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directed by Alfred E. Green
USA 1940


Gotta admit it, no studio was as good at making crime movies as Warner Brothers during the 1930's. With Cagney, Bogie, and, here, John Garfield, there were fewer actors at any one studio who were as good at being bad. And that's what makes "East of the River" so watchable. The performances help to turn what's basically a routine crime drama into a watchable, second-string noir treasure.

As to the basic plot, that's been done again and again in endless variations. Warners even used it at least a half a dozen times. Boyhood best friends/brothers get into some sort of juvenile scrape. One goes "good," the other "bad." Both meet years later and thereby hangs the tale. However, when the boys are played by Garfield and popular 30's second-lead William Lundigan and the girl they both love by Brenda (Mrs. William Holden) Marshall, the good performances that result raise the story above the standard clichés. Almost as good, albeit with a lot of stock "Italian" mannerisms ("You a good-a boy!"), is Marjorie Rambeau as the boys' mother. [...]

Excerpt of review from BobLib for located HERE


Theatrical Release: 28 October 1940 (New York City, NY)

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DVD Review: Warner Home Video (Warner Archive Collection) - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Gregory Meshman for the Review!

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Warner Home Video

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:13:24

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.47 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital Mono (English)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Warner Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� Theatrical trailer (2:10)

DVD Release Date: June 10th, 2014
Keep Case

Chapters 15





Trying to see all John Garfield crime thrillers, I stumbled upon this crime drama from Warner released simultaneously with already reviewed Blackwell's Island, Dangerously They Live and Dust Be My Destiny by Warner Archive back in June 2014. The film is a quickie from Mr. Garfield's most prolific period of his career and he plays an anti-protagonist from the wrong side of the tracks trying to balance his criminal past, love to his girl Brenda Marshall and devotion to his mum Marjorie Rambeau (Frank Borzage's Man's Castle, Slander ) and his adopted brother William Lundigan (The Case of the Black Parrot, Follow Me Quietly, Mystery in Mexico). The film is saved by the great cast, especially John Garfield, even if the story is lacking.

Warner Archive released it on made-on-demand single-layered disc from a new progressive transfer. There are some specs and marks, but they are not intrusive and the noir atmosphere of low-lit scenes looks fine with good contrast and no digital noise. The mono audio is adequate and, per usual, there are no subtitles or captions. A 2-minute trailer shows how the film was marketed at the time and the film gets 15 chapters. A moderate recommendation for any John Garfield fans.

  - Gregory Meshman


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Region 0 - NTSC


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