This second screen version of Ernest Hemingway's To Have and Have Not is closer in spirit to the original than the first version, though it still is far from faithful to its source. John Garfield stars as Harry Morgan, who has metamorphosed from Hemingway's gun-runner to an ex-PT boat captain, now running a charter boat service in Southern California.
Deeply in debt, Morgan agrees to smuggle aliens and later tries to sneak a bunch of gangsters out of the country. By the time he's been given a wake-up call by his conscience, Morgan has caused the death of a close friend.
Patricia Neal and Phyllis Thaxter make the most of their limited footage as, respectively Harry Morgan's casual mistress and faithful spouse. Many critics feel that The Breaking Point represents Michael Curtiz' finest directing job--no small praise for a man who helmed such classics as Casablanca and Yankee Doodle Dandy.