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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 <email@example.com>
"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 11, 1949 with John Garfield and William Conrad reprising their film roles. See more »
Charley Davis's fiancee, Peg, leaves him a note and misspells his name, "Charlie." See more »
I don't want any handouts. Do you think I like waiting around for the whole world to make up its mind what to do with me? My mother don't understand.
What is it you want to do?
There's only one thing I know how to do. Fight.
Well if you want to fight, fight.
And it's all right with you?
Anything you want is all right with me. I love you, Charlie.
[makes a fist]
It'll be quick.
Yeah, that's right. I got claws. But not for you Peg. Not for you.
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This boxing picture deals with the seedier side of the business; (is there any other?). It helps that it was written by Abraham Polonsky whose script is suitably cynical and hard-boiled. John Garfield is the pugnacious fighter easily swayed by the prospects of easy money and not adverse to taking a dive. It's a fine, hard-nosed performance. Garfield was always at his best in roles that required him to battle with his conscience.
The whole movie is well cast. The under-rated Lilli Palmer is fine as the 'nice' girl who loves him as is Hazel Brooks as the 'bad' girl who seduces him while the villains are ably taken care of by Lloyd Gough and William Conrad. Best of all there is Anne Revere as Garfield's mother. (Did Revere play everybody's mother movies?). It's another of her no-nonsense roles. Revere was one tough cookie who kept her heart of gold well-hidden. The climatic fight scene is very well staged and Robert Parrish and Frances Lyon's editing won the Oscar while James Wong Howe's cinematography adds considerably to the realism.
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