Body and Soul

Screening on Film
Recently Restored
Directed by Robert Rossen.
With John Garfield, Lilli Palmer, Hazel Brooks.
US, 1947, 35mm, black & white, 104 min.
Print source: UCLA

Twice denied the lead role of working class boxer in Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy, Rossen’s longtime friend John Garfield slips into his customized character like a glove. Both former boxers, he and Rossen found themselves at home in the dodgy, grimy Prohibition-era New York of their youth where Charley Davis rises from the candy store counter to the world stage of an undefeated boxer – retaining an emotionally-pragmatic naiveté regarding the darker deals at play. Interlacing its larger moral questioning around a concerned ring of characters – including his slightly bohemian artist girlfriend, a dignified, principled mother and a loyal pal whose ethical maturation develops at the same rate that Charley’s declines – Body and Soul intricately details the physical and emotional casualties as Charley trades the economic binds of poverty for those of blind fortune.

Part of program

Read more

The Bodies and Souls of Robert Rossen

Other programs with this film

Read more

Treasures From The Harvard Film Archive

Current and upcoming programs