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Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 2,453 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 16 critic

Mountain Rivera is at the end of his boxing career after a knockout by Cassius Clay in the seventh round. His left eye is one punch from permanent trauma, his ears turned to cauliflower, ... See full summary »

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Title: Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Perelli (as Stan Adams)
Madame Spivy ...
Ma Greeny
...
Young fighter's promoter
Herbie Faye ...
Charlie, the Bartender
...
Himself
Barney Ross
Alex Miteff
Rory Calhoun ...
Himself
...
Himself (as Cassius Clay)
Gus Lesnevich
Willie Pep
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Storyline

Mountain Rivera is at the end of his boxing career after a knockout by Cassius Clay in the seventh round. His left eye is one punch from permanent trauma, his ears turned to cauliflower, his speech slurred from "being hit a million times," and he slings punches anytime he hears a bell, but his trainer and 'cutman' Army, and Miss Miller, a manipulative social worker, support his illusion that he could be a movie usher, a camp counselor, or a romantic partner for Miller. But his manager Maish Rennick, knowing the truth, can't admit that he's bet everything he had that Rivera wouldn't go four rounds against Clay. Maish will pay with his life when the goon squad comes to collect if he can't persuade Rivera to abandon his pride ("I fought 111 fights and never took a dive") and agree to a wrestling contract of which he's ashamed. When Maish blurts out his secret, Rivera realizes that walking out on the deal is not an option. To save the neck of the man who's betrayed him, he embraces the ... Written by synergistic

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They beat him... they broke him... they betrayed him... but they could not crush the towering dignity of a real fighter! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 1962 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Requiem for a Heavyweight  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anthony Quinn did this film when Lawrence of Arabia (1962) went on a two month hiatus between October and December of 1961. The film was released before "Lawrence" came out. See more »

Quotes

Maish Rennick: You're not a winner anymore, Mountain. There's only one thing left. Let's make some money from the losing.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hill Street Blues: Requiem for a Hairbag (1982) See more »

Soundtracks

Home on the Range
(uncredited)
From poem written by Dr. Brewster M. Higley (1873)
Music by Daniel E. Kelley
Sung by Anthony Quinn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
brilliant and devastating
7 July 2009 | by See all my reviews

I don't think I had ever seen this movie from beginning to end before but had the chance to do so when it came up recently on a cable channel. One feels, after watching it in its entirety, as one does after having listened to Mahler's 9th symphony - you are emotionally drained and devastated. The movie is Exhibit A in the prosecution's case that movies were better made in the past than today. It is impossible to imagine something this excellent being produced today. The movie makes no plays for cuteness or humor, and never seeks to soften its razor-sharp edges. It is grittily real from beginning to end. Actually, it surpasses reality, as all great art does, in letting us look starkly into the cruel realities of human existence. The acting is absolutely top-notch from all the leads. One is reminded that Jackie Gleason, after all the eye-popping excesses of "The Honetmooners" (as great as that series was, for what it was) was a truly superb actor. I cannot think of a movie in which Anthony Quinn surpassed himself in his role as Mountain Rivera - tough, beaten up, beaten down, loyal, honest and yet with a sensitive core deep within. Mickey Rooney shines just as brightly. The script is brilliant, economical, realistic, and revelatory of the characters; we forget just what a brilliant writer Rod Serling was. Of course one of the reasons the movie could not be made today is that it forgoes the obligatory happy ending (which was used, evidently, in the TV version); the movie follows its dark logic all the way to the final, devastating scene.


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