'Body and Soul' (1947)

Jewish Charley Davis boxes to save himself and his single mom from a life of poverty. Davis defeats the world champion but becomes enmeshed with a corrupt promoter. <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB001868" title="John Garfield" href="/topic/entertainment/john-garfield-PECLB001868.topic">John Garfield</a>, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, was nominated for an Academy Award for lead actor. The boxing sequences were filmed the pre-Scorsese way – on roller skates, with hand-held cameras.<br>
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<b>Toughness Index:</b> OK, pugilism galore, but at the end of the film, Garfield’s character balks at throwing the ultimate fight, mouthing the immortal words:  “What are you gonna do, kill me? Everybody dies."
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( UCLA Film and Television Archive )

Jewish Charley Davis boxes to save himself and his single mom from a life of poverty. Davis defeats the world champion but becomes enmeshed with a corrupt promoter. John Garfield, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, was nominated for an Academy Award for lead actor. The boxing sequences were filmed the pre-Scorsese way – on roller skates, with hand-held cameras.

Toughness Index: OK, pugilism galore, but at the end of the film, Garfield’s character balks at throwing the ultimate fight, mouthing the immortal words: “What are you gonna do, kill me? Everybody dies."

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