The Breaking Point
Introduced by guest curator Imogen Sara Smith
Dir. Michael Curtiz. 1950, 97 mins. 35mm. With John Garfield, Phyllis Thaxter, Patricia Neal. A more faithful and downbeat adaptation of Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not than Hawks’s romantic adventure, The Breaking Point is an uncommonly honest portrait of a “tough guy” under pressure. Garfield, in one of his last and best performances, plays charter-boat captain Harry Morgan: a stubborn, frustrated working-class man whose truculent independence clashes with his love and need for his wife and children. The film’s women are equally realistic and subtly drawn, and its portrayal of domestic life, money worries, and bad choices is scathingly sharp and deeply moving. From poetic opening to heartbreaking final shot, The Breaking Point is an underrated masterpiece.
Tickets: $12 ($9 for senior citizens and students / free for members at the Film Lover level and above). Order tickets online. (Members may contact [email protected] with any questions regarding online reservations.)