He was a contender when I was a kid, too dumb to be afraid, now he's selling handkerchiefs on the street. Stood there like a schmoe, I felt like crying. I wanted to buy two thousand... I gave him some dough.
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Hollywood has made a ton of films that dramatize boxing--and very few which haven't. Because this film dares to show the flip-side of boxing, I strongly recommend you see it.
The film begins with a high-ranked boxer (Paul Newman) meeting up with a guy who he had a fight with a few years earlier. This other boxer (Nehemiah Persoff) didn't even recognize him--even when Newman told him about their earlier fight. It's sad--but the guy was now a punchy-drunk bum--with a lousy job and no future. This really, really shakes Newman, as he is about to have a chance at winning the title--and he wonders is it even worth it. He vows to quit and not even take the title match--and his wife (Inger Stevens) and manager (Frank McHugh) try very hard to get him to relent. Overall, it's well-acted and very thought-provoking. Well worth seeing and very unusual.
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