With its mean streets and gritty performances, its ringside corruption and low-life integrity, Body and Soul looks like a formula '40s boxing movie: the story of a (Jewish) East Side kid who makes good in the ring, forsakes his love for a nightclub floozie, and comes up against the Mob and his own conscience when he has to take a dive. But the single word which dominates the script is 'money', and it soon emerges that this is a socialist morality on Capital and the Little Man - not surprising, given the collaboration of Rossen, Polonsky (script) and Garfield, all of whom tangled with the HUAC anti-Communist hearings (Polonsky was blacklisted as a result). A curious mixture: European intelligence in an American frame, social criticism disguised as noir anxiety (the whole film is cast as one long pre-fight flashback). But Garfield's bullish performance saves the movie from its stagy moments and episodic script.
Cast and crew