THE BREAKING POINT (Warner, 1950)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Jon Hertzberg, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    With the recent release of To Have and Have Not in mind, when will Warner release The Breaking Point, the even better interpretation of the same story, from the vaults? John Garfield plays Captain Harry Morgan to perfection in what would be one of his best and final performances. Never available on home video, The Breaking Point shows up on TCM or Cinemax from time to time.

    Jon
     
  2. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    Never heard anything on this, but I feel it's one of the underrated gems of the fifties. There's an added sense of poignancy and loss viewing this film, along with Garfield's last He Ran All the Way, that comes with the knowledge of the sad fate that would soon befall the actor.

    What are the chances of WB eventually shining their "Signature Collection" light on their forgotten "tough guy"? Perhaps we could see that set include a mix of Garfield's better solo material as well as his stellar ensemble work. Perhaps five or so of these titles:

    Four Daughters (1938)
    Daughters Courageous (1939)
    Dust Be My Destiny (1939)
    Saturday's Children (1940)
    Castle on the Hudson (1940)
    The Sea Wolf (1941)
    Out of the Fog (1941)
    Tortilla Flat (1942)
    The Fallen Sparrow (1943)
    Pride of the Marines (1945)
    The Breaking Point (1950)
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Jon,
    I think Warner is eventually going to release a boxset of Garfield, but probably not before Cagney, Bogart, Flynn, Davis and Gable.
     
  4. Steve...O

    Steve...O Producer

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    John Garfield probably isn't well enough known to the general consumer to warrant a "Signature Collection" right away. However he was certainly a great actor. I believe TCM did a documentary on him in the last year or so. Perhaps that could be an extra if any of his films ever do surface (which they hopefully will).

    I'll confess I don't know much about him myself.

    Steve
     
  5. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Yes, TCM did a documentary on him that probably will be part of a dvd release of his films. I think George Feltenstein was involved with the production of that documentary, I'll check to verify that thought.






    Crawdaddy
     
  6. Conrad_SSS

    Conrad_SSS Second Unit

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    The documentary "The John Garfield Story" can be found on the POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE DVD. It was a co-production of TCM and Turner Entertainment Co., the latter entity being owned by Warner Bros.

    It's a great documentary, and it does contain an excerpt from THE BREAKING POINT.

    George Feltenstein was indeed Executive Producer of the documentary.

    A Garfield boxed set would be wonderful, but it would be a tough sell. I doubt it could be profitable for WB.
     
  7. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Great news and I am off ordering TPART now
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    You're right, I forgot all about it being on that dvd. It was last January, when that dvd was released and I only watched the movie back then and not the extras. I recalled Feltenstein's involvement in the documentary from watching the documentary's initial showing on TCM.






    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    Yes, I figured nothing would happen on this front until a couple of the other big ones were taken care of first. Good to see there is some other interest in a similar set for Garfield. I should have included Humoresque on the initial list. Perhaps this will show up on the inevitable Crawford set. Which films would folks like to see included in a Garfield set?

    Any ideas of what might surface on WB's next Gangsters or Noir sets? Perhaps some of Garfield's WB titles, besides Postman, might make the cut? Nobody Lives Forever with Garfield as con man and Geraldine Fitzgerald as prey and The Fallen Sparrow (RKO) with Garfield as a tormented Spanish Civil war veteran are both solid noirs. Out of the Fog has Garfield cast in rare villain role opposite the always fine Ida Lupino. A double bill of 20,000 Years in Sing-Sing with Spencer Tracy and the Garfield remake Castle on the Hudson is something I could envision from WB.

    It is too bad that two of his best and most enduring films, Body and Soul and Force of Evil, both originally distributed by United Artists, do not belong to Warners. Artisan has them now and has released two underwhelming discs. Hopefully, Paramount will do right by them when the rights revert to them through Viacom's acquisition of Spelling Entertainment.

    Does anyone know if MGM controls Garfield's final film He Ran All the Way (UA)? For the unitiated, it co-stars Shelley Winters and it is quite the swan song--it's never appeared on video, but shows up on TCM quite a bit.
     
  10. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    Tis a shame WB's To Have and Have Not came out before they started adding alternate versions/remakes as extras. A To Have and Have Not/The Breaking Point flipper would be ideal.
     
  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Garfield is one of my favorite actors. My father was a big Garfield fan and he was the one that turned me on to him back in the 1960s. IMO, he's right up there with Cagney and Bogart. His influence on Clift, Newman, Brando, Dean and other method actors can't be overlooked.





    Crawdaddy
     
  12. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    Crawdaddy,

    Great to see another big fan of Garfield. It seems a lot of people were turned on to him by an older relative. Someone called him the actor the "baby boomers never knew" and I think that's the main reason for his obscurity among the general public, even among film aficionados. He was just hitting his stride and needed to make a few more solid films, into the mid-late fifties, as Bogart did. A color film also probably would have helped, as we know many people have an unfortunate prejudice about how their films should look. [​IMG] I also can't help but think that the Blacklist had something to do with his being buried and forgotten.

    He's a pre-cursor to the Brandos, Clifts, and Deans and, as such, is an enormous influence on the Hoffmans, De Niros, Pacinos, and Penns. He should be more readily acknowledged for the important figure he was and remains in the world of cinema.

    Refreshingly, Mark Wahlberg has come out in several interviews professing his great admiration of John Garfield, calling him his favorite actor and recalling how "real" he was in all his performances. Never thought about it before, but there are definitely some similarities in appearance and Wahlberg seems to have taken on some of the Garfield swagger and spirit. Biopic? [​IMG]
     
  13. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    Great quote from Eddie Muller on his San Francisco Film Noir Festival. From a TCM interview:


    Eddie Muller TCM Interview

    If Eddie Muller is saying it, something must be done. [​IMG]
     
  14. Sergio A

    Sergio A Stunt Coordinator

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    I'll second that (or third or fourth it even)!

    It's a great film and one of the many Michael Curtiz jewels that are emerging thanks to those greats people at Warner Bros - let's hope it turns up with other great films of theirs such FOUR DAUGHTERS, DAUGHTERS COURAGEOUS and THE SEA WOLF really soon!!!
     
  15. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    Incidentally, Rode misnamed Garfield's Breaking Point character. It's HARRY Morgan, not Henry. Perhaps he was confused by actor Harry Morgan whose given name is Henry.
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I am very confident that Warners will release a Garfield boxset some time in the near future, maybe in 2007. If so, I'm sure Curtiz directed films will be featured in that boxset, since, Garfield received his big break and had his greatest film success working with this very underrated director.





    Crawdaddy
     
  17. Jon Hertzberg

    Jon Hertzberg Screenwriter

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    I hope you're right, Robert. But, I can't wait much later than '07. [​IMG]
     
  18. Sergio A

    Sergio A Stunt Coordinator

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    You must know something I don't, Sergio

    ==

    Merely wishful thinking on my part! Or rather, that THE BREAKING POINT is a wonderful Michael Curtiz movie like so many that have been released by WHV recently, like ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES, THE SEA HAWK, YANKEE DOODLE DANDY and MILDRED PIERCE - so hopefully there will be more to come!

    What is more, the sterling treatment of PUBLIC ENEMY, the BUSBY BERKELEY collection and the forthcoming release of BABY FACE and NIGHT NURSE there is also hope that some of the earlier, gloriously hyperbolic and top speed films made at Warners during the depression will also soon be available - but that's a totally different thread I'm sure!
     
  19. GregoryMesh

    GregoryMesh Supporting Actor

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    I'm more concerned with "the only print Warners has". It means that the film requires a good deal of restoration before it can be released on DVD, doesn't it?
     
  20. Corey

    Corey Screenwriter

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    I know Baby Face is coming out, but I heard nothing of Night Nurse. When is this being released??
     

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