Breaking Point

Breaking Point

Director: Michael Curtiz

Cast: John Garfield, Phyllis Thaxter, Patricia Neal

     
 

This second screen version of Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not is closer in spirit to the original than the first version, though it still is far from faithful to its source. John Garfield stars as Harry Morgan, who has metamorphosed from Hemingway's gun-runner to an ex-PT boat captain, now running a charter boat service in Southern California. Deeply inSee more details below

Overview

This second screen version of Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not is closer in spirit to the original than the first version, though it still is far from faithful to its source. John Garfield stars as Harry Morgan, who has metamorphosed from Hemingway's gun-runner to an ex-PT boat captain, now running a charter boat service in Southern California. Deeply in debt, Morgan agrees to smuggle aliens and later tries to sneak a bunch of gangsters out of the country. By the time he's been given a wake-up call by his conscience, Morgan has caused the death of a close friend. Patricia Neal and Phyllis Thaxter make the most of their limited footage as, respectively Harry Morgan's casual mistress and faithful spouse. Many critics feel that The Breaking Point represents Michael Curtiz' finest directing job--no small praise for a man who helmed such classics as Casablanca and Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Truer to its Ernest Hemingway source than the previous film version, The Breaking Point is a sadly neglected little gem that deserves to be wider known. It's not a great film, but it's an effecting and often powerful piece of cinema that benefits greatly from both John Garfield's sterling lead performance and Michael Curtiz's assured and imaginative direction. Not that the screenplay isn't worth mentioning, for it does a fine job of getting to the essence of the Hemingway story and transferring one of his flawed, haunted heroes quite effectively to the screen. It simply has a few bumps in it along the way, a few stretches of dialogue that miss the mark. But it also allows director Curtiz to shoot n emotionala, memorable closing sequence that juxtaposes the "happy" ending of the lead character's with the image of a now-orphaned child alone on the waterfront, searching for the father who won't be returning to him. Curtiz is also in exceptional form in the climactic sequence in which Garfield gets the best of gangsters while at sea. Garfield is simply sensational, giving a bravura performance that still has room for beautifully nuanced moments, creating a living, breathing character that practically leaps from the screen. There's also excellent support from Patricia Neal and Phyllis Thaxter, and Juano Hernandez takes advantage of the then-rare chance for a minority actor to play a real character and delivers a beautiful performance.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/29/2011
UPC:
0883316341223
Original Release:
1950
Rating:
NR
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:37:00

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Garfield Harry Morgan
Phyllis Thaxter Lucy Morgan
Patricia Neal Leona Charles
Juano Hernandez Wesley Park
Wallace Ford Duncan
Edmon Ryan Rogers
Ralph Dumke Hannagan
Guy Thomajan Danny
William Campbell Concho
Sherry Jackson Amelia
Donna Jo Boyce Connie
Peter Brocco Macho
Victor Sen Yung Mr. Sing
John Doucette Gotch
James Griffith Charlie
Norman Field Dock Attendant
Juan Duval Bartender
Spencer Chan 1st Chinese Cook
Helen Hatch Mrs. Cooley
Bob McLean Leona's Party
Beverly Mook Kid
John Close Deputy
Alex Gerry Mr. Phillips
Mary Carroll Girl
Glen Turnbull Taxi Driver
John Morgan Reporter
John Alvin Reporter
David McMahon Coast Guardsman
Paul McGuire Leona's Escort
Len Hendry Boatswain

Technical Credits
Michael Curtiz Director
Edward Carrere Art Director
Alan Crosland Editor
Ray Heindorf Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Leslie G. Hewitt Sound/Sound Designer
George James Hopkins Set Decoration/Design
Ranald MacDougall Screenwriter
Ted D. McCord Cinematographer
Bill Phillips Makeup
Leah Rhodes Costumes/Costume Designer
Jerry Wald Producer

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