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"This is Los Angeles: sprawling metropolis of the west. It's a beautiful city. It walks like a young giant from the mountains down to the sea. It has shiny buildings and modern freeways. Almost engulfed by the city surrounding it lies a little street "Olvera street." A street that appears to be forgotten by time."
Thus starts the movie with tourists taking pictures of "the lazy Mexicans."
A Mexican family falls on hard times when the father is laid off. Bad timing, it turns out. The family had just bought new furniture and are very proud of the blue sofa and matching chairs (the film is b&w so the chairs look grey to us). "Send it back!" demands the father. The son says he will get a job to help pay for the furniture but the father says "you are only a boy." Storming out of the house the son goes to "the clubhouse" to see his friends. Harassed by bigoted white police and denied service by white owned businesses "Tommy" lets his rage out and gets in a fight.
Tommy is seen fighting by a talent scout - one who is interested in making Tommy a professional fighter. "Don't you want to be something? Do you want to be pushed around like your dad?" Tommy is convinced and "Tommy Kansas" is born.
Tommy's father thinks it's a disgrace. "I am a poor man, but I am not a brute!" But the rest of the family is behind him. "If you do not give up fighting you will leave this house!" exclaims his father as he storms off.
I will admit to not being a big boxing fan. This film, however, kept my interest. The main character "Tommy" is well played and his transformation from naive street kid to young seasoned boxer makes this film worthwhile.
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