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Frederick De Cordova
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
In the opening when Eddie hires a cab, initially it's a '55 Plymouth, in the next scene as they're driving off it's a '54 Ford. See more »
[Willis tells Toro to throw his fight with Buddy Brannen to avoid getting hurt]
I don't know, I don't know. What would people think of me?
What do you care what a bunch of bloodthirsty, screaming people think of you? Did you ever get a look at their faces? They pay a few lousy bucks hoping to see a man get killed. To hell with them! Think of yourself. Get your money and get out of this rotten business.
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Bogart is excellent as usual in this his last performance. There are times when his eyes are puddled up and it really makes you wonder: was he in pain or really that good? My answer is "yes" to both questions. Cancer would claim him within 15 months of this movie. He has a look of weariness here and it fits the character well. A first rate ending to a distinguished career. This movie is a perfect timecapsule for the 1950's and one of the better boxing movies of the period (Check out Body and Soul also). Although the ending seems a bit too convenient the performances are all first rate and this is worth a rental or purchase if you love Bogie.
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