7.8/10
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The Set-Up (1949)

Approved | | Crime, Film-Noir, Sport | 2 April 1949 (USA)
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:

Writers:

(screenplay), (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:
...
...
...
...
...
Gus
...
Red
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Tiger Nelson (as Hal Fieberling)
...
Shanley
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Moore (as Kenny O'Morrison)
...
Luther Hawkins
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Gunboat Johnson
...
Souza
...
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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:

Language:

Release Date:

2 April 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El luchador  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based upon a narrative poem published in 1928 by Joseph Moncure March, who gave up his job as the first managing editor of "The New Yorker" to devote himself to writing. On the strength of it, he went to Hollywood as a screenwriter, remaining there for a dozen years. In 1948 he volunteered to work on this film, but was turned down. He was incensed that his black boxer Pansy Jones was changed into the white Stoker Thompson. See more »

Goofs

When Julie Thompson takes her walk from the gymnasium, she watches Pacific Electric interurban cars as they enter a subway tunnel. Car No. 707 is shown passing twice in a row. See more »

Quotes

Stoker: Yeah, top spot. And I'm just one punch away.
Julie: I remember the first time you told me that. You were just one punch away from the title shot then. Don't you see, Bill, you'll always be just one punch away.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fighters (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Speak Your Heart
(1938) (uncredited)
Music by Allie Wrubel
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User Reviews

 
A Marvelous Example of Film Noir
10 May 1999 | by See all my reviews

This film is a marvelous example of the film noir genre. Directed by Robert Wise, who learned his craft under Val Lewton, the film's settings and lighting, convey the feeling of a 40's boxing scenario - the sweaty neighborhood arena, the seedy hotel, the dark dimly lit streets.

Robert Ryan is simply superb as the washed-up fighter who refuses to compromise his principles and take a dive. Audrey Totter as his long suffering wife and George Tobias as Ryan's handler are excellent too.


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