East of the River (1940)

Passed   |    |  Crime, Drama


East of the River (1940) Poster

Two troublesome boys grow into very different men, one becoming a hoodlum and the other embracing college but both are in-love with the same girl.


6.2/10
239

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24 December 1998 | Art-22
5
| John Garfield & Co. do what they can with a mediocre screenplay.
A disappointing screenplay hurt my full enjoyment of seeing John Garfield, one of my favorite actors. He behaves badly most of the time, so I found it hard to accept his rather sudden transformation into a self-sacrificing angel because his mother (Marjorie Rambeau) lectures him. He hadn't listened to her before, so why did he start? Similarly, Brenda Marshall, who we hear at the start was forging signatures on checks, is also transformed after she gets the taste of family life with Rambeau and falls in love with Garfield's adopted brother, William Lundigan. These plot elements didn't ring true. But worse, the final behavior of the revenge-seeking gangsters, led by Douglas Fowley, was too stupid to be believed, although it did create some suspense.

The acting wasn't too bad. I got used to the thick (but understandable) Italian accents of both Rambeau and George Tobias, both of whom were very good. So is the child actor, Joe Conti, who plays Garfield as a boy. The rest of the cast did what they could with the material, but the film must have been very heavily edited. As one who is interested in credits, I noticed that Charley Foy never appeared, and both Robert Homans and Jimmy O'Gatty are barely seen and have non-speaking roles. All three get onscreen credit, while other actors with large speaking parts are uncredited. The three must have had good agents.

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