The John Garfield Guestbook

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Lori | @
Hey Lu! I am glad you are OK. I guess you are right it must be Claude Rains birthday on Sunday because TCM is showing a lot of his movies that day.
Claude Rains was a great actor for sure.
I go over to and looking bios or books that have to do with co-stars of JG. If the book has the "Look Inside" link and then type in John Garfield many times a lot of pages come up that one can read. Claude Rains and Garfield were very good friends during the WBs days. In fact when the great James Wong Howe opened his Chinese restaurant, Garfield and Rains were there, and he taught them how to make Chinese food. When Rains heard of JG death he was heartbroken, and his wife even called Robbie to see if she needed them to come over and help somehow. Of all the actors, actresses or others that I have looked up, NOT one had anything bad to say about JG. They all liked him or loved him very much. Nice to know that he was in no way "hard" to work. Only Kazan was a little critical in regards to what he had to say about Garfield, but that didn't surprise me one bit. Kazan was a great director and very important to our film heritage, but he was not (IMO) a very nice man at all.
Hang in there Lu,and so will I. Here in Oregon, it is suppose to be 98-99 degrees for the weekend.
4 August 2012 - Damascus, Oregon

Hi, Lori, this is Lu. Yes, I am OK just very busy. You are so sweet. I go on this website every day and noticed that nobody has posted in quite a while. My husband's legs are still bothering him, I guess with the heat and mugginess. Me, I am just trying to get my paper work organized since I am always in a hurry and tend to leave things around where they get lost and I forget where I put things. Actually yesterday, I had to go to Jim's doctor's office to get free medicine which took 3 hours and involved 4 buses (2 coming and 2 going) and a lot of walking) and my left foot is feeling it (callus) but I am hanging in there. No vacation for us, can't afford it (no place to go). It might be summer and hot but it is the same routine, just warmer. Yes, I see that Four Daughters, Four Wives and Four Mothers are on on Sunday, courtesy of Claude Rains, maybe it's his birthday. I had just typed a whole slew of things but I don't know what happened when I went to click continue, everything disappeared and I had to type everything all over.
3 August 2012 - Bergen County, NJ

Lori | @
Hello. Where is everyone? Are you all on summer vacation and / or having fun? Hope everyone is doing fine.
I just thought I would post a couple of announcements here regarding the petition.
1. Business cards with the petition site, and asking people to sign will be the petition will be handed out to the people who attend the screening on TPART at Max Bloom's Cafe Noir, on August 28th. The card also has a great picture of Garfield and Turner on it.
2. Once the person adds their name to the petition, they will write their name and petition number on it and drop it in a bowel.
3. On September 1st, a drawing with take place, where two people will win Robert Nott's book on JG.
4. DeeDee is planning on contacting Robert Nott and asking him for an interview, and to sign the petition.
Dennis I told DeeDee to contact you if she had questions on how to contact Nott.
Lastly a reminder that Four Daughters will be shown this coming Sunday, August 5th, 9:30am EST. Garfield is just really so remarkable in that film. He does shine above all the others. Once his character realizes he does not belong with this family it is heartbreaking. His facial expressions says it all. And director Curtiz did a smart job in keeping Mickey always in the background, not really socializing with the others during the birthday party.
Four Wives follows, but it is my understanding that JG is not really in that film, only a few flash backs.
Hope everyone is doing great.
I am looking forward to reading some of your posts. Lu, I am worried about you. Are you OK?
2 August 2012 - Damascus, Oregon

Lori | @
Hello everyone. I never saw Outward Bound with Leslie Howard, but for some reason I really like "Between Two Worlds." Garfield's character is the only one that makes me cry at the end. I didn't see the Piers Morgan interview, but it is in part on YouTube and the part where Blake says, "John Garfield gave me the greatest line ever, "Robert always remember this, your life is a rehearsal, your performance is real." I am not sure what Garfield meant by that statement myself, only thing I can think is he learned that while he was in the Group theater. I got curious regarding Blake and I found out he has a website and on the website you can read different parts of his book. There is a section on his relationship with Garfield, and how Garfield helped him with a scene in Humoresque. It is really very touching, because Garfield shared his childhood trials and hurts with Blake, then he asked Blake to do the same. There are other actors that Blake has written about and are available to read on his website, e.g. Steve McQueen (Karen), Bogie, Natalie Wood, and Elizabeth Taylor.
I will post the link to the Garfield's section if any of you care to read it.
Like I said it is very touching and shows what a "caring" man Garfield was. Please beware though, Blake using swear words a lot in his writings, so if you are easily offended I would advice against reading it.
Here is the link:!__master-tales/vstc3=john-garfield

New support is coming soon regarding the petition for Garfield's box-set.
I will post that news later.
23 July 2012 - Damascus, Oregon

Barbara | @
I watched the original Outward Bound. I found it very dated. I enjoyed the Garfield version much more, though that isn't one of my favorite Garfield films!
21 July 2012 - New York

Dennis | @
I didnt see the Morgan interview with Blake, but I have seen Robert Blake over the years on different shows talking fondly of John Garfield. I remember him once on the Dinah Shore, saying wonderful things about Garfield as did Dinah and how much she enjoyed him as an actor. I also remember him on the Tonight Show speaking highly of John Garfield which is a good thing.
18 July 2012 - Hamburg NY

Gary | @
I didn't see the Blake interview by Piers Morgan, but I'm not surprised to hear that he had a positive memory of John Garfield. I remember seeing Blake interviewed by Tom Snyder several times, and he always seemed to have good things to say about the stars he worked with as a child; everyone from Humphrey Bogart to Gabby Hayes. I understand Blake's book covers his years as a child actor, so it might have more recollections about JG.
17 July 2012 - USA

17 July 2012 - BROOKLYN

they say it happens in threes
Andy Griffith
Ernie Borgnine (who I adored)
and now Celeste Holm

As far as Robert Blake... I don't know what movie he was referring to, but he was so angry. I give Piers Morgan a lot of credit for his patience with Blake.
Blake has many demons inside of him. He is still full of rage from his childhood.
16 July 2012 - Pa

Barbara | @
Karen, I saw bits and pieces of the interview, but I missed the part about Garfield, though I heard Blake say the defining moment of his life was his first starring role as a child (was he referring to Humoresque?) Karen, I thought Blake was quite angry and paranoid. Piers Morgan certainly earned his money with that interview!....I just heard of the passing of Celeste Holm. I loved that scene in Gentlemen's Agreement when she, Garfield and Peck were in the restaurant and the obnixious military man got in Garfield's face. I think that is considered the best scene in the movie!
16 July 2012 - New York

Just watching the Piers Morgan
Explosive interview with Robert Blake.
I always thought he was a good actor
and had a crush on him back in the
1980 s. Blake had a terrible childhood and we all know what happened with murder trial.
But in this interview, Blake mentioned the best advise he ever got
from someone was John Garfield.
He said something like... I was afraid but
Garfield cleared the room and told him remember one thing. Life is a rehearsal but acting is....
for real. Is that what he said? He seemed so touched by Garfield. Did anyone else see the interview?
15 July 2012 - Pa

Lori | @
Very interesting question Gary, but I would have to say, no. I truly believe things happen in our lives for a reason. Call it God’s plan, our destiny, or the plan of a higher power. I have thought before that if Garfield would have gotten that lead role in Golden Boy he might never had gone to Hollywood and we might not have the sheer joy of watching him the movies he did make. He might not have made Four Daughters where he alone started the rebel or antihero role that some many have followed in his footsteps. Plus if he wasn’t in Hollywood to start the help start the Hollywood Canteen, would it still have happened? From all that I have read it was he that went to Bette Davis with the idea to start some place where the servicemen of WWII could actually see and interact with “movie stars.”
The only thing I would want to change regarding his life is that he wouldn’t have taken that cross the country trip, hopping trains and living the life of a hobo. For it was during this time that he had to have been exposed to that bacteria Strep group A, which turned into rheumatic fever and then damaged his heart. For even if he was still brought before HUAC and blacklisted I think if his heart were stronger, he might of survived and still gone to make more rewarding and quality films. However, it appears that with all the stress he was under with HUAC, he reacted like many do in inappropriate ways. I mean he probably smoked too much, drank too much and in general did not take care of himself, and in the end his heart was not strong enough to take all the stress and abuse it was put through. I do believe that HUAC and the blacklisting was in a “large part” responsible for his premature death.
5 July 2012 - Damascus, Oregon

Dennis | @
Its an intersting is my take..Ii am a black and white type of guy..what youy see is what you din John Garfields case what you see is what you got...he was a fighter...and he was one tough son of a gun...I would have loved to see him act on stage...yet I love him in the movies....I wouldnt change a thing...he made his mark on stage and definitley in the movies
Unfortinately he got the shaft to put it bluntly...not movie studio heads and I love him in th emovies he made...and had he been left alone there is no doubt he would have become as popular and revered like his counterparts...for he was an outstanding actor, one of the all time greats!!!
4 July 2012 - Hamburg NY

Gary | @
As a brain teaser, consider this alternative scenario:

John Garfield doesn't decide in favor of Hollywood after his "Golden Boy" disappointment, but remains a stage actor (theatre being his first love). Over time, he gains fame and prestige in that area, enabling him to pick & choose from the movie roles offered him. He's only interested in playing parts he considers worthwhile (maybe even more supporting roles), which results in a fewer number of Garfield movies (especially starring ones) than we're familiar with. He doesn't co-found the Hollywood Canteen, but he actively participates in New York's Stage Door Canteen. He ends up more fulfilled as an actor, and even possibly ignored by HUAC because he's not primarily thought of as John Garfield, Movie Star.

Now, would we want this alternative destiny for JG if two results of it were, 1) a smaller legacy of his movies for us to enjoy, and 2) JG being even less remembered today than he already is?

I think I'd have to vote 'yes' because even if his heart condition had still taken him at a relatively young age (say, under 60), it'd be nice to feel he definitely experienced a great deal more satisfaction with his career.

Thoughts, anyone?
4 July 2012 - USA

Lori | @
Hello everyone. The Fallen Sparrow and The Postman Always Rings Twice are in my opinion, two of Garfield’s finest performances on film. I hope some of you saw some of the ‘Word of Month” promos TCM was airing last week. The one with Joanne Woodward talking about his performance in TPART and then the one with Maureen O’Hara talking about working with him in The Fallen Sparrow. She was so sweet when she said he was short in height but a giant in talent.

The things that DeeDee is doing over at the Film Noir Lives Here site, is really so great in promoting the petition. She has the support and the endorsement of The Film Noir Foundation for the petition, and there is a Noir Café in Fullerton Calif. that will be airing TPART on August 28th in honor of John Garfield and the petition. The funny thing is that I for years lived and worked in Fullerton Calif.
I just finished James Beaver’s book on Garfield and in it he reprinted in the entire letter that Clifford Odets wrote to the NY Times two days after Garfield’s funeral. It is a truly beautiful letter from one friend to another. I have written out here the part of the letter that touched me the most.

"In these keen and bitter times, highly placed and so open to any wild attacks, Garfield remained extraordinary free of malice and meanness....they were nowhere in his nature. Despite any and all gossip to the contrary, I, who was in the position to know, state without equivocation that of all of his possessions Garfield was proudest of his American heritage. His climb from bare poverty to stardom illustrated for him one of the most cherished folkways of our people. His feelings never changed that he had been mandated by the American people to go in and "keep punching" for them. His success as he felt it, was the common property of millions, not peculiarly his own.
Affectionate by nature, charming and often refreshingly candid he mostly reserved for friends a glimpse of something true and precious...the adore of a boy for learning and growth."

John Garfield was accused of being a communist or a communist supporter and he viewed his American heritage as his greatest possession? What happened to him and his career was so shameful and tragic, really unbelievable!
4 July 2012 - Damascus, Oregon

Dennis | @
My personal favorite John Garfield movie is on tomorrow at 930am...The Fallen Sparrow....Garfields performance is just I like the mood and the noir feeling of the movie...seen it as a kid and loved it ever since...then the Postman is on later in the afternnon on Friday...looking forward to tomorrow!!!
28 June 2012 - Hamburg ny

Lori, this is Lu. YOU are so sweet as well. Actually it took an extra day. The tooth bled for almost 24 hours but hopefully it is getting better. It was very uncomfortable having to bite down on the gauze for SO long and not being able to eat just drink plenty of fluids.

Just wanted to let you and everyone else know, Hollywood Canteen is on this Sunday, June 24 but on my computer the time takes its time coming on so I am not too sure.

Whereas in Thank Your Lucky Stars, he doesn't have much, right in the beginning and I missed it because I was recuperating from my tooth being taken out.

In Hollywood Canteen which I finally bought the DVD, I have these movies on VHS but as I mentioned a while ago, even though I bought a new VCR, I can't figure out how to work the VHS part so I am buying DVDs for the DVD part that does work. Hopefully soon I will figure out the VHS part. I am NOT good with technology. Don't have any smart phones, i-phones, etc.

In this movie, in which John Garfield actually plays himself, it shows what a very nice guy he was. God Bless him. EVERYONE ENJOY.
22 June 2012 - Bergen County, NJ

Lori | @
Hi Lu, and everyone. Lu thank you for the kind words, but there are a people “behind the scenes” working on this project and I think maybe I am just the one reporting the progress. Although, I do get frustrated sometimes when thing do move as quickly as I would like, but we are all doing the best we can to get John Garfield the recognition he so justly deserves. (I get frustrated with myself only, because some days I just can’t make the time to work this project.)

That is so funny you writing about visiting the “Wings and Wheels Expo” with your husband. On Memorial day my husband and I went to the “Evergreen Air and Space museum here in Oregon. They have the Spruce Goose on display there, and that plane so big it is unbelievable. They also have a B17 on display and people can get a tour and go inside it. Both my husband and I took the tour and it was so interesting, the guide we had was so knowledgeable about WWII and the B17s. We both learned so much and my husband loves anything associated with WWII. Anyway, on the way home I suggested that we rent the film “Air Force” with John Garfield just so we can see if the film was accurate in its display of the B17s. He agreed and enjoyed watching the film again, this time saying, “Oh yeah, I remember that part of the plane’ and so on. He will never admit to me however that he thinks John Garfield was a great actor. He only says, “he was ok,” but he loves to tease me too. Sometimes, he will come in and catch me watching some John Garfield movie and he will say,” Who is that boring guy?” I always throw something soft and unbreakable at him, and then he laughs and walks off.
Lu we all understand you have other issues going on in your life right now so please don’t apologize about anything. I always enjoy reading your posts and I am so glad you got to purchase the film Air Force. I hope your mouth is all better by the time you read this and your husband continues to improve.
21 June 2012 - Damascus, Oregon

Hi, Lori, this is Lu. I just read your posting. You are too much. I'm not saying anything about the others who post here but you seem to be the one that is so serious, if that is the correct word about this whole project. You seem to go above and beyond from all the information I just read. God Bless you and THANK YOU.

I just wanted to say that my husband Jim and I went to Teterboro Airport yesterday for their Wings and Wheels Expo. They naturally had airplanes from World War II. I don't know too much about them but there was a B-17 there. I went with him because he has troubles with his legs and he is SO interested in that and by the way he thanks everyone for their well wishes. And when we went into the hangar where they had World War II memorobilia, I couldn't believe my eyes when in the DVD section they ACTUALLY had a DVD of the movie Air Force with John Garfield's picture on the cover. I couldn't believe it. I wasn't going to buy it because many of the other DVDs were expensive but when I asked the gentleman how much it was, it was only $19.95 so I bought it. They also had 3 pretty women imitating the Andrews Sisters and singing some very nice songs including very patriotic and moving songs.

I am sorry I haven't joined in your discussions including his best movies for a DVD but between taking care of my husband - different medical problems, thank God not serious, our house and me I just started having problems with my mouth and just this week I am having a tooth pulled out because I cannot afford a root-canal, every so often now, even though it doesn't hurt, the nerve of the tooth seems to act up and it can be quite unpleasant to say the least at the moment. I am also taking antibiotics. So please excuse me.
18 June 2012 - Bergen County, NJ

Lori | @
Hello. Lu you are so sweet. Yes, I too wish, “Our Beloved Star” a Happy Father’s Day in Heaven. We know you have your little Katherine and your son David with you now, and we also now how proud you must be of your daughter Julie.
Some more Garfield films have popped up to be aired in June.
Tuesday June 19th at 12:15am PST “He Ran All The Way.”
Thursday June 21st at 03:00am PST “Thank Your Lucky Stars/”
Sunday June 24th at 05:00 am PST “Hollywood Canteen.”
Friday June 29th at 0:6:30am PST “The Fallen Sparrow!”
Also that same day, at 11:45am PST “The Postman Always Rings Twice.”

Now for the real good news, on
Wednesday September 19
6:00AM They Made Me a Criminal (1939)
7:45AM Dust Be My Destiny (1939)
9:15AM John Garfield Story (2003)
10:45AM Flowing Gold (1940)
12:15PM East of the River (1940)
1:45PM Out of the Fog (1941)
3:15PM Dangerously They Live (1941)
4:30PM Nobody Lives Forever (1946)
6:15PM The Breaking Point (1950)
All these times are EST.
Isn’t this wonderful news. I don’t know why TCM picked 9/19/12 as a day to do a tribute to Garfield but I will take it. God I pray we can get a DVD recorder by that date.

I have more news about the petition but I will do save that another day and post. I will share with all of you that Julie Garfield viewed my YouTube video tribute to her father and she wrote to me “This is so lovely’ and thanked me. I was very happy she liked it.
17 June 2012 - Damascus, Oregon

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