Body and Soul

1947

Drama / Film-Noir / Sport

0
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 92%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 89%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 4428

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
March 17, 2021 at 02:09 PM

Director

Cast

John Garfield as Charley Davis
Lilli Palmer as Peg Born
Hazel Brooks as Alice
720p.BLU
976.12 MB
968*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 46 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MOscarbradley 7 / 10

Down but not out

This boxing picture deals with the seedier side of the business; (is there any other?). It helps that it was written by Abraham Polonsky whose script is suitably cynical and hard-boiled. John Garfield is the pugnacious fighter easily swayed by the prospects of easy money and not adverse to taking a dive. It's a fine, hard-nosed performance. Garfield was always at his best in roles that required him to battle with his conscience.

The whole movie is well cast. The under-rated Lilli Palmer is fine as the 'nice' girl who loves him as is Hazel Brooks as the 'bad' girl who seduces him while the villains are ably taken care of by Lloyd Gough and William Conrad. Best of all there is Anne Revere as Garfield's mother. (Did Revere play everybody's mother movies?). It's another of her no-nonsense roles. Revere was one tough cookie who kept her heart of gold well-hidden. The climatic fight scene is very well staged and Robert Parrish and Frances Lyon's editing won the Oscar while James Wong Howe's cinematography adds considerably to the realism.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 8 / 10

More A Human Interest Story Than A Boxing Tale

I looked at this as simply a good story, a solid drama that happened to have the sport of boxing figure into it. "Boxing movies." if people insist on labeling this under that category, were particularly popular around the time of this film. Many of them had similar stories about a good guy being told to take a dive or else. Yes, that was in here, too, but it wasn't anywhere near the central part of the story. This film was more of an earlier "Raging Bull"-type tale in that it concentrated on the friends, family, freeloaders, criminals and women surrounding the main male character.

This was more of a story about a decent man who gets carried away with success and with the power and money that goes with it. As good as the lead actor, John Garfield, was in here - and he was good - I was more intrigued with the supporting characters.

Lilly Palmer looked and sounded the part of a refined sweet, pretty French girl (whatever that means) and was a good contrast to the uneducated and quick tempered brute (Garfield). As in so many stories, she wasn't fully appreciated by her man until the end. Anne Revere, as Garfield's mom (she seemed to always play the lead character's mother in 1940s films) was fascinating as she always was and kudos to Joseph Peveny as "Shorty" and Lloyd Gough a "Roberts." Both added a lot to the film. Wlliam Conrad and Hazel Brooks added some great film noir-- type dialog, berating each other once in a while.

These actors, and the photography of James Wong Howe, make this a cut above most if not all the so-called "boxing films."

Reviewed by blanche-2 9 / 10

Great '40s film starring John Garfield

John Garfield is a fighter taken over "Body and Soul" in this 1947 Faustian drama about a man who becomes too heady with success and too greedy, eventually signing on with a crooked fight promoter. Garfield is supported here by Lilli Palmer, Anne Revere, Hazel Brooks, William Conrad, Canada Lee and Lloyd Gough.

American filmmakers love boxing movies, and why not? It's a one on one brutal action sport that has inherent in it good drama because of what is at stake for people who most likely came from nothing and used their fists on the street. "Body and Soul" is no different in this regard, but it's one of the best of its kind. It also boasts an unusual and exceptionally talented cast.

The film is loaded with conflict for Charlie Davis (Garfield) - his mother (Revere) doesn't want him to fight; he's in love with Peg (Palmer) and wants to marry her but is talked into delaying it when he signs on with a new and corrupt promoter, Roberts (Gough). This will be the first of Charlie's concessions and unfortunately not the last. He fights Ben (Lee), but isn't told that the man has a blood clot and he needs to coast through only a few rounds. Instead, he pulverizes Ben, causing further brain damage, and takes him on as a trainer out of guilt. Then he's seduced by a money-hungry babe named Alice (Brooks). And on and on, until Roberts bets against him and orders him to take a dive in the championship fight he's been waiting for. (With all the films done about taking dives, anyone who bets on a fight is nuts.) Something about this movie - maybe it's the theme song, which is one of my favorites - swept me away. It's one of Garfield' most colorful performances, and the beautiful, classy Palmer is a perfect juxtaposition not only to the streetwise Charlie but the trashy Alice.

The truly transcendent role and performance is essayed by Canada Lee, a wonderful actor who died too young and had too few opportunities in film. His performance as the volatile, ill Ben was Oscar-worthy. Like Ben Carter in "Crash Dive," the fact that Lee is black does not enter into the script at all, and he is treated as an equal.

For all the rotten stereotyping done in films at that time, there were a few scripts that defied it. Lee was blacklisted and died in 1952 (the same year that John Garfield died), at 45, almost literally of a broken heart. He left a legacy of five films and some wonderful stage work, including Orson Welles' all-black Macbeth. Cast members Garfield, Lee, Anne Revere, Lloyd Gough, Art Smith, Shimen Ruskin, scriptwriter Abraham Polonsky and producer Bob Roberts would all find themselves blacklisted, and director Rossen would be threatened but admit to being a Communist and name names.

Magnificently photographed in black and white by James Wong Howe and with top direction, "Body and Soul" is an example of how wonderful film can be.

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