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The John Garfield Story (2003)

This documentary, aired on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable network, looks at the life and career of John Garfield, whose career was cut short when he died at age 39. His difficult ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julie Garfield ...
Narrator / Herself
Ellen Adler ...
Herself
Joseph Bernard ...
Himself (as Joe Bernard)
Phoebe Brand ...
Herself
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
Robert Sklar ...
Himself - Author / Film Historian
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Storyline

This documentary, aired on the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) cable network, looks at the life and career of John Garfield, whose career was cut short when he died at age 39. His difficult childhood in the rough neighborhoods of New York City provided the perfect background for the tough-guy roles he would play on both stage and screen. Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

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3 February 2003 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included in Warner Home Video's 2004 DVD release of The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). See more »

Goofs

In her opening narration of this documentary, Julie Garfield refers to "Senator Joseph McCarthy and his House Un-American Activities Committee". As a senator (and someone who had never been a member of the House of Representatives), McCarthy did not serve and could never have served on HUAC. Indeed, Ms. Garfield's very words make no sense, as senators cannot be members of House committees (or vice versa). Moreover, McCarthy had nothing whatsoever to do with the investigations into alleged Communist influence in Hollywood or the subsequent blacklist. McCarthy, in the Senate, concerned himself almost entirely with alleged subversives in government and related institutions, but he never got involved with Hollywood or the entertainment industry, which was the exclusive preserve of HUAC - 'though McCarthy certainly approved of what that committee was doing. See more »

Crazy Credits

As the credits roll on the right side of the screen, the left side shows unidentified film clips from Garfield's movies while the interviewees make additional comments. The final frame shows Garfield's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. See more »

Connections

Features Dust Be My Destiny (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

An Interesting Man And A Fine Actor
16 October 2011 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

My impression of John Garfield had always been that of a 1940s actor who played tough guy roles, and who grew up in a rough urban neighborhood. I tended to think of him mostly in the role of a boxer, rather short and stocky (his stated height is exactly the same as that of Tom Cruise). But since Garfield was before my time, my image of him was vague.

This one-hour bio put the man's life in sharper focus for me. I didn't know he played a variety of character types or that he studied method acting and spent much of his career affiliated with NYC's theater company. These factual details helped clarify my perception, though they also reinforced my image of him as a tough guy.

The bio includes interviews with current film VIPs, and is narrated by his daughter. Not unexpectedly these people gush with flowery compliments and adulation for Garfield. Has there ever been a film bio that featured interviewers critical of the deceased? In "The John Garfield Story" the interview responses thus seem overly eulogistic. However much the anticommunist HUAC may have wrongly hounded Garfield, the Committee didn't "kill" Garfield as one interviewer says flat out.

Even so, though the film may be a standard celebrity bio, it is still an interesting story, because Garfield himself was an interesting man and a fine actor.


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