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While there are some minor differences, the script of this film is virtually identical to the original and none of the character names of central plot lines are altered. In general, the original is a much stronger film. Somehow I just cannot believe Mickey Rooney as a light heavy weight. Had they dropped the weight class to middle weight of super middle weight it would have been easier to believe. Worse, for all of Mickey's abilities as a dancer, singer, and actor, he just does not look like boxer -- his posture and his swings are all wrong.
For all that Mickey carries off the balance of the film exceptionally well. He was a superb actor. Is failings in ring could simply be that work methods of the time did not allow for the type of pre-shooting training that goes on these days.
In one respect, this film is superior to the original. In the 8th round of the final round director Roy Rowland constructs a wonderful montage showing off the audience's blood lust and involvement in the fight. It is electrifying and far superior to any similar scene by the more workman-like Richard Thorpe.
The 30's and 40's produced some stunning boxing films. This film is not one of them.
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