Four Star Playhouse: Season 1, Episode 8

Knockout (1 Jan. 1953)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
...
Mike Dundee
Ron Hargrave ...
Bobby Greggory
Buddy Wright ...
Fred Stevens
...
Bulloti
Lucille Barkley ...
Nancy Shaw
John Indrisano ...
Julio
Frankie Grandetta ...
Doc (as Franke Grandetta)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Harry Wilson ...
Stevens' Corner Man (unconfirmed)
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Comedy | Drama

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1 January 1953 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Solid early television!
18 June 2013 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

FOUR STAR PLAYHOUSE – "The Knockout" – 1953

The FOUR STAR PLAYHOUSE was an anthology series that ran for 130 episodes between 1952 and 1956.

Broderick Crawford headlines this Blake Edwards written and directed episode. The episode was also produced by Crawford.

Crawford is a top fight manager always on the lookout for good talent. He sees something in rough around the edges, newbie, Ron Hargrave. He signs the kid and sends him off to the farm for training.

Crawford's main trainer, Johnny Indrisano, works the kid hard for the next few months. There, he gets plenty of roadwork and sparring partners. When Crawford thinks he is ready, he spots Hargrave on the bottom of a card. Hargrave takes a few lumps but wins. Each time Crawford places him in against better fighters. He is now 20-0 and ready to move on to better opponents.

Now, some of the other managers are taking an interest. Among these, is that snake in the grass, Ted De Corsia. De Corsia manages the current middle-weight champ, but is always looking for something new.

De Corsia's man, Buddy Wright, is on the hook to the mob and has worked his way up through a series of fixed fights. A fight is arranged between Hargrave and the favourite, Wright. De Corsica decides he likes the better odds on the up and comer and tells Wright to take a dive in the 7th round. Wright is not happy with the idea. He tells Hargrave about the mobster's plans.

Fight day has arrived and the two boxers enter the ring. The two dance around the ring with few punches being exchanged. Crawford smells a rat. The fight continues to the 7th round. But it is Hargrave who takes the dive to the canvas.

In the dressing room, Crawford tears into Hargrave. "Did you take money to throw the fight?" Boxer Wright comes in and explains what has happened. "I was mean't to lose so De Corsia could clean up. He lost 200,000 plus on Hargrave. You guys best split." De Corsia now bursts in and threatens Hargrave. Crawford steps up and flattens the bum. Everyone grabs their coats and hurry off to talk to the Police, and then the boxing commission.

De Corsia gets 2 years in prison while a real fight is arranged between Wright and Hargrave.

A nicely done fast and to the point, boxing yarn.

No need to mention Crawford's film noir pedigree. Real life pug, Johnny Indrisano, sported a pro record of 80 wins in 83 fights. He then moved to Hollywood where he trained actors for boxing films. He also became a bit player in film and television. He often appeared as a boxing ref or the third thug from the left type thing. He had roles in, MURDER MY SWEET, JOHHNY ANGEL, CRACK-UP, BODY AND SOUL, IN THIS CORNER, FORCE OF EVIL, KNOCK ON ANY DOOR, THE SET-UP, TENSION, "M", HI-JACKED, SHADOW ON THE WALL, NO QUESTIONS ASKED, IRON MAN, 99 RIVER STREET, DOWN 3 DARK STREETS, THE NAKED STREET, THE CRUEL TOWER and CHICAGO CONFIDENTIAL. Look close and you will spot Leonard Nimoy as one of the De Corsia henchmen.

Writer, director Blake Edwards does his usual solid work here. The man displays a real feel for noir material.

The d of p was noir regular, George Diskant. His work includes, RIFF-RAFF, DESPERATE, THEY LIVE BY NIGHT, PORT OF NEW YORK, BEWARE MY LOVELY, K.C.C., THE RACKET, BETWEEN MIDNIGHT AND DAWN, THE NARROW MARGIN and ON DANGEROUS GROUND.


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