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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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
******SPOILERS****** Getting knocked out by Cassius Clay in the seventh round proved to be the end of the line for former heavyweight contender Louis "Mountain" Rivera, Anthony Quinn. After the fight in Mountain's dressing room the fight doctor checking the damage to his left eye tells his manager and trainer Maish and Army, Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney, that he can't allow Mountain to fight anymore. The next punch to his head can very well bind or even kill him.
His brains scrambled his fists busted in danger of losing his eyesight 17 years in the fight game is all the battering that Mountain's body could take. Now after 17 years it was time for Mountain to hang up his boxing gloves and go into another line of work, but what kind of work could Mountain do? Unknown to Mountain and his trainer Army his manager Maish had given the Ma Greeny mob the word that his fighter won't last more then 4 rounds with the young and hard hitting Cassius Clay and they place a lot of money on the tip that Maish gave them. Mountain going more then 4 rounds with Clay cost the Greeny mob big and it was up to Maish to come up with the money by the end of the month or else Maish won't ever have any need for money again. Without Mountain being able to fight anymore the only way Maish can get the money for the Greeny mob is for Mountain to become a professional wrestler and thus making a joke of himself entertaining the public. This time instead of taking punches Mountain will be taking laughs.
Rod Serling's hard hitting screen-play about the fight game and how it chews up and spits out those who are in it like Louis "Mountain" Rivera when it no longer has any use for them. Touching performance by Anthony Quinn as the broken down Mountain who has to humiliate himself by being a clown in the ring as a wrestler after being a proud warrior in the ring as a boxer. Also very moving is Julie Harris as Grace Miller the social worker who does her best to get Mountain a job as a youth consular only to have him lose it by getting drunk celebrating getting it.
As hard hitting as the punches thrown in the ring and as powerful as those boxers in the ring taking them. Mountain makes a fool of himself to save his crooked managers, Maish, hide so he could have the money to pay back the mob that he owes them, but that ended his friendship with Maish. It also educated Maish about being honest and loyal to those who trust and depend on him which is something that he didn't know about up till then. The film ends with Mountain swallowing his pride and accepting what fate had in store for him.
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