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The Harder They Fall (1956) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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
  • Jobless sportswriter Eddie Willis is hired by corrupt fight promoter Nick Benko to promote his current protégé, an unknown Argentinian boxer named Toro Moreno. Although Moreno is a hulking giant, his chances for success are hampered by a powder-puff punch and a glass jaw. Exploiting Willis' reputation for integrity and standing in the boxing community, Benko arranges a series of fixed fights that propel the unsophisticated Moreno to #1 contender for the championship. The reigning champ, the sadistic Buddy Brannen, harbors resentment at the publicity Toro has been receiving and vows to viciously punish him in the ring. Eddie must now decide whether or not to tell the naive Toro the truth.

    - Written by duke1029
  • 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.

    - Written by duke1029

Synopsis

Humphrey Bogart is Eddie Willis an older washed up unemployed sports writer hired by Nick Benko (Rod Steiger) a gangster fight promoter to publicize an unknown hulking South American heavyweight boxer Toro Moreno (Mike Lane)...

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See also

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