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Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)

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Reviews: 44 user | 17 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:

The World of "Mountain" Riviera . . . The Fast Buck . . . The Angry Men . . . The Lonely Women ! 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:

Réquiem para un luchador  »

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

Louis 'Mountain' Rivera: In 1952 they ranked me number five!
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

 
Stunning & Fantastic Portrayal of the Seedy Aspects of Pugilism!
6 March 2008 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Jackie Gleason is in his element as promoter/manager/trainer of a broken down end-of-the-road boxer "Mountain Rivera" played brilliantly by Anthony Quinn. After 17 punishing years getting battered in the Ring "The Mountain" sports the scars, brain paralysis and the "shot" hoarse voice of an ex-fighter who is played to the hilt by Quinn. Mickey Rooney as "Mountain's" trainer is also sensational in his role. The whole cast in this film is simply fantastic. The writing of Rod Serling (of "Twilight Zone" fame) is masterful to say the least. Julie Harris who tries to provide hope for Rivera's future is beautifully and "tenderly" rendered on screen. The sleazy nature of the boxing business in the seedy surroundings of the cockroach infested hotel rooms is starkly defined in this black and white celluloid. There is a scene with Mickey Rooney and Jackie Gleason playing cards reminiscent of "The Honeymooners" with Art Carney when Gleason explodes in exasperation at Rooney who delays playing his hand at "gin" rummy. This is a taut and brilliantly portrayed film that everyone should see. Muhammed Ali (as Cassius Clay) is hauntingly shot at the beginning of the film. Jack Dempsey, the former heavyweight champ, is also shown at his restaurant in New York. The corruption and fear in this business is tellingly displayed. In fact this is a "must see" and "must own" kind of film. A Knock Out! As an aside, Jackie Gleason was so great on film partly because of his experience in live vaudeville shows. He grew up in abject poverty as a boy. This forced him out at an early age to make a living. The greatness came from hard times, talent and an insatiable work ethic. Thus the great talent of Jackie Gleason began to shine to the point of dethroning Milton Berle out of the top TV spot in 1954 as "The Honeymooners" stormed on screen. So many great talents from this era developed in the same way. Poverty and hard times had a way of producing talented star entertainers in the 30's and 40's. Perhaps this explains the lack of talent on screen today.


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