Blu-ray, DVD Release: The Breaking Point (1950)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 8, 2017
Price: DVD $22.99, Blu-ray $27.99
Studio: Criterion

Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) brings a master skipper’s hand to the helm of the 1950 thriller The Breaking Point, Hollywood’s second crack at Ernest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not.

John Garfield (The Postman Always Rings Twice) stars as Harry Morgan, an honest charter-boat captain who, facing hard times, takes on dangerous cargo to save his boat, support his family, and preserve his dignity. Left in the lurch by a freeloading passenger, Harry starts to entertain the criminal propositions of a sleazy lawyer (Wallace Ford), as well as the playful come-ons of a cheeky blonde (Patricia Neal, Breakfast at Tiffany’s), making a series of compromises that stretch his morality-and his marriage-farther than he’ll admit.

Hewing closer to Hemingway’s novel than Howard Hawks’s Bogart-Bacall vehicle, The Breaking Point charts a course through daylight noir and working-class tragedy, guided by Curtiz’s effortless visual fluency and a stoic, career-capping performance from Garfield.

Criterion’s DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film noir crime drama contain the following:

* New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
* New interview with biographer and film historian Alan K. Rode (Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film)
* New piece featuring actor and acting instructor Julie Garfield speaking about her father, actor John Garfield
* New video essay by filmmakers Tony Zhou and Taylor Ramos, analyzing Curtiz’s directorial techniques
* Excerpts from a 1962 episode of the Today show showing contents of the Ernest Hemingway House in Key West, Florida, including items related to To Have and Have Not, the novel on which The Breaking Point is based
* Trailer
* An essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek


Buy or Rent The Breaking Point

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.