Down 457 this week

The Breaking Point (1950)

Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 857 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 6 critic

An otherwise moral captain of a charter boat becomes financially strapped and is drawn into illegal activities in order to keep up payments on his boat.


0Check in

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 12 Mar 2011
a list of 538 titles
created 20 Nov 2012
a list of 3038 titles
created 10 Jan 2013
a list of 22 titles
created 7 months ago
a list of 90 titles
created 5 months ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Breaking Point (1950)

The Breaking Point (1950) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Breaking Point.

User Polls



Complete credited cast:
Leona Charles
Lucy Morgan
Juano Hernandez ...
Wesley Park
Wallace Ford ...
F.R. Duncan
Edmon Ryan ...
Ralph Dumke ...
Guy Thomajan ...
Amelia Morgan
Donna Jo Boyce ...
Connie Morgan
Victor Sen Yung ...
Mr. Sing


Fishing boat captain Harry Morgan charters his boat. Due to strained finances, he is none too careful as to whom he does business with. Real trouble erupts when Harry hires out his boat to transport four men who turn out to be criminals on the lam from a racetrack heist. Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's nothing more deadly than a gentle man pushed too far! See more »


See all certifications »





Release Date:

6 October 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Breaking Point  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Some of the story elements were recycled into another Ernest Hemingway adaptation, Islands in the Stream (1977). See more »


Concho: You know, the heaviest thing in the world's a dead man. You ever lift a dead man before?
Harry Morgan: Sure, plenty of times... not many friends though.
See more »


Featured in The John Garfield Story (2003) See more »


Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
Music by Sam H. Stept
Lyrics by Sidney Clare
Sung by Patricia Neal in the bar
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Things Didn't Go Right for the Boat Jockey
19 September 2012 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

The Breaking Point cannot properly be called a remake of To Have And Have Not as that classic film was altered to make the story relevant for domestic consumption in wartime America. There was also added the legendary chemistry of Bogey and Bacall in their first film together. Ernest Hemingway did not write that for the movie-going public.

The Breaking Point is far more Hemingway and far more realistically done. John Garfield makes a perfect Hemingway hero and the locations along the California coast aren't glamorized in any way. This is a working class locale and the black and white cinematography and wind swept look given by same reflects Garfield and the area he is raising his family in.

Garfield plays a World War II veteran who wanted to earn a living on the sea and have Phyllis Thaxter raise their daughters in that coastal location. But business comes in cycles and a bad season finds Garfield owing everyone including the butcher, the baker and candlestick maker. Most of all he owes for fuel and that guy is ready to take the boat for payment.

When a charter client stiffs him on the bill, Garfield is forced to make some bad choices to pay his bills and support his family. Providing some of those bad choices is Wallace Ford playing a truly sleazebag shyster living on the Mexican side of the Pacific coast who ostensibly will get you a quickie Mexican divorce, but dabbles in all kinds of illegal fields. Actually I'm being unfair, shysters make bad lawyer jokes about Ford.

Providing a little temptation for Garfield is Patricia Neal who is trying very hard for the same Lauren Bacall effect. She's the girlfriend of the client who stiffed Garfield in the first place and she has most original and cynical point of view about life and men.

The Breaking Point provides John Garfield with one of his best performances in his next to last film. And he far more fits the Hemingway conception as does the overall film itself.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Great Newport Beach Locations Celtfire
Lost Classic ? cshep
Great Film apriceaboverubies29
Now available on Warner Archive kbd1
Discuss The Breaking Point (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: