John Garfield - Rotten Tomatoes

John Garfield

Highest Rated:   100% He Ran All the Way (1951)
Lowest Rated:   60% Humoresque (1946)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   New York, New York, USA
American actor John Garfield, when judged by looks and attitude alone, seemed more the pugnacious, defiant urban thug than one of Hollywood's most respected dramatic actors of the '30s and '40s. As evidence of his popularity, despite the fact that many insiders considered Garfield's personal ways and beliefs a bit radical, the attendance at his funeral in 1952 broke the records set at Rudolph Valentino's funeral. He was born Julius Garfinkle, the son of poor Jewish immigrants from New York's Lower-East-Side ghettos. Poverty was the norm there, and life was tough. Young Garfield's juvenile delinquent tendencies landed him in a special school for problem children. Still, it was almost inevitable that he would get involved with neighborhood street gangs. He may have remained on those streets struggling to survive, had Garfield not had a special gift for debate, a talent that won him a state-wide contest sponsored by the New York Times. The ensuing scholarship gained him entrance into the Ouspenskaya Drama School and an apprenticeship in repertory theater. Afterward, Garfield hit the road and became a freight-train-hopping hobo and transient worker, but by the late 1930s he returned home to join the Group Theater.Following a role in Odet's production of Golden Boy, Garfield landed a contract with Warners and made his film debut in the melodramatic tragedy Four Daughters (1938). He played a cynical, embittered piano prodigy who finds redemption through a young woman's love, and for her well-being he makes the ultimate sacrifice. It was a powerful multi-textured performance that led to his receiving a nomination for "Best Supporting Actor." Following that success, he appeared in a brief series based on the film and then continued playing assorted angry young men and ill-fated outsiders in such films as Dust Be My Destiny. Though his appearance and demeanor locked him into playing tough outsiders and anti-heroes, Garfield was a versatile actor who unsuccessfully fought with studio heads to play different kinds of roles to demonstrate his true range. Glimpses of it can be seen in such powerful films as Pride of the Marines (1945) in which he plays a real-life war hero who must cope with his battle-caused blindness back home.Beginning with MGM's classic The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), Garfield began to establish himself in film noir. He is still considered one of the best actors in that genre, with one of his best films being Force of Evil in which he played a corrupt attorney. Following the end of his Warner's contract, Garfield founded Enterprise Productions and began free-lancing. His distinctly leftist views and staunch support of the working class lead to his being labeled a communist sympathizer by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He did not cooperate at the official hearings and suddenly found it difficult to find work. Though he returned briefly to the theater, Garfield did not flourish. At the age of 39, he died of coronary thrombosis, a condition that some have attributed to the stress the Committee placed upon him. His two surviving children, Julie Garfield and David Patton Garfield (aka John David Garfield or John Garfield Jr.), both became actors during the 1960s.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Prodigal Planet
  • Actor
1983
73% The Golden Voyage of Sinbad
  • Actor
1974
100% He Ran All the Way
  • Nick Robey
1951
No Score Yet The Breaking Point
  • Harry Morgan
1950
No Score Yet Anni difficili
  • Narrator
1950
No Score Yet Jigsaw
  • Street Loiterer
1949
70% We Were Strangers
  • Tony Fenner
1949
100% Force of Evil
  • Joe Morse
1948
100% Daisy Kenyon
  • Man in Restaurant
1947
78% Gentleman's Agreement
  • Dave Goldman
1947
100% Body and Soul
  • Charley Davis
1947
60% Humoresque
  • Paul Boray
1946
No Score Yet Nobody Lives Forever
  • Nick Blake
1946
95% The Postman Always Rings Twice
  • Frank Chambers
1946
No Score Yet Pride of the Marines
  • Al Schmid
1945
No Score Yet Between Two Worlds
  • Tom Prior
1944
No Score Yet Hollywood Canteen
  • Himself
1944
No Score Yet Thank Your Lucky Stars
  • Specialty
1943
88% Air Force
  • Aerial Gunner
1943
No Score Yet Destination Tokyo
  • Wolf
1943
No Score Yet The Fallen Sparrow
  • John 'Kit' McKittrick
1943
No Score Yet Tortilla Flat
  • Danny Alvarez
1942
No Score Yet Dangerously They Live
  • Dr. Michael Lewis
1941
No Score Yet Out of the Fog
  • Harold Goff
1941
No Score Yet The Sea Wolf
  • George Leach
1941
No Score Yet Flowing Gold
  • Johnny Blake
1940
No Score Yet Castle on the Hudson
  • Tommy Gordon
1940
No Score Yet Four Wives
  • Mickey Borden
1939
No Score Yet Dust Be My Destiny
  • Joe Bell
1939
No Score Yet Juarez
  • Porfirio Diaz
1939
No Score Yet They Made Me a Criminal
  • Johnnie Bradfield/Jack Dorney
1939
100% Four Daughters
  • Mickey Borden
1938
100% Footlight Parade
  • Sailor Behind Table
1933

Quotes from John Garfield's Characters