Body and Soul ★★★★

Robert Rossen only made ten pictures in his entire career and this first one made John Garfield a star and gave Abraham Polonsky an Academy Award nominee for his script. William Conrad also chews up the screen as a boxing promoter who’s talked into taking on this local amateur boxing champ named Charley Davis who starts out as a straight-shooter but is easily convinced by the money and loses his way in his career as he finds his friends and family let down or abandoned by his actions. Beautifully shot by James Wong Howe who would gain more notoriety for his gritty New York coverage in ‘The Sweet Smell of Success’ but this predecessor is the foundation for many another filmmaker including Scorsese & Tarentino among others. This is perhaps an overlooked masterpiece in comparison to the Rossen’s more noteable feature ‘The Hustler’ but this is equally as phenomenal.