6.4/10
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34 user 11 critic

Gladiator (1992)

Tommy Riley has moved with his dad to Chicago from a 'nice place'. He keeps to himself, goes to school. However, after a street fight he is noticed and quickly falls into the world of illegal underground boxing - where punches can kill.

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Writers:

(story), (story) (as Robert Kamen) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Tommy Riley
...
Father in Park
...
Spits
...
Tab Baker ...
...
Joan Schwenk ...
Secretary
Raul Salinas ...
Teen in Classroom
Marctwaine Nettles-Bey ...
Teen in Classroom
...
Teen in Classroom
...
Dawn
Francesca P. Roberts ...
Miss Higgins
Emily Marie Hooper ...
Belinda
...
Romano
Lance Slaughter ...
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Storyline

A story of two teenagers trapped in the world of illegal underground boxing. One is fighting to save his fathers life and using the money pay off gambling debts accumulated by his father. The second is fighting for the money to get out of the ghettos. While being exploited by a boxing promoter the two teens become friends. An explosive ending puts the two friends in the ring against each other in a fight for survival. Written by Joe Miller <joe938216@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody owns Tommy Riley. Nobody. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fäuste - Du mußt um Dein Recht kämpfen  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$9,223,441 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was James Marshall's first and last lead role. See more »

Goofs

Tommy Riley's TV has black pen writing on it, written by his dad's debt collectors. The black pen writing changes formation from the scene where it was written on the TV, and where Tommy's dad John left for his new job. See more »

Quotes

Noah: Comeback, rematch. He punished that man. Retired him for life. No. He ain't got no weaknesses.
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Soundtracks

Da Me La (Fama)
Written by Jainardo Batista (as J. Batisa), Rubén Blades (as R. Blades), Sam Campbell (as S. Campbell), Sam Krywoschy (as S. Krywoschy), Darryl Ross (as D. Ross), Al Rubalcava (as A. Rubalcava) & David Snyder (as D. Snyder)
Performed by Latin Science
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
An Underrated Effort In The Boxing Film Cannon
26 February 2017 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Type "Gladiator" into any search engine for movies, and you'll get pages and pages of Russell Crowe's gladiator epic. Yet, at the bottom of those lists, you may just find this little gem that you've never heard of. If you are a fan of pugilistic big-screen experiences, this is one that at the very least will keep you entertained.

For a basic plot summary, "Gladiator" tells the story of Tommy Riley (James Marshall), a white teenage youngster who (via parental circumstances) is moved into an all-black school and neighborhood. After having enough of the constant bullying and needing money badly, Tommy is recruited into a shady boxing circuit by Pappy Jack (Robert Loggia). After befriending similar hard-luck case Lincoln Haines (Cuba Gooding Jr.), Tommy runs headlong into "big boss" Jimmy Horn (Brian Dennehy) when a huge conflict of interest rises between them.

"Gladiator", in terms of themes, is about as simple a movie as ever was made. I remember watching it off television as a kid and even then being about to follow the themes. While that simplicity keeps it from being a classic, it also makes sure that the movie ages pretty well. Whether you watching this movie in theaters in 1992 or on your flat-screen in 2014, it plays pretty much the same.

Perhaps what shines most from this movie, though, is the performance by Brian Dennehy. That is what I remembered most from the original viewing and what drew me towards finding it again. Along the way, though, I noticed great performances from Gooding Jr. and Ossie Davis as well.

If you are not a fan of boxing movies, I would say you can probably skip this one, as without an appreciate of the boxing-related themes the rest of the narrative will be a bit too simplistic to hold your interest. If you love the "sweet science", though, this one will at least entertain you with some drama and adversity themes.


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