Breakdown (1952)

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Complete credited cast:
Ann Richards ...
June Hannum
Terry Williams
Anne Gwynne ...
Candy Allen
Nick Sampson
Wally Cassell ...
Pete Sampson
Richard Benedict ...
Harry 'Punchy' Adams
Joe McTurk ...
'Longshot' Maginnis
John Vosper ...
Judge Sam Hannum
Roy Engel ...
Al Bell
Norman Rainey ...
Hal Baylor ...
Joe Thompson - champ
Elena Sirangelo ...
Mrs. Prescott
Gene Covelli ...
Gumbo - the newsboy
Michelle King ...
Girl in Audience
Al Cantor ...
Joe DeVito


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HE WAS A KNOCK-OUT WITH THE WOMEN...BUT WOMEN and BOXING DON'T MIX! (original print ad - almost all caps)


Crime | Drama | Film-Noir





Release Date:

16 July 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Il pugilatore di Sing Sing  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Referenced in Heavy Traffic (1973) See more »

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User Reviews

rare little B-noir is worth tracking down
14 August 2006 | by (Braintree, MA) – See all my reviews

Low-budget melodrama with very fine performances, adapted by author Robert Abel from his own stage play, THE SAMSON SLASHER. Though it suffers a few minor lapses in character logic (i.e. one character reveals something rather devastating about his lover, but the next scene finds his lover behaving as if nothing had happened), the writing is uniformly sharp in the story of an amateur boxer sprung from prison who falls in love with the niece of the hanging judge who sentenced him.

Sheldon Leonard and Wally Cassel are quite strong in critical supporting roles, though lead actor William Bishop is a slightly flat cross between Frank Lovejoy and Rock Hudson. He pulls it off adequately, but it's the brother characters played by Leonard and Cassel who buoy the narrative, with the latter as a quite obviously gay, and spurned, boxing trainer.

A fascinating aspect of this film is its absolutely relentless final boxing match, where Bishop takes a pummeling not unlike the depiction of the LaMotta/Leonard fight in RAGING BULL where DeNiro's LaMotta refuses to go down. One has to wonder if Scorsese caught this rarity on late-night television and it stuck.

It's difficult to find information on this film but it appears to be in the public domain, so perhaps it will turn up as a bargain basement DVD. Particularly interesting to note that this is the sole film of stage director Edmund Angelo (who also produced, and cast his wife, Ann Richards).

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