IMDb > The Set-Up (1949)
The Set-Up
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The Set-Up (1949) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.7/10   4,715 votes »
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Down 26% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Art Cohn (screen play)
Joseph Moncure March (from the poem by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Set-Up on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 April 1949 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
I Want a Man... Not a Human Punching Bag! See more »
Plot:
Over-the-hill boxer Bill 'Stoker' Thompson insists he can still win, though his sexy wife Julie pleads with him to quit... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(18 articles)
Audrey Totter, Lady in the Lake Actress, Dies at 95
 (From PEOPLE.com. 16 December 2013, 8:05 AM, PST)

Audrey Totter obituary
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 16 December 2013, 5:20 AM, PST)

Audrey Totter, 1940s Film Noir Actress, Dies at 95
 (From Moviefone. 16 December 2013, 3:25 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
Knockout See more (61 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Robert Ryan ... Stoker
Audrey Totter ... Julie

George Tobias ... Tiny
Alan Baxter ... Little Boy
Wallace Ford ... Gus
Percy Helton ... Red
Hal Baylor ... Tiger Nelson (as Hal Fieberling)

Darryl Hickman ... Shanley
Kenny O'Morrison ... Moore
James Edwards ... Luther Hawkins

David Clarke ... Gunboat Johnson
Phillip Pine ... Souza
Edwin Max ... Danny
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herbert Anderson ... Husband (uncredited)
Larry Anzalone ... Mexican Fighter (uncredited)

Burman Bodel ... Man (uncredited)
Herman Bodel ... Man (uncredited)
Ruth Brennan ... Woman (uncredited)
Helen Brown ... Wife (uncredited)
John Butler ... Blind Man's Buddy (uncredited)
Andy Carillo ... Man (uncredited)
Lillian Castle ... Woman (uncredited)
Jack Chase ... Hawkins' Second (uncredited)
Noble 'Kid' Chissel ... Handler (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Fight Spectator (uncredited)
Gene Delmont ... Handler (uncredited)
Abe Dinovitch ... Ring Caller (uncredited)
Paul Dubov ... Gambler (uncredited)
Arthur 'Weegee' Fellig ... Timekeeper (uncredited)
Dan Foster ... Bettor with Bunny (uncredited)
David Fresco ... Mickey (uncredited)
Bernard Gorcey ... Tobacco Man (uncredited)
Vincent Graeff ... Newsboy (uncredited)
William E. Green ... Doctor (uncredited)
Bobby Henshaw ... Announcer (uncredited)
John Indrisano ... Corner Man (uncredited)
Maxine Johnston ... Girl (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Hot Dog Vendor (uncredited)
Jess Kirkpatrick ... Gambler (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Hawkins' Handler (uncredited)
Archie Leonard ... Blind Man (uncredited)
Frances Mack ... Woman (uncredited)
Dwight Martin ... Glutton (uncredited)
William McCarther ... Handler (uncredited)
Walter Merrill ... Bit Role (uncredited)
Lynn Millan ... Bunny (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Photographer (uncredited)
Ben Moselle ... Referee (uncredited)

Tommy Noonan ... Masher on Street (uncredited)
William J. O'Brien ... Pitchman (uncredited)
Brian O'Hara ... Man with Cigar (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... Fight Spectator (uncredited)
Jack Raymond ... Husband (uncredited)
Al Rhein ... Man (uncredited)
Frank Richards ... Bat - Program Vendor (uncredited)
Walter Ridge ... Manager (uncredited)
Sammy Shack ... Man (uncredited)
Carl Sklover ... Man (uncredited)
Emmett Smith ... Ring Second (uncredited)
Everett Smith ... Tattoo Man (uncredited)
Billy Snyder ... Fun Palace Barker (uncredited)
Jack Stoney ... Nelson's Second (uncredited)
Arthur Sullivan ... Handler (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Man (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... Fight Spectator Behind the Glutton (uncredited)
Ralph Volkie ... Man (uncredited)
Charles Wagenheim ... Hamburger Man (uncredited)
Gay Waters ... Girl (uncredited)
Constance Worth ... Wife (uncredited)
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Directed by
Robert Wise 
 
Writing credits
Art Cohn (screen play)

Joseph Moncure March (from the poem by)

Produced by
Richard Goldstone .... producer
Dore Schary .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Milton R. Krasner (director of photography) (as Milton Krasner)
 
Film Editing by
Roland Gross (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Jack Okey 
 
Set Decoration by
James Altwies (set decorations)
Darrell Silvera (set decorations)
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup supervisor
Gale McGarry .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Josef Norin .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Bill Phillips .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Hazel Rogers .... hairdresser (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Edward Killy .... assistant director
Joel Freeman .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Phil Brigandi .... sound
Clem Portman .... sound
 
Camera and Electrical Department
James Almond .... gaffer (uncredited)
Ernest Bachrach .... still photographer (uncredited)
Jim Curley .... grip (uncredited)
Gaston Longet .... still photographer (uncredited)
Eddie Pyle .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... musical director
Roy Webb .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
John Indrisano .... fight sequences
Leonard Shannon .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Daniel B. Ullman .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
73 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Canada:18A | Finland:K-12 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1949) | Norway:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1987) | USA:Approved (certificate #13478)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The shoot took twenty days.See more »
Goofs:
Plot holes: During the fight, a man in front of Little Boy and his girlfriend bets $20 with his companion that Stoker will "go the distance". Little Boy's girl takes him up on the bet. Later the man says "I still say it will go the limit". Little Boy's girl bets him $100 that it won't. When the fight ends with Stoker the winner by a knockout, Little Boy's girl pays off the bets at Little Boy's insistence. But the fight did not go the distance - a decision by the judges. So Little Boy's girl was a winner, not a loser, even though the wrong guy got knocked out.See more »
Quotes:
Stoker:Yeah, top spot. And I'm just one punch away.
Julie:I remember the first time you told me that. You were just one punch away from the title shot then. Don't you see, Bill, you'll always be just one punch away.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
A Touch of TexasSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
66 out of 79 people found the following review useful.
Knockout, 10 August 2002
Author: telegonus from brighton, ma

This is an awfully hard and brutal movie, produced at the end of the brief, rather high end Dore Schary regime at RKO (1946-48), just prior to Howard Hughes' purchase of the studio, which led to the company's slow, agonizing decline that forced it, or rather its new owners, to close it down ten years later. It's the story of an aging boxer, over the hill but still harboring a measure of optimism, really a sort of pride. In this tragic role Robert Ryan is superb. Tough, compassionate, deeply ethical, realistic, and yet with just enough of the dreamer in him to keep him emotionally afloat, Stoker Thompson represents the best qualities of the so-called common man. In an earlier, more heroic age, he might have been a knight; but alas we do not live in such a time, thus his personal qualities go unnoticed by all but his wife. In this role, Audrey Totter is almost as good as Ryan. Some of her scenes are unforgettable, as when she tears up the ticket to her husband's fight and throws it over the bridge into the steam of an oncoming train; or when she watches a bunch of silly teenagers "play" at boxing with a couple of performing puppets, which at first amuses her, then horrify her when she realizes her own and her husband's fate in this little "play" scene.

The film is a masterpiece of design and composition. Director Robert Wise never made a better picture than this. The movie, like High Noon, plays out in real time, and as a result has an air of urgency to it. Adapted from a poem by Joseph Moncure March, which tells essentially the same story, but with the main character a black man, Wise and scenarist Art Cohn take considerable liberties here that purists' might not care for. In the poem the setting is New York, while in the movie it's a tank town called Paradise City, a far cry from New York even if it's in fact less than a hundred miles away, upstate, or in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. The film never makes this clear. Here and there hints are dropped that the setting might be California. It doesn't matter. The Paradise City boxing arena is a place for young guys on their way up and old guys on their way down. It's a million miles from Madison Square Garden, and that's all that counts.

The film's settings are beautifully realized; and Milton Krasner's photography is no less brilliant. The central street, all blinking lights, and yet shadowy and black in odd places, is a perfect visual metaphor for the action of the film; while seldom have the denizens of a small city looked more menacing. Men in garish ties and fedoras jostle each other on the sidewalk as they pass by. They are a hard, apathetic breed, and hungry for sensation. Inside the arena we see humanity at its least admirable, as there is an undercurrent of sadism in even the most innocuous-seeming fight fans, such as a blind man ("go for his eyes!). We sense that these people come not so much to see a favorite boxer win as a hapless boxer lose.

In the center of all this is Stoker, a man with character surrounded by people who couldn't care less. As his handlers, a porcine, toothpick-chewing Percy Helton, and a thick-witted George Tobias, are superb. In a somewhat smaller role, Edwin Max, in pinstripe suit, with pencil-line mustache's, and what look like three soggy Salada tea bags under each eye, is visually perfect as a small-time something, not even hood, just a guy who runs around and does things for the big guy, played by Alan Baxter, a sort of anti-Stoker, a man without qualities who goes to great lengths to show that he has class and principles, when in fact he has neither. The man is a monster, and he doesn't even have guts. When Stoker punches him in the face he lets his goons do the dirty work.

The interior lives of the two main characters in this film suggest an affinity with the humanistic stoicism Hemingway, while the surface is closer to Weegee and Walker Evans. Overall, though, the movie is pure RKO; its courage-in-the-face-of-adversity theme suggests, almost uncannily, this odd man out among the major studios' history and future, and the best qualities of those who worked there.

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The mook in the audience who keeps throwing the fake punches. Ham_and_Egger
DVD of The Set-Up out now in UK! mr-dan-hunter
Remake of The Set-Up in the works carehart
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