Now back to our regularly scheduled programming — John Garfield.
If he was alive today, he’d be three years older than Olivia deHavilland — who turned 101 on July 1. Instead he died in 1952 at age 39 — Jack Benny’s perennial age.
It is hard to come up with another big star who cemented his screen identity — in Garfield’s case, tough guy with a brain — so rapidly. Garfield was on the screen from 1938 to 1951, sufficient time to make his mark in some 35 credits.
Critic David Thomson puts it this way: By Hollywood standards, Garfield was rugged, half-ugly and belligerent; indeed, as a kid, he had been in and out of Bronx street gangs. He soon became typed as a social outside, so intransigent that he often went wrong. (More likely Garfield grew up in New York’s Lower East Side.)
Garfield’s later movies are pretty well-known, including that steamy one he made opposite Lana Turner (there’s our happy couple above). But Warner Archive not too long ago released six black and white titles from his early career (the disc can be purchased online).
In any case, let’s see how much you know about John Garfield. As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: John Garfield’s real name was a) Isadore Schwartzman; b) Leonard Goldberg; c) Jacob Julius Garfinkle; or d) Gregory Peckstein.
2) Question: Garfield was Oscar nominated twice for which of these titles? a) Four Daughters; b) Force of Evil; c) Body and Soul; or d) Gentleman’s Agreement.
3) Question: It is generally regarded that Garfield’s acting style presaged those of Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and James Dean. a) True; or b) False?
4) Question: Garfield’s acting career was completely derailed by his role in the infamous Congressional investigations into Communist affiliations in Hollywood. a) True; or b) False.
5) Question: Garfield’s connection to the following movies has a common element. What is it? a) All About Eve; b) On the Waterfront; c) The Man With the Golden Arm; and d) A Streetcar Named Desire.