Poor Joe Bell, the typical anti-establishment loser stereotype role that John Garfield made famous. With the beautiful Priscilla Lane as he girl and the fabuous Warner contract players including the great Allan Hale Sr, the film although predictable, is still a classic of the torn, raw emotions of young love and fighting for vindication against being wrongfully accused of a crime he didn't commit. I have always liked Garfield, especially during the 1948 Senate whitchunt for communists. Garfield wouldn't talk and was blacklisted. This same attitude personified his conviction for the roles he played in most of his films except Humerques. The film contains a haunting melody that is sung on a phonograph record " Dust Be My Destiny" It really sets the theme for the emmotions of both Garfield and Lane that if they can't get a break in their life they might as well be dead! The melody for the tune plays throughout the picture and is aranged and directed by the great Max Steiner. The next time it plays on TCM, do yourself a favor and watch it with a friend!!
Dust Be My Destiny
Crime / Drama / Film-Noir
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Twenty-five year old Joe Bell, a vagabond, just wants a break in life so that he can ultimately have a place "to hang his hat". Making that goal more difficult is his mistrust in authority as he was incarcerated for sixteen months for a crime he didn't commit - he actually coming to the aid of the victim - he only released when the true perpetrator was caught. That jail time was despite his profession of innocence, the system failing him only making him more defiant. His want to achieve that goal is strengthened when he meets nineteen year old Mabel Alden, who can see his humanity despite the outward problems. Because of the nature of his previous prison time, Joe decides to go on the run when he is implicated in murder that he again did not commit. He and Mabel end up getting married, she vowing to stay with him on the run, her only stipulation being that he stays on the right side of the law. Due to their basic decency, they are able to make some friends along the way, some who give those potential breaks that they so need to make it out of their vagrancy. However, the authorities after them always seems to set them back. The question that thus arises is if they will give the law a second chance to show them that the truth will literally and figuratively set them free.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
November 02, 2022 at 06:30 PM
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A Great Little Picture w/ The Great John Garfield at his best!
For fans of the leads this is great
John Garfield and Priscilla Lane always made a good team and this is one of their best pictures. Being a Warners film the subject of a young couple in love and on the run is given the gritty treatment that suits the story and the pair do very well in conveying the hardships faced. The wedding scene is particularly well played by both. As with most of the studios films at the time it looks at the problem through the lens of current events and society's ills. Not a timeless classic like Priscilla's Saboteur or Garfield's The Postman Always Rings Twice but a solid film with excellent work by the stars as well as the supporting cast.
John Garfield's excellent performance raises this often used theme, that of an innocent fugitive, a notch or two above average.
You can see why John Garfield rocketed to stardom just from watching this film: he has a tough but charismatic demeanor and is a natural born actor. He plays an embittered, cynical and distrustful youth, who is released from prison at the start, being told he was wrongly convicted when the real culprit was caught and confessed. He vows that he will never again trust authorities. He lands in a state work farm because of vagrancy and meets Priscilla Lane, the stepdaughter of the yard boss (Stanley Ridges) and they fall in love. But they are caught in an embrace by Ridges, who slaps Lane, incensing Garfield enough to hit Ridges, who dies of a heart attack due to his poor health caused by alcoholism. They flee and feel safe over the border but are almost penniless, so they take advantage of a promotion at a movie theater and get married on stage free of charge with lots of bonuses, despite it being a humiliating experience for both. Then they hear Ridges' death is considered a murder and they are wanted fugitives. Lane wants to turn themselves in, but Garfield will have none of that, and she sticks by him. Eluding police, they are given a job by kindly diner owner, Henry Armetta, who even helps them escape when Lane is caught and Garfield breaks her out of jail. This was an exciting nail-biting sequence. Garfield then lucks out when he is at the right place at the right time: he photographs details of a bank robbery in progress and gets a job as photographer with a newspaper. Because of these sensational photos and the fame it was sure to bring, Garfield was again threatened with being exposed as the wanted fugititve. This film is worth seeing for Garfield's performance, but Henry Armetta and Alan Hale are both excellent, and there's an enjoyable Max Steiner score. For those who are interested in credit abberations, Victor Kilian and Frank Jaquet are both in the onscreen cast credits but were edited out of the film. I've seen this happen occasionally for one performer in movies of the 1930's, but this is the only time I can remember it occurred for two.