's certainly one of John Garfield's best roles, finally getting into the ring: the play Golden Boy had been written for him only for the producers to cast him in a supporting role instead, so there's an element of unfinished business here, though Abraham Polonsky's script is much better that Odets' rather patronising fairytale. Where Odets dealt in stereotypes, Polonsky and everyone else on the film treat the supporting characters with dignity and respect: at a time when Stepinfetchit was the image of big screen black America, Canada Lee's performance as the former champ is a revelation - he may not have much screen time, but he's one of the most clued-in characters in the piece, with a dignity and intelligence all but unheard of for a black character in the 40s.

Despite the odd line like "If you wanna fight, fight for something, not for money," it's not an overtly political film, though that didn't stop it being used as evidence of communist subversion in the McCarthy era: few films can have had so many of its cast and crew blacklisted. Indeed, the HUAC must have used the credits as a wishlist - Polonsky, Garfield, Ann Revere, Lloyd Gough, Canada Lee, Art Smith, Shimen Ruskin, producer Bob Roberts and even, albeit to a lesser extent, cinematographer James Wong Howe (who had originally wanted to be a prizefighter and famously shot the bouts on rollerskates to get a more fluid sense of motion) all found themselves either blacklisted or greylisted, while director Robert Rossen only avoided that fate by naming names. Some weren't even communists (although most were members of minority groups). It's actually horrifying to consider just how many people involved in the film, from top to bottom, had their careers ruined or even, in the case of Garfield and Lee, were driven to an early death. In retrospect, the famed great almost-last line "What ya gonna do, kill me? Everybody dies." takes on a particularly bitter resonance.

[Aside from several future blacklist victims, it also boasts three future directors among its credits (Robert Aldrich, Robert Parrish and Nathan Juran) as well as montages from a fourth, Gunther Von Fritsch, whose directorial career never recovered from being fired from Curse of the Cat People].

Second Sight's DVD contains no extras, but is mastered from the BBC's excellent print of the film so boasts a good transfer.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Body and Soul (1947) ... John Garfiield ... Robert Rossen (Director) (2001)", 18 Jan 2011
By 
J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Body And Soul [DVD] (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.

Under the production staff of:
Robert Rossen [Director]
Abraham Polonsky [Original Screenplay]
Bob Roberts [Producer]
Hugo Friedhofer [Original Film Score]
James Wong Howe [Cinematographer]
Robert Parrish [Film Editor]
Nathan Juran [Art Direction]

BIOS:
1. Robert Rossen [Director]
Date of Birth: 16 March 1908 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 18 February 1966 - Hollywood, California

2. John Garfield [aka: Jacob Julius Garfinkle]
Date of Birth: 4 March 1913 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 21 May 1952 - New York City, New York

3. Abraham Polonsky [Original Screenplay]
Date of Birth: 5 December 1910 - New York City, New York
Date of Death: 26 October 1999 - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

the cast includes:
John Garfield - Charley Davis
Lilli Palmer - Peg Born
Hazel Brooks - Alice
Anne Revere - Anna Davis
William Conrad - Quinn
Joseph Pevney - Shorty Polaski
Lloyd Gough - Roberts (as Lloyd Goff)
Canada Lee - Ben Chaplin
Art Smith - David Davis
James Burke - Arnold
Virginia Gregg - Irma

Mr. Jim's Ratings:
Quality of Picture & Sound: 5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story & Screenplay: 5 Stars
Overall: 5 Stars [Original Music, Cinematography & Film Editing]

Total Time: 104 min on DVD ~ United Artists ~ (08/14/2001)
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars body adn soul, 29 May 2004
This review is from: Body And Soul [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I think this is a good movie, I want to review the contents to write a paper for school.
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