(aka 'He Ran All the Way Home')
Shortly before he was driven into exile by the Hollywood blacklist, the talented and neglected John Berry made this 1951 film, the last of John Garfield, who died of a heart attack at 39 (many believe because of pressures related to the blacklisting). It's a fitting and powerful testament to the actor's poignancy and power as a working-class punk. Here he plays a hoodlum fleeing a bungled robbery, falling for a young woman (Shelley Winters), and desperately holding her family hostage while oscillating wildly between mistrust and a desire to be part of this family circle. Enhanced by an effective script (Guy Endore and Hugh Butler adapted a Sam Ross novel), superb cinematography by James Wong Howe, and a keen sense of working-class manners, this is a highly affecting thriller that draws us relentlessly into its plangent moral tensions.
Theatrical Release: June 19th, 1951
DVD Review: Optimum - Region 2 - PAL
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|Distribution||Optimum - Region 2 - PAL|
Average Bitrate: 6.49 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s
|Audio||English (Dolby Digital 2.0)|
A surprisingly strong transfer - or it could just be the brilliant cinematography? Optimum's disc is single-layered, progressive and looks quite acceptable with decent contrast and only some niggling noise to interrupt the ice-cool black and white images. It has a few very minor speckles but is essentially damage free and there is no chroma. For SD-DVD this looks much better than I was anticipating. Audio is a consistent 2.0 channel and there are no optional subtitles.
The DVD is bare-bones without even a trailer as an extra. This is a shame because there is a lot to say about this film. It runs like a simple crime-drama but drips of Noir sophistication with the fine performances and distinctive cinematography as the cornerstone of it's style. Very cool. Recommended!