The Harder They Fall (1956)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, Film-Noir, Sport  |  8 May 1956 (Japan)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,806 users  
Reviews: 64 user | 30 critic

Down-on-his-luck ex-sportswriter Eddie Willis is hired by shady fight promoter Nick Benko to promote his latest find, an unknown but easily exploitable phenom from Argentina.



(screen play), (based on a novel by)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Mike Lane ...
Jersey Joe Walcott ...
Carlos Montalbán ...
Luís Agrandi (as Carlos Montalban)
Felice Orlandi ...
Herbie Faye ...
Rusty Lane ...


After 17 years as a recognized and respected sports journalist in New York City, Eddie Willis finds himself out of a job when his newspaper folds. He's approached by a major fight promoter, Nick Benko, to act as a public relations man for his new heavyweight fighter Toro Moreno. Eddie knows the how the fight game works and after watching Toro in the ring, realizes Toro is nothing but a stiff who has no hope of succeeding. Benko offers him a sizable salary and an unlimited expense account and given his financial situation, he agrees. Benko's strategy to make money is one that has been used time again. Starting in California and moving east, they arrange a series of fights for Toro with stiffs and has-beens. All of the fights are rigged to build up his record and get him a fight with the heavyweight champion, Buddy Brannen, where they will make a sizable profit at the gate. Along the way, one boxer gets killed in the ring and Eddie begins to have serious doubts about what he is doing. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No Punches Pulled! If you thought "On The Waterfront" hit hard... wait till you see this one!


Not Rated | See all certifications »





Release Date:

8 May 1956 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

La caída de un ídolo  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Primo Carnera unsuccessfully sued the film's makers, claiming it damaged his reputation for implying that he was involved in fixed fights. Carnera's career is one of the biggest mysteries in boxing, as many of the sport's historians believe that, without Carnera's knowledge, his managers paid most of his opponents to throw their fights. See more »


A TV sportscaster's man-on-the-street interview with a punch-drunk fighter filmed on location on Skid Row features multiple camera angles (long shot, middle shot and close-ups) - a technological luxury requiring three consecutively-rolling cameras no TV news station in the mid-Fifties could possibly have afforded. See more »


Eddie Willis: Powderpuff punch and a glass jaw... that's a great combination!
See more »


Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #1.4 (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

No secret...
18 November 2007 | by (Gothenburg, Sweden) – See all my reviews

There is no secret that Bogart made a lot of bad movies throughout his career, such as, oh, lets say "Sirocco". He said it himself! But there is also no secret that he is one of the greatest actors ever in history of film and that he made his share of unforgettable and great films like "Casablanca" or even the ones less famous, such as "In A Lonely Place". He is my favorite actor ever. And I am so happy that his last film was well acted and had an awesome story. Rod Steiger was also good in this historical boxing picture, with the large Mike Lane and some of the other less famous actors. But no matter what, Bogart owns this film, just as he seems to own all the other films he ever played in. Except from "The Raging Bull" (which I saw years ago!) this is the best boxing film I've seen! The fights were really well made and the "injuries" were believable and it really looked like they were bleeding or that they were really bad injured. I would say that this has about everything a great film needs, that includes Bogart. Once again, so glad this film, his last, was one of his absolute best!

17 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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His last film dukeb0y
When and why was the ending changed? mgconlan-1
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Really a great movie freakyfelix
Was Toro based on Primo Carnera ? Anthonytaylov
Did Bogart indulge himself with the call girls. Rich359
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