Give Star Recognition back to the Legendary Star, John Garfield

  • by: Lori Moore
  • recipient: Barry M. Meyer Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. and Philip I. Kent Chairman & CEO, Turner Broadcasting Network Inc.

This petition is being written to respectfully request that Warner Home Video and / or Turner Classic Movies manufacture and make available a quality box-set of John Garfield’s films for purchase.

While Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson have box-sets of their most popular films available for their fans to enjoy, the fans of John Garfield are not so lucky. No box-set of John Garfield films exist.

John Garfield was under contract at Warner Bros studios at the same time that the above mentioned actors were. During his time at Warner Bros, he had earned the same respect for his acting talents and was just as popular of a “movie star” as these other now iconic actors were. Yet, John Garfield does not have the same star recognition that his then peers have today. This lack of star recognition of John Garfield is a sad, confusing and frustrating fact that his fans want to change.

Film historians confirm the fact that John Garfield was the first Method trained actor to become a success in Hollywood. John Garfield’s acting style had a naturalistic quality to it. In his many rebel or anti-hero roles there was always sensitivity and vulnerability just under the abrasive surface of his characters. This unique Garfield quality made the characters that he portrayed have a “real person” feeling to them.

It has been said before, but bears repeating, that before there was Cliff, Brando, Dean or DeNiro and many others, there was Garfield. He paved the way for the other Method trained actors to follow.

During the 1950’s John Garfield was the most prominent of the Hollywood actors to fall victim to the House on Un-American Activities Committee’s (HUAC) “witch hunting” tactics. With HUAC unhappy with his testimony, the FBI was tailing him, and he soon found himself blacklisted. John Garfield literally saw his ‘movie star’ status taken away from him.

John Garfield could no longer find any work in the film industry. This occurred because he refused to hurt other people by naming names. He ended up instead hurting himself, and died of a massive heart attack at the age of 39. Many believe that his premature death was in a large part due to the stress and harassment that HUAC had placed on him.

John Garfield was one of the greatest actors that this country has ever produced and his contributions not only to our film heritage, but to our country and to the equal treatment of minority actors, should be remembered and cherished.

Please help us give back to the memory of John Garfield the respected “movie star” status that was so unjustly taken from him while he was on this earth by adding your name to this petition.

Thank you.

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