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He Ran All the Way Movie Review

garfield robbery peggy life

A 19-year-old guy asked me who John Garfield was the other day and I nearly died! There must be at least 15 of the movies he made between 1938 and 1948 on the shelves of most neighborhood video outlets. Unfortunately, Nobody Lives Forever, The Breaking Point, and his swan song, He Ran All the Way, are not among them. Garfield, who began his career with the Group Theatre, was like a breath of fresh air when he first arrived in Hollywood. He wasn't a completely bad guy, but he hated fuss and pretense. He hated to be manipulated, too, but that didn't stop men and women alike from trying to use him for their own purposes. When he fell, he fell hard, and his naked face revealed every conflicting emotion that ran across it. In He Ran All the Way, Garfield plays a thief named Nick who becomes involved in a robbery with Al (Norman Lloyd). Al is wounded in the attempt and Nick shoots a guard, then flees to the neighborhood swimming pool. He meets a girl (Shelley Winters as Peggy Dobbs) and follows her home. At first, her parents (Wallace Ford and Selena Royle) and little brother (Bobby Hyatt) welcome Nick into their home, even leaving him alone with Peggy while they catch a movie. But Al's fears escalate when the family returns home. His guilty conscience convinces him that they've heard about the robbery, and he takes them hostage. When he learns that he killed the guard in the robbery, he feverishly makes plans to run away with Peggy. This independent production was the only job Garfield could get in the last year of his life. Berry and Butler were under investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities and Garfield's turn was next. He was due to appear before the Committee and, during the grueling wait, he died of a heart attack, aggravated by emotional strain and sleep deprivation. The fear that Garfield projects in his final performance onscreen had never been this intense before; he looks like he's gnawing a part of himself away in order to escape. Winters, then 29, is believable as the girl who's torn between her family and a desperate man for the first time in her life. No one knows what sort of a career or life Garfield might have had if he'd lived, but during his too-brief time in Hollywood, he gave the working class a recognizable face and voice with which to identify, and gave each role a no-nonsense approach, almost as if he weren't acting at all. Other noir films starring Garfield include The Postman Always Rings Twice, Body and Soul, and Force of Evil. Based on the novel by Sam Ross.

1951 77m/B John Garfield, Shelley Winters, Wallace Ford, Selena Royle, Bobby Hyatt, Gladys George, Norman Lloyd, Jimmy Ames; D: John Berry; W: Guy Endore, Hugo Butler; C: James Wong Howe; M: Franz Waxman.

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