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The Harder They Fall (1956)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport | 8 May 1956 (Japan)
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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(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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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 ...
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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:

Not Rated | 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

Budd Schulberg author of the novel which served as the source material for the film, and an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, was originally hired on to write the screen adaptation. Schulberg took the job on the condition that he be allowed to work from home so he could avoid coming into contact with Harry Cohn, the head of Columbia Pictures. Cohn had been fiercely critical and insulting to Schulberg's father, B.P. Schulberg, when he was the head of rival studio, Paramount, years before. In one of his only executive actions for this film Cohn vetoed the decision to hire the younger Schulberg and turned the screen-writing duties over to Philip Yordan. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Reporter: What gives, Eddie? I looked up Toro in the book. There's no record of him in South America.
Eddie Willis: He knocked out thirty-eight guys in a row. None of them went over three rounds. You believe that one and I'll tell you another.
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Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.89 (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

Pulled Punches,Notwithstanding
29 November 2001 | by (Prague,Czech Republic) – See all my reviews

For some reason this film,Bogey's swan song,is fitting and deserving of praise.As Bogart started his career playing mean and gangster-tough villains,an extended it toward's more introspective yet still tough-minded roles,so too are we graced in this movie to have a little bit of both Bogart world's.The tough and never flinching Bogart,and the thinking man persona,who can out muster other's with sheer forethought. Within this movie are many good Film noir elements,such as the shadowy street's and dark cornered recesses,along with an urban setting and extremely Noirish script.Budd Schulberg's writing is perfect for this type of drama,giving it the needed oomph for all those double crossing and talking weasel's,that make up cast of dishonest and likely foe's to Bogart's possible combination of the two.For in this movie Bogart's character has to truly reinvent and come to terms with the inner conflict of movie plot.A true denouement of storytelling and gritty realization coming together to demononstrate an offer a nice touch for lead character,in movie climax. With very nice filming of fight sequences,replete with the necessary smoke and crowd din to bring added authenticity and feel,as if one where back in the 50's doing the usual saturday night gig.Which was either going to the fight's,or listening on radio or possible TV.The ensemble cast works almost flawlessly and believable shows off what the fight game,behind closed door's was probably like.The key fighter {Big Mexican lug} manages to both amaze and bewilder with a combination that dosen't consist of a good left jab or right cross,but with an innocent and much less than tough-man bravura that gets caught up in mixed bag of what a prize fighter should be.His Character has depth and compassion,but also manages to be easily influenced by success and the power that it weilds.Power is the true name of this game and who better to play than Bogart,and who better to unravel and instruct audience with his brand of persona and believability. 4 out of 5 star or 8/10 for well displayed power grab.And a few pulled punches,also.


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