7.8/10
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73 user 42 critic

The Set-Up (1949)

Because aging boxer Bill Thompson always lost his past fights, his corrupt manager, without telling Thompson, takes bribes from a betting gangster, to ensure Thompson's pre-arranged dive-loss in the next match.

Director:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Art Cohn (screenplay), Joseph Moncure March (from the poem by)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Ryan ... Stoker
Audrey Totter ... Julie
George Tobias ... Tiny
Alan Baxter ... Little Boy
Wallace Ford ... Gus
Percy Helton ... Red
Hal Baylor ... Tiger Nelson (as Hal Fieberling)
Darryl Hickman ... Shanley
Kevin O'Morrison ... Moore (as Kenny O'Morrison)
James Edwards ... Luther Hawkins
David Clarke ... Gunboat Johnson
Phillip Pine ... Souza
Edwin Max ... Danny
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Storyline

Over-the-hill boxer Bill 'Stoker' Thompson insists he can still win, though his sexy wife Julie pleads with him to quit. But his manager Tiny is so confident he will lose, he takes money for a "dive" from tough gambler Little Boy...without bothering to tell Stoker. Tension builds as Stoker hopes to "take" Tiger Nelson, unaware of what will happen to him if he does. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Sensational Picture You've Been Hearing and Reading About! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Film-Noir | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 April 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El luchador See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Wise wanted to remain faithful to the original poem The Set-Up was based on and he was keen on casting Canada Lee, a former boxer turned actor who previously appeared in Body and Soul (1947). RKO vetoed the idea since at that point a black actor never played the lead in major Hollywood film. See more »

Goofs

When Stoker is laying on the dressing room table after the fight, the position of Gus's "Love" magazine, located above Stoker's head, changes from the medium shot to the closeup. See more »

Quotes

Stoker: Well, that's the way it is. You're a fighter, you gotta fight.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Film Noir: Bringing Darkness to Light (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Sidewalk Boogie
(uncredited)
Music by Roy Webb
See more »

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User Reviews

 
gritty and well-acted
8 February 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

I love Robert Ryan films. Whether playing a scum bag or a hero, his gritty and realistic performances have always impressed me. One of his better films is this boxing flick. Ryan is an old washed-up boxer who is expected to take a dive. Through much of the film, you really don't know what he will do--throw the fight or try to salvage some of his dignity. And, I gotta say that the boxing scenes are brutal and realistic--it really HURTS to watch the fight. If you like the films THE HARDER THEY FALL or REQUIEM TO A HEAVYWEIGHT, then is this movie for you! In fact, try watching all three to get a look at the less glamorous and seedy side of boxing.


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