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 Gutsiest Picture Ever Made ! See more »


Drama | Sport


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Release Date:

16 November 1962 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Blood Money  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


[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 ...
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Featured in Sports on the Silver Screen (1997) See more »


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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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