THE BREAKING POINT
1950, Warner Bros., 97 min, USA, Dir: Michael Curtiz

The finest film version of Hemingway’s novel To Have and Have Not (and yes, that includes the Bogart-Hawks classic) shifts the story from Cuba to Newport Beach, California, but retains the novel’s core of noir-stained tragedy. As Skipper Harry Morgan, John Garfield essays his finest screen portrayal of a man whose domestic travails and mid-life crisis results in crime, flight and death. Garfield’s turn is perfectly matched by Patricia Neal, as a predatory femme fatale, and Phyllis Thaxter as his beaten-down but unswervingly loyal spouse. With Wallace Ford as a bottom-feeding attorney and the great Afro-Cuban actor Juano Hernandez.


NO DOWN PAYMENT
1957, 20th Century Fox, 105 min, Dir: Martin Ritt

This highly underrated ensemble drama is one of the most perceptive looks at life in the suburbs ever made. Three couples struggle with such things as alcoholism, debt and racial bias as new neighbors move in to their Sunrise Hills subdivision; a fine cast includes Joanne Woodward, Cameron Mitchell, Tony Randall (playing way against type), Pat Hingle and Barbara Rush.


DARK PASSAGE
1947, Warner Bros., 106 min, USA, Dir: Delmer Daves

In this third collaboration between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Bogie plays Vincent Parry, a man wrongly accused of murdering his wife who breaks out of jail to find the killer; Bacall is the woman who helps him hide out and solve the mystery. Working from David Goodis' bleak crime novel, director Delmer Daves employs an innovative subjective camera to adopt Bogart's point of view and creates a minor noir classic.


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