Episcopalian minister Gil Allen keeps up his college days interest in boxing by working out at a gym run by his friend, Tom Kelley. Gil declines when fight manager Gus McAuliffe offers to ... See full summary »
Episcopalian minister Gil Allen keeps up his college days interest in boxing by working out at a gym run by his friend, Tom Kelley. Gil declines when fight manager Gus McAuliffe offers to get him some bouts but, spurred by the need for a new iron lung and a swimming pool in his community, Gil takes on a fight, without disclosing his true profession, and knocks out his opponent with one punch. This impresses Pearl Gorman, girl friend of fight promoter Tony Lorenzo. Pearl was a promising singer until her fiancé, a boxer, died in the ring but is now on the bottle. She drinks more heavily when Gil ignores her. Gil is about to quit boxing but when Father Ritchie informs him that a down payment has already been made on the iron lung, he continues. He explains his winnings from his fights to Father Ritchie as donations from a friend in the leather business. Pearl learns his true identity and, through his influence, quits drinking. Gil one-punches his way to enough wins to pay off the iron ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
1956's "The Leather Saint" became one of the oddest footnotes in the 20 year history of Pittsburgh's Chiller Theater, appearing Feb 21 1970, followed by second feature 1962's "The Brain," during that 1969-70 season, alternating straight titles with the more typical genre fare. A rarely seen, long forgotten Paramount programmer, John Derek stars as an Episcopalian priest who decides to resume his college boxing career as a lucrative sideline to finance an iron lung and swimming pool for the polio-stricken children of his congregation. His unsuspecting manager (Paul Douglas) and promoter (Cesar Romero) are unaware of his day job, only able to box on Saturdays, while the boozing Pearl Gorman (Jody Lawrance) takes a good look between swallows at the handsome newcomer, whose ability to knock out opponents with one blow earn him his trademark 'Sunday Punch.' Robert Cornthwaite plays a sympathetic doctor, Thomas Browne Henry plays against type as the Bishop, while Ernest Truex purposely sounds like Barry Fitzgerald in "Going My Way" (he is only told that the money is a weekly charitable donation). Coming off a starring role in the British sci fi curiosity "The Gamma People," Paul Douglas again enjoys top billing, shortly before his untimely death at 52 just three years later. On the heels of his Joshua in the classic "The Ten Commandments," John Derek again displays his magnificent physique, completing this film the very year future bride Bo Derek was born.
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