Scorpion’s Blu-ray of Body and Soul has a solid transfer and a few entertaining special features. The film has its flaws but it’s hard to dislike anything with the Cannon name attached.
Plot: A boxer fights for the right reasons, but has a complicated love life.
Review: “Suggested” by the 1947 movie starring John Garfield, this take on Body and Soul was written, produced, and stars Leon Isaac Kennedy who had found success earlier with the boxing action film Penitentiary. He plays “Leon the Lover,” a svelte fighter who rises to become the most celebrated boxer in the country. His drive for winning comes from his kid sister who has sickle cell anemia, and the only way for her to continue receiving the best medical treatments is if he continues fighting to win. Along the way to the top, he falls in love with a reporter (played by his real wife at the time, Jayne Kennedy) and he breaks her heart by sleeping around with plenty of ready and willing beauties. It has a happy ending.
From The Cannon Group, Body and Soul has an artificiality to it that’s hard to shake, and surprisingly the main character isn’t likable. Some of the best scenes involve boxing champ Muhammad Ali as Leon’s trainer, but the movie is an overall disappointment. Leon is great in the right role, and doing a rehash of this story was the right idea, but the direction it took felt wrong. The boxing scenes are pretty good. Directed by George Bowers.
Scorpion’s recent Blu-ray edition of Body and Soul comes to HD for the first time in the USA. The transfer is solid, and the disc comes with an on-camera interview with Leon Isaac Kennedy, plus trailers.