7.8/10
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46 user 29 critic

Body and Soul (1947)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport | 22 August 1947 (USA)
Charley Davis wins an amateur boxing match and is taken on by promoter Quinn. Charley's mother doesn't want him to fight, but when Charley's father is accidentally killed, Charley sets up a... See full summary »

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Lloyd Gough ...
Roberts (as Lloyd Goff)
...
Ben Chaplin
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Storyline

Charley Davis wins an amateur boxing match and is taken on by promoter Quinn. Charley's mother doesn't want him to fight, but when Charley's father is accidentally killed, Charley sets up a fight for money. His career blooms as he wins fight after fight, but soon an unethical promoter named Roberts begins to show an interest in Charley, and Charley finds himself faced with increasingly difficult choices. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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A new climax in entertainment from THE ENTERPRISE STUDIOS See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir | Sport

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Approved | See all certifications »

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22 August 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

An Affair of the Heart  »

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(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anne Revere and John Garfield plays mother and son here, but in real life the age difference between them was only 10 years. See more »

Goofs

Charley Davis's fiancee, Peg, leaves him a note and misspells his name, "Charlie." See more »

Quotes

Peg Born: Are you all right?
Charlie Davis: I never felt better in my life.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The State of Things (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Am I Blue?
Composed by Harry Akst and Grant Clarke
Performed by Hazel Brooks
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User Reviews

 
Blood, Sweat, and Soul in the Grandfather of the Boxing Genre...
22 June 1999 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

If Jake LaMotta, the real life raging bull, ever went to the movies, he must have seen BODY AND SOUL a hundred times. It practically predicts the course of his career and the world of sports cinema, specifically boxing films. Robert Rossen's 1947 black and white boiler is clearly an influence on ROCKY and RAGING BULL, along with countless other rags-to-riches sports stories with a hint of corruption. John Garfield, an actor I feel serves an audience more with his mere screen presence than his acting skills, is stunning as "Charley Davis", the kid from New York who wants a shot at the title.

Notice Garfield's prudent girlfriend. Remind you of Adrian? (ROCKY) How about the mob boss who wants 50 percent of Garfield's winnings? Remind you of Nicholas Colasanto from RAGING BULL? Of course. BODY AND SOUL is the altar of origin from which these films worshiped. Garfield dabbled in boxing off-screen until his untimely death in 1952 and appears like LaMotta, or De Niro, in many scenes. His temper can fly quickly and without warning. CHAMPION with Kirk Douglas and SOMEBODY UP THERE LIKES ME with Paul Newman have taken some licks from this sensational film that roared like most of the best films of the 1940's.

Boxing is the ultimate sport to depict in film because such interesting character studies can come out of them. A boxer is, for the most part, alone. Other sport films seem to suffer because more has to be captured and the sport itself is usually portrayed poorly and unrealistic. Boxing takes place in a small ring, as does the life of most boxers (or so it seems). Director Robert Rossen is also a master at creating pictures where a flawed main character creates his own suffering and pain and has a fundamental misunderstanding of women. Just see Broderick Crawford in ALL THE KING'S MEN or Paul Newman in THE HUSTLER.

No fight scene captures your attention until the pivotal final championship defense by "Charley Davis". Will he throw it for the easy bucks or win it for pride and the adulation of his simple New York roots? It is very unapparent and hard to see coming. The authenticity of the climactic fight is made all the more powerful with its newsreel look and in-your-face photography and makeup. Credit cinematographer James Wong Howe for the realistic look and credit the blood and sweat of Garfield, writer Abraham Polonsky, and director Rossen to bring such a captivating story of corruption and glory to the screen.


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