The Breaking Point

The Breaking Point

Directed by Michael Curtiz • 1950 • United States
Starring John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter

Michael Curtiz brings a master skipper’s hand to the helm of this thriller, Hollywood’s second crack at Ernest Hemingway’s “To Have and Have Not.” John Garfield stars as Harry Morgan, an honest charter-boat captain who, facing hard times, takes on dangerous cargo to save his boat, support his family, and preserve his dignity. Left in the lurch by a freeloading passenger, Harry starts to entertain the criminal propositions of a sleazy lawyer (Wallace Ford), as well as the playful come-ons of a cheeky blonde (Patricia Neal), making a series of compromises that stretch his morality—and his marriage—further than he’ll admit. Hewing closer to Hemingway’s novel than Howard Hawks’s Bogart-Bacall vehicle does, THE BREAKING POINT charts a course through daylight noir and working-class tragedy, guided by Curtiz’s effortless visual fluency and a stoic, career-capping performance from Garfield.

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The Breaking Point
  • The Breaking Point

    Directed by Michael Curtiz • 1950 • United States
    Starring John Garfield, Patricia Neal, Phyllis Thaxter

    Michael Curtiz brings a master skipper’s hand to the helm of this thriller, Hollywood’s second crack at Ernest Hemingway’s “To Have and Have Not.” John Garfield stars as Harry Morgan, an hone...

Extras

  • Alan K. Rode on THE BREAKING POINT

    Produced in 2017, this interview features biographer and film historian Alan K. Rode (“Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film”) discussing THE BREAKING POINT and its director, Michael Curtiz.

  • Julie Garfield On John Garfield

    In this 2017 program, actor Julie Garfield remembers her father, John Garfield, and discusses his performance in THE BREAKING POINT.

  • Fluid Style in THE BREAKING POINT

    In this 2017 video essay, filmmakers Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos (“Every Frame a Painting”) examine director Michael Curtiz’s understated artistry in THE BREAKING POINT.