|Index||2 reviews in total|
They played hard and fast with the facts, but I've got no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is all the schmaltz. I'm talking here about corny lines and ham acting, the epitome of the latter being the Carnera character's "Do you know what it's like to be hungry?" soliloquy. Laughable. The musical score was annoying. Why do so many movies these days use tepid strings arrangements? The movie was interesting enough, but still, it was formulaic and uninspired. The characters were shallow, especially Max Baer's, which was really a caricature. I had the feeling they shot this thing in a week and a half, just to get it over with. I had to cringe when Primo proposes to his sweetheart after beating Jack Sharkey for the championship. Ludicrous. They should have stuck a tad bit more to the facts regarding Primo's handlers, and forgone all that schmaltz! To this day, questions linger over Carnera's career, especially as to which of his fights were fixed (if indeed they were) and which weren't (if indeed they weren't). The man in real life was abused by his handlers and his life as a boxer was a lonely one, but you wouldn't know it from this schmaltzy film. They could have explored this aspect of Carnera's life a bit more. Furthermore, Carnera had a full and interesting life after his boxing career ended, and they could have explored this more as well. Instead, Carnera gets short shrift here by his depiction as a one-dimensional character. Okay, one-and-a-half, he gets to throw a couple of tantrums here and there. Yeesh!
Popped up on my library's video shelf this week, and first review sums
it up pretty well. Didn't cost me a nickel, and I still wanted my money
back. Sorry, cheap shot, but no sense going over the sad details again,
when I'm just going to say ditto.
You have to wonder why the film can't live up to Carnera's very interesting real life. His career was mostly notable for suggestions that he was just a marketing gimmick, created to take advantage of a giant with a glass jaw. Early fight victories against bimbos, to earn his title shot, suggested his schedule was put together by mobbed-up management, looking to profit from one last bet on the big fight. That aspect was portrayed best in Bogart's last film, "The Harder They Fall."
I just wanted to add one more juicy rumor, found in Walter Winchell biography (I think it was Gabler's, but not sure). Supposedly, Carnera fooled around with wife of Damon Runyon. Just one of multiple offenders, it seems, but Runyon took it personally and used his connections with Owney Madden to get revenge by setting up big fight in NY, wherein over-matched Carnera got his bell professionally rung.
Difficult to document in real-life history, so the story may be total BS. But to paraphrase a famous philosopher, when the rumor is more interesting than the fact, print the legend. And Carnera's legend is certainly more interesting than any alternate facts presented in this film. Eighty years after he fought, the big guy is once again badly-used by his promoters - this time without any payoff.
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