Monday, March 4, 2013

John Garfield Centenary

John Garfield in They Made Me a Criminal

I see that a couple of the people in my blogroll have done posts on John Garfield movies. That would probably be because today marks the centenary of his birth. TCM will be running several of his movies through mid-afternoon, and I've done a full-length post about only one of them before: We Were Strangers, about a plot against the Cuban government in the early 1930s, which concludes TCM's proceedings at 2:45. It still doesn't seem to be available on DVD, at least, not in print.

When I blogged about Garfield's birthday back in 2010, I made a brief mention of Between Two Worlds, largely because it's a remake of Outward Bound. Between Two Worlds, which has received a DVD release, is airing at 10:30 AM.

Interestingly, the Garfield movies I most like aren't showing up on TCM today. The Postman Always Rings Twice (the source of the picture at left, in which Garfield is about to bump off unsuspecting Cecil Kellaway) is an MGM film, so TCM ought to have a fairly easy time of getting the broadcast rights, and it might be one of Garfield's best-known stories. And yet, it's not showing up. It's received a couple of releases to DVD, including one on one of those four-movie Warner Archive box sets of murder mysteries.

An early great performance from Garfield that's not on TCM today is They Made Me a Criminal, in which Garfield plays a boxer wrongly accused of murder who winds up on the run in Arizona and becoming a hero to the Dead End Kids. Thankfully it's also available on DVD, i quite a few releases, which makes me wonder whether the movie entered the public domain.

Finally, I mentioned He Ran All the Way back in February 2009, and then did a full-length post on the movie in 2010. I mentioned both times that it hadn't gotten a DVD release, and sadly, that still seems to be the case.

1 comment:

Judy said...

Hi Ted, there has just been a blogathon about John Garfield for his centenary - in case you are interested, the list of postings is at:

I like all the films you have mentioned here (though I think Between Two Worlds fades in the last half hour or so). There are still quite a few of his that I haven't seen yet, though, especially as lots of them haven't been released in the UK.

You're right about 'They Made Me a Criminal' being in the public domain, but there do seem to be some decent prints of it around unlike some PD movies!

'He Ran All the Way' is out on DVD in the UK, where I live, so you could get it on import if you can play region 2 discs though it might be a bit expensive - the picture quality is very good but there aren't any extras. 'We Were Strangers' was released on DVD in region 1 at one point and I bought a copy on import - I think you are right that it is out of print now, sadly, but it looks as if there are some cheap copies at

I will now check out your postings on 'He Ran All the Way' and 'We Were Strangers'.