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Joe Bonaparte's father wants him to pursue his musical talent; but Joe wants to be a boxer. Persuading near-bankrupt manager Tom Moody to give him a chance, Joe quickly rises in his new profession. When he has second thoughts Moody's girl Lorna uses feminine wiles to keep him boxing. But when tough gangster Eddie Fuseli wants to "buy a piece" of Joe, Lorna herself begins to have second thoughts...for that and other reasons. Is it too late? Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
William Holden became a star as a result of this film, but there is no question that Barbara Stanwyck is the real star of this picture. She gives a performance that is beautifully layered and Her performance is nothing short of marvelous (My favorite line is when she says, "I'm my mother's girl"). And those beautiful shoulders!
Everyone knows the story of the boy who is torn between a life of boxing and music. The screenplay is a product of the times that it was written in. How else can you explain dialogue that glorifies men beating their wives? Or the leftist remarks that are spoken by the Bonaparte's friend, Mr. Carp? A black boxer named "Chocolate"?! Never happen today.
Everyone is great. Lee J. Cobb as an Italian is heartbreaking, even if his accent is laid on a little thick (It's like watching Laurence Olivier in "The Jazz Singer"). Sam Levene is good as the brother-in-law. And Joseph Calleia as Fuseli, is wonderful. When Stanwyck enters Holden's dressing room after the fight, he says, "Out Miss Moon, this ain't no cocktail lounge." Wonderful. I would love to see Pacino ham his way through this role.
But it is Miss Stanwyck who stands out. We can be thankful that she gave Holden his opportunity and fought to keep him. We can be even more grateful for this wonderful performance.
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