The Breaking Point Is the Pick of the Week

Ernest Hemingway is one of my all-time favorite writers. He had a way of cutting out all the flab from his stories, getting right down to the bone. Yet for all his spare masculinity, there is a tenderness to his stories, an emotional quality that you rarely find anywhere else.

That style also lends itself well to the movies. Unlike a lot of writers, Hemingway never spent a lot of time with his characters inward thoughts, his stories are full of action verbs, of people doing things. It’s easy to see why nearly all of his novels and short stories have been made into films at one point or another (some of them multiple times).

His novel To Have and Have Not has been adapted at least five times. The first was made in 1944 by Howard Hawks and stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. It a wonderful, if not always faithful to the source material, adaptation. The second, titled The Breaking Point, was directed by Michael Curtiz and stars John Garfield and Patricia Neal. I’ve not seen it but as Curtiz directed Casablanca, otherwise known as my all-time favorite film, it’s definitely on my list. With Criterion releasing it with their usual flair, it’s now my pick of the week.

Also out this week that looks interesting:

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword: Guy Ritchie’s take on the Arthurian legend stars Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law.

Snatched: Comedy about a mother and daughter team who go out looking for adventure and find themselves kidnapped. Stars Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn.

Blindspot: An NBC TV series about a woman who mysteriously turns up in Times Square with tattoos all over her body, one of which is the name of an FBI Agent. The rest of them are clues to various crimes, and if they solve them all, they will discover who the woman really is.

Mat Brewster

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