This week in Film — HELMUT NEWTON and THE BREAKING POINT

One in virtual theaters, one on TCM, there’s lots of good stuff to see, it just won’t be in a theater.

First up, the new doc, Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful:

Directed by Gero von Boehm, ‘The Bad and the Beautiful’ is your typical documentary hagiography, but with a little sex. Running just under 90 minutes, the first half of Bad and the Beautiful focuses primarily on Newton’s work with von Boehm, peppering Newton’s photographs and contact sheets with a running commentary from former models — Nadja Auermann, Isabella Rossellini, Grace Jones, Charlotte Rampling, etc. The focus here is on Newton’s use of nudes to convey power through eroticism. Some of it was perverted, all of it was provocative, but none of it was intentionally vulgar.

Boulder Weekly Vol. 27, No. 49, “These pictures of you

And for all you classic lovers out there, a rediscovered noir shines once again on TCM:

When Jack Warner previewed ‘The Breaking Point’ in the summer of 1950, he knew he had a hit on his hands. And with good reason: The director was Michael Curtiz, Warner Bros.’ top man with hits like ‘Casablanca,’ ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’ and ‘Mildred Pierce.’ The star was John Garfield, a New York method actor with a handful of moody, noir-soaked post-war performances under his belt. The femme fatale was Patricia Neal, an icy hot blond who sent shivers of electricity through every scene. The script was drawn from Ernest Hemingway’s ‘To Have and Have Not,’ and screenwriter Ranald MacDougall somehow managed literary fidelity while improving upon the original. The movie was a classic ready for its close-up.
But when Garfield’s name turned up in Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television, all bets were off. Warner buried the movie and kept it from rerelease. Garfield was essentially blacklisted and put under heavy strain from both the government and a Hollywood establishment trying to make good. The stress was too much, and on May 21, 1952, Garfield’s weakened heart gave out. He was 39.

Home viewing: ‘The Breaking Point’