A scrappy fighter from Jersey City named Tommy Shea -- "born in a dump, educated in an alley" -- catches the eye of wealthy businessman, Robert Mallinson, who allows him to train at his ...
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A scrappy fighter from Jersey City named Tommy Shea -- "born in a dump, educated in an alley" -- catches the eye of wealthy businessman, Robert Mallinson, who allows him to train at his Long Island estate. Shea soon falls for Mallinson's daughter, Dorothy, but fears he doesn't have the money to support her in proper style. To get this money, Shea decides to work with crooked fight-promoter Harry Cram, even though this means dropping his honest manager, Dave Bernstein. As the big fight approaches, however, Shea begins to have second thoughts. Written by
dinky-4 of Minneapolis
The mid-1950s proved to be the last stand for Hollywood's traditional boxing movie. (In 1955, for example, Tony Curtis appeared in "The Square Jungle" while John Derek donned gloves for "The Leather Saint.") Audie Murphy's "World in My Corner" may be the best of this lot even though it follows a well-worn formula: poor but honest boxer from the wrong side of the tracks gets a taste of the high-life, falls for a rich society girl, and is tempted to "take a dive" for money.
The sole variation here is that rich-girl Barbara Rush is also the good-girl. (In some movies, the rich-girl is portrayed as a flashy blonde temptress who tries to lure the boxer into corruption. Opposing her, of course, is a poor but devoted good-girl who dresses modestly and who has dark hair. Guess which girl the boxer winds up with in the final scene.)
At least "World in My Corner" seems aware of its routine nature. Rather than trying to hide it, the movie makes it an asset by playing things straight, avoiding unnecessary detours and keeping both plot and characters within a narrow focus. The result may not be stylish or innovative but it does offer a modest degree of satisfaction.
Audie Murphy may never have been Oscar-material but he's well-cast here and does passably well in the many boxing sequences. Needless to say, he often appears bare-chested and this opportunity to exploit a young actor's "beefcake" potential partially explains the appeal of the boxing movie. Had Ben Affleck come along a generation or two ago, for example, he'd probably have had at least one boxing movie under his belt, though his chest would probably have been shaved for the sake of "decency."
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