Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)

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Mountain Rivera, a punchy has-been managed by the unprincipled Maish, is mauled in a fight and forced to quit boxing. Can his devoted cutman and a sympathetic social worker help him find a ... See full summary »



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


Mountain Rivera, a punchy has-been managed by the unprincipled Maish, is mauled in a fight and forced to quit boxing. Can his devoted cutman and a sympathetic social worker help him find a life outside the ring, or will Maish find a way to exploit him one more time? Written by John Whorfin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The World of "Mountain" Riviera . . . The Fast Buck . . . The Angry Men . . . The Lonely Women ! See more »


Drama | Sport


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Release Date:

16 November 1962 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Money  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Opening traveling shot of bar customers watching fight on TV was apparently filmed in mirror behind bar because all beer labels and signs in background read backwards. See more »


[after Grace slaps Maish]
Maish Rennick: Do you really want to help him? Here's how you can help him. Leave him alone. If you gotta' say anything to him, tell him you pity him. Tell him you feel so sorry for him you could cry. But don't con him. Don't tell him he could be a counsellor at a boys' camp. He's been chasing ghosts so long he'll believe anything. Any kind of a ghost. Championship belt, pretty girl... maybe just 24 hours without an ache in his body. Doesn't make any difference. It all passed him.
Grace Miller: I ...
See more »


Referenced in M*A*S*H: Requiem for a Lightweight (1972) See more »


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User Reviews

Great boxing flick that transcends stereotypes
21 May 2002 | by (Chicago, Illinois, USA) – See all my reviews

This is a golden oldie if there ever was one. Adapted from Rod Serling's earlier `Playhouse 90' TV drama, it improved greatly on the original by taking full advantage of the film medium, including moody film-noir lighting, an excellent music score, and superb direction. Anthony Quinn is excellent, getting all the pathos out of the role without overdoing it. Mickey Rooney and Jackie Gleason, neither of whom is renowned for subtlety and restraint, hit just the right note in their performances, as does Julie Harris. The ending of this film couldn't be more different than the `Playhouse 90' ending. One of the more bizarre elements of this film, which was not in the original TV play, is the character of Ma Greeney, a really frightening person and the only example I am aware of in film of a lesbian gangster (and in 1962, yet). I can still remember how startled I was to see this character when I first watched this film on TV back in the late 1960s.

The new DVD of `Requiem for a Heavyweight' offers both a full-screen and wide-screen presentation. The quality of the transfer is really outstanding. The liner notes indicate that it is mastered in high definition. While I don't have the hardware to watch it in high-def., I can say that on an ordinary monitor it looks outstanding. Perhaps the sharpest DVD picture I've ever seen. The sound is clear, and the subtitles are very helpful in picking out dialog that may be indistinct, or not easily understood because of Anthony Quinn's manner of delivering the lines while in character.

However. It seems to me that at least one whole scene and a part of another scene is missing. I distinctly remember Maish (Jackie Gleason) telling Ma Greeney what he would do to her if she weren't a lady. In response, she laughs and says `that's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me.' This is part of the early scene where Maish is attacked in an abandoned boxing ring by Ma's thugs. There is another whole scene I can recall in which Mountain (Anthony Quinn) is practicing holds with a wrestler. He asks that the wrestler stay away from his injured eye, and when he purposely goes for the eye, Mountain punches his lights out. The cuts I recall seeing on TV years ago always included these scenes, and I've never seen this shortened cut of the film before. It's still a great film, but I really miss these two scenes.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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