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The Harder They Fall (1956)

 -  Drama | Film-Noir | Sport  -  8 May 1956 (Japan)
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,391 users  
Reviews: 61 user | 29 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.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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|

Release Date:

8 May 1956 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

La caída de un ídolo  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Toro Moreno's manager, Luis Agrandi, is said to be from Argentina, but his accent in speaking Spanish to his fighter is obviously Mexican, not Argentine. See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence Eddie gets into a taxi in front of Peter Cooper Village near East 14th Street, but the rear view of the cab has it located by a housing project near the Brooklyn Bridge about 2 miles south. See more »

Quotes

[Willis tells Toro to throw his fight with Buddy Brannen to avoid getting hurt]
Toro Moreno: I don't know, I don't know. What would people think of me?
Eddie Willis: 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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #22.206 (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Although Ill, Bogey Could Still Carry A Film
30 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was an interesting story but not always enjoyable to watch, simply because it's a real downer in spots, and seeing an ill Humphrey Bogart was sad.

Bogart, as "Eddie Willis," plays a decent guy who knows he's doing the wrong thing so he's ornery for most of the film. His conscience is getting the best of him. Not many others in here are happy, either, for that matter, in this tale of crooked boxing. Boy, filmmakers in the '40s and '50s loved making crooked boxing stories.

What's also different about this is the featured boxer: a 6-foot-8 Argentinian import named "Toro Moreno" (Mike Lane), a stiff who is being groomed for the heavyweight championship via a series of fixed fights, led by the crooked promoter played by Rod Steiger.

Along the way, it was interesting to see real-life fighters Max Baer and Jersey Joe Walcott.

Bogart died a little a little over a year after making this film. He looked haggard, which is understandable, but he still did his normal excellent job of acting and keeping the story interesting. Like him or not, Bogart always got your interest. He, along with James Cagney, were the best at dominating a film.

A decent boxing film, but nothing spectacular, to be honest. There are many, many better boxing movies, but this is still worth watching.


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