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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Not worth bothering with

2/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
26 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Robert Blake is a boxer who is framed for a murder and has to try and clear himself.My notes said "Dull Barely watchable film this stinks". Which I think sums it all up. The problem aside from a plot thats too obvious for words and direction, which gets points for trying something different but which fails in execution, is that this is Blake in one of his more "interesting" performances. He's clearly got some kind of a performance on his mind, the problem is that it comes off rather bizarre and not really watchable. Even his attempt at channeling Jack Nicholson in a diner ala Five Easy Pieces doesn't work. The cut of the film I saw ran about 65 minutes which means that a chunk of time is missing (IMDB lists a run time of 85 minutes), but given whats here I wouldn't ever try a revisit.

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For what it's worth, not bad.

7/10
Author: qormi from United States
3 March 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I liked it. Robert Blake played his lad role well. The ring scenes were very realistic - not phony like those Rocky movies. Earnest Borgnine looked trim and fit - he put a lot of feeling into his role. Catherine Spaak was cool as ever. Then there was that weird hippie hit-man. The surprise ending was cool. The film was well-paced and held your interest. The setting in the American southwest was depicted vividly - the diners, the freeways, the backyard pools. There was a real sense of authenticity to the film. Robert Blake is a real down-to-earth actor. He seems like he's not acting. One funny thing about the film were those girly shorts Robert Blake wore to jog with.

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"There might come a time when you need a good friend".

6/10
Author: classicsoncall from United States
27 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

And a good friend might steer you away from this picture. I saw the flick today under the title "The Boxer". With Robert Blake heading the cast it seemed like a good choice to pick out of the pile of unwatched films I have waiting to be viewed. The first hint that this might be a chore comes with the opening credits, as you notice it's an Italian made film with the attendant graininess and cheap production values that seem to be a staple of this product from the Seventies. To give you an idea how long it took to get this released, (May 1975 in IMDb's overview), the 1970 film "Ryan's Daughter" was headlined in the marquee of a movie house, visible after Teddy (Blake) and Mike were picked up by the cops. By 1975, 'Baretta' was in prime time, and I have to wonder if Blake ever got to watch this himself.

As the boxer of the story, Blake finds himself trying to investigate the murder of his manager/trainer Nick da Catarina (Gabriele Ferzetti) after winning a match that was supposed to be fixed. As you'd expect, he comes under suspicion himself, and gets further tangled up with the law as the story progresses. The film makers managed to get in a few body shots of their own against the Viet Nam War, most notably when police Captain Perkins (Ernest Borgnine) tried to use Teddy's war record of thirteen kills against him. At least Teddy had a good response.

I couldn't help feeling when the picture was over with things wrapped up, that there were still some loose ends lying around. The fairy tale ending with the extreme closeup of Catherine Spaak looking long and lovingly into the camera was so out of place that it seemed to negate everything that went before. After all, her father Nick was murdered, and there was a trail of dead bodies that followed as well. Seems like a tough way to go to find your soul mate. If I had to make a recommendation, I'd say watch an episode of Baretta.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Blakes Looks Pretty Good in Black and White

5/10
Author: Hitchcoc from United States
13 November 2006

Just another boxer movie. Blake is framed. He needs to find out who did it. There are some murders committed. There are some really ugly bad guys. The plot is sort of convoluted. Blake can be seen as a pretty handsome, Brandoesque kind of figure.The cinematography is pretty kind to him. He is a man of few words (mostly because he probably doesn't know many), and he must get the law off his back so he can get to the person who framed him. There is little suspense. There is a surprise. Where'd that come from? I just can't watch Blake playing a violent character without thinking of his current situation. He's a pretty good actor who peaked early with "In Cold Blood," did a little television, and then pretty much disappeared. The movie is dull and seemingly unending.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Actual Pulp Fiction: Cheap, Vapid, & Entertaining

7/10
Author: slavejuan (slavejuan@aol.com) from sparrowAZ
17 November 2003

Quentin Tarantino made it seem like Pulp Fiction meant GREAT!!! no folks, it means cheap & bad & stupidly enteraining... Pulp Fiction was about Pulpy characters stuck in real situations... it was a sort of a mockery of itself... this movie (basically the same story as Bruce Willis' sans the gold watch) is actual Pulp Fiction-Movie Style, for it looks cheap and it was cheap, obviously, to make. Robert Blake is the main star, a boxer who's been ripped off by his trainer, sold out to a thrown fight. this happens in every boxing movie, or most of them. it's even mentioned in ON THE WATERFRONT, a boxer getting sold to throw a fight and thus, dismissing a promising career of being a champion. that's sort of what this movie is about, but mostly it's a wrongfully accused peice of fluff-antique, pulpish entertainment that, although it looked as if it cost ten dollars to make, kept me somewhat interested. it's sort of fun to watch. the parts that are corny, like the overdubbed voices (of everyone 'cept the two leads), are a funny as hell, like watching those old kung fu movies only now it's boxing and it's Italian in lue of Asian. Ernest Borgnine gets second billing but he's not in the movie much. he's a cop who's after Blake and appears after about forty-five minutes. the second main character is Blake's buddy, some Italian actor no one's ever heard of (in this country), who's low, tuff voice doesn't fit his meek appearence - as often happens with dubbed movies. all in all RIPPED OFF had me watching - and hooked - from start to finish. Robert Blake is underrated as an actor and this isn't one of his best (see IN COLD BLOOD, BUSTING, ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE, TELL THEM WILLIE BOY IS HERE, & LOST HIGHWAY)... in fact this isnt one of his worst either... it's really not even a classified 'movie'... instead, it's a film you find on the floor in some video store in the middle of purgatory, and you watch it when there's nothing else to watch... having seen everything else and having nothing else to do...

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

1978 release of BUMMER is a bummer

Author: William (williamnorton316@hotmail.com) from Seattle, Washington
14 April 1999

Barely released italian crime-drama boxing film, and watching the film shows why it took so long to get the film released. Choppy looking film (U.S. distributor seems to have edited it) that headlines Robert Blake, Thomas Milian and Ernest Borgnine in a dull and badly put together would be drama. The film is muddy looking, as if the American distributor had no care to transfer the italian negative correctly. The video print runs if it was a TV print and had a very short running time.

The film played in Seattle in 1978 as BUMMER, a second feature to MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH with no ad slick of showing what BUMMER was. Sitting watching this film is a real bummer, and I guess the independent film company that pick this film up in the late 70's was probably trying to release it as if it was "Baretta" stars new film, which it wasn't. Blake is a underrated actor, and this film isn't good.

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