Body and Soul (1947) - Rotten Tomatoes

Body and Soul1947

Body and Soul (1947)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Body and Soul Photos

Movie Info

Considered one of the greatest boxing film ever made, Body and Soul features the late-great John Garfield playing pugilist Joe Devlin in his desperate bid to become the world's greatest fighter. Unfortunately, the battle to the top causes him to leave his values and principles behind and though it leads him to success, ultimately it takes him on a tragic dive from which he never recovers. The story is pretty standard for the genre. What makes this tale stand tall above the others is Garfield's riveting performance and the realistic portrayal of the gritty world of professional boxing. The cinematography is also exceptional.


John Garfield
as Charley Davis
Lilli Palmer
as Peg Born
Anne Revere
as Anna Davis
Joseph Pevney
as Shorty Polaski
Lloyd Goff
as Roberts
Art Smith
as David Davis
Lloyd Gough
as Roberts
Peter Virgo
as Drummer
Joe Devlin
as Prince
Mary Currier
as Miss Tedder
Artie Dorrell
as Jack Marlowe
Cyril Ring
as Victor
Tim Ryan
as Shelton
Dan Tobey
as Fight Announcer
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Critic Reviews for Body and Soul

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (3)

Trite is hardly the word for the plot, which was already wheezy by the time this minor classic was made in 1947, but Abraham Polonsky's script brings such tight, painful focus to the moral choices that it seems fresh and real.

March 25, 2008 | Full Review…

Garfield's bullish performance saves the movie from its stagy moments and episodic script.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Altogether this Enterprise picture rolls up a round-by-round triumph on points until it comes through with a climactic knockout that hits the all-time high in throat-catching fight films.

January 28, 2006 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Despite boasting a remarkable performance from John Garfield, I find the narrative to be a bit mechanical and lacks punching force like boxing film noir. [Full review in Spanish]

January 20, 2021 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Body and Soul is a film not simply with gritty boxing scenes but also a fascinating character analysis indicative of the human condition.

July 23, 2017 | Full Review…

If the movie works today, it's probably because of Abraham Polonsky's beautiful screenplay, a rich desert plate filled with glorious, lowdown street and sports prose.

August 22, 2012 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Body and Soul

sure it's the same tired boxing cliches but polonsky's sharp dialogues and garfield's greatest performance made it well worth watching, for me at least. james wong howe wore skates and rolled around the ring shooting the fight scenes with a hand-held camera, creating a level of realism that influenced 'raging bull'

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


A look at the corrupt sides of professional boxing. John Garfield plays the corrupted boxer. Fast money, fast women, expensive high rise, a corrupted manager that would make Don King's face light up with glee. "Body And Soul" isn't all that corrupt, Garfield's character has a love intrest, a good friend who is looking out for him and a mother who wishes her son would decide to get an education. Great performances by Garfield, Anne Revere, Joseph Pevney, Lili Palmer, Canada Lee and Lloyd Gough. I gave this a 90 but now am giving this a 60. We've seen this story on screen before people.

Brian R
Brian R

Super Reviewer


The original Rocky 2, complete with dying trainer

Ken Stachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

Body and Soul Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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