...The Siren truly thinks that this dark, tense movie has great appeal for a modern audience. Plus, the Siren loves John Garfield, the revolutionary actor who came from a tough New York neighborhood and was ultimately destroyed by the House Un-American Activities committee. He was enthrallingly sexy, and his subtle playing only underlines his boiling emotion.
Curtiz is often justifiably praised for his hyper-detailed blocking and masterful tracking shots, techniques which are on prodigious and hypnotic display in The Breaking Point, but his willingness to invest in characterization is also distinctive and evocative.
It's a more piercing and complex picture [than Casablanca], one that even today speaks boldly to the fractured notion of what it means to be an American. Its view of love is bracingly adult but also infinitely tender. And it is idealistic only in the sense that it understands just how hard it can be, in a cruel world, for a man to live up to his ideals. If Casablanca is the great Hollywood film of our dreams, The Breaking Point is the quiet masterpiece for our waking moments.