|Index||3 reviews in total|
No other sport has given rise to as many superior movies as our most
barbaric one, prizefighting. Joseph Pevney's Flesh and Fury may fall
of superior, but it's well above average and shows its principal actors in
the most flattering light: Tony Curtis does proud in one of his first
starring roles, while Jan Sterling contributes possibly her finest
Curtis (in the pouty fulsomeness of his young manhood) boxes for $25 purses when he catches the eye of Sterling, a bloodthirsty and avaricious ringside habitué. The only catch is that Curtis is deaf and dumb, but that suits Sterling just swell - his disability makes him more vulnerable to her control. She pushes his career forward too fast for the liking of his manager (Wallace Ford), but Curtis seems all but unstoppable.
Enter Mona Freeman, reporter from Panorama magazine, to do a feature on the hearing-impaired welterweight. It's her kind of story; her father, a wealthy Long Island architect, was deaf, too, so she learned how to sign - a skill Curtis has let lapse as it calls attention to his shortcoming. But exposed to a world of greater possibilities, Curtis undergoes an operation that restores his hearing.
There's the inevitable canker, however. Curtis' self-assurance in the ring came in part from his obliviousness to the din of the crowd. What's more, the pretentious babble he hears at a party in Freeman's posh mansion convinces him that he has more in common with the strident Sterling than with the privileged Freeman (the William Alland/Bernard Gordon script shows a firm grasp of class frictions). He decides to return to boxing, even though his doctor has warned him that he risks losing his newly regained hearing....
Joesph Pevney remains an overlooked director. He started out as an actor (he debuted in Nocturne as the peripatetic piano player) but soon moved behind the camera, helming a number of offbeat and compulsively watchable movies in and around the noir cycle: Shakedown, Iron Man, Meet Danny Wilson, Female on the Beach, The Midnight Story. In the late '50s, he made the move to television, directing a number of classic series. Not everybody who ended up working for the small screen did so because of mediocrity; some, like Pevney, were in demand because of their solid track record - because of movies like Flesh and Fury.
a young Tony Curtis. boxing. and Jan Sterling in a role as puzzle of shadows. lovely for story, far to be original, it is a seductive movie about vulnerabilities, courage and love. about choices and changes. and that fact does it seductive. not great or nice but interesting. like each easy story who reminds the fundamental things in wise manner. a film who preserves its romanticism as basic tool for create a large audience. and a touching social message about the need of help for the other. so, a mixture of romance and social cause. nothing complicated, good occasion for rediscover Tony Curtis at his first steps in a lead role. and a beautiful atmosphere. so, a nice show. touching, seductive and with an useful moral lesson.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a sensational movie. Bernard Schwartz aka Tony Curtis stars as a kind deaf boxer. Bernie looked amazing as a young man, swarthy, built, muscular, exotic dark looks, babyface. The movie does an excellent job portraying good and evil. Mona Freeman plays the good girl reporter Ann Hollis, whose compassion for her deaf late architect father and the deaf boxer and all deaf people is Mother Teresa like. Jan Sterling plays Sonya Bartow, the girlfriend of Bernard Schwartz aka Paul Callan aka Tony Curtis. Bernie changed his name to Antonio to appear Catholic Italian in order to avoid anti semitic taunts in a world that had just endured the Holocaust. In the movie Tony the deaf boxer is subjected behind his back and to his face by his girlfriend the evil witch Sonya to repeated taunts of "Dummy" and by the partygoers and boxing fans. This is a love story. Sonya is a user. She agrees to see Paul if he wins another fight and has money to take her out. Then she agrees to marry Paul if he becomes World Champion. The real fight is between Sonya and Ann for Paul. Eventually Sonya's true colors are shown when she starts screaming at Paul calling him "Dummy" and breaking a wine bottle and threatening to cut him to death with it. Love and Hate are two sides of the same coin. If this is how a man and his fiancé get along then how can one ever hope for world peace? It will be difficult but The Temple of Love - The World Peace Religion http://www.thetempleoflove.com shows the way.
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