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Charley Davis wins an amateur boxing match and is taken on by promoter Quinn. Charley's mother doesn't want him to fight, but when Charley's father is accidentally killed, Charley sets up a fight for money. His career blooms as he wins fight after fight, but soon an unethical promoter named Roberts begins to show an interest in Charley, and Charley finds himself faced with increasingly difficult choices. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I looked at this as simply a good story, a solid drama that happened to have the sport of boxing figure into it. "Boxing movies." if people insist on labeling this under that category, were particularly popular around the time of this film. Many of them had similar stories about a good guy being told to take a dive or else. Yes, that was in here, too, but it wasn't anywhere near the central part of the story. This film was more of an earlier "Raging Bull"-type tale in that it concentrated on the friends, family, freeloaders, criminals and women surrounding the main male character.
This was more of a story about a decent man who gets carried away with success and with the power and money that goes with it. As good as the lead actor, John Garfield, was in here - and he was good - I was more intrigued with the supporting characters.
Lilly Palmer looked and sounded the part of a refined sweet, pretty French girl (whatever that means) and was a good contrast to the uneducated and quick tempered brute (Garfield). As in so many stories, she wasn't fully appreciated by her man until the end. Anne Revere, as Garfield's mom (she seemed to always play the lead character's mother in 1940s films) was fascinating as she always was and kudos to Joseph Peveny as "Shorty" and Lloyd Gough a "Roberts." Both added a lot to the film. Wlliam Conrad and Hazel Brooks added some great film noir-- type dialog, berating each other once in a while.
These actors, and the photography of James Wong Howe, make this a cut above most if not all the so-called "boxing films."
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