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The Fighter (1952)

Not Rated | | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport | 23 May 1952 (USA)
In Mexico, a young boxer uses his winnings to buy guns to avenge his family's murder.


Herbert Kline

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Complete credited cast:
Richard Conte ... Felipe Rivera
Vanessa Brown ... Kathy
Lee J. Cobb ... Durango
Frank Silvera ... Paulino
Roberta Haynes ... Nevis
Hugh Sanders ... Roberts
Claire Carleton ... Stella
Martin Garralaga ... Luis Rivera
Argentina Brunetti ... Maria
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr. ... Alvarado
Margarita Padilla Margarita Padilla ... Elba
Paul Fierro Paul Fierro ... Jose
Rico Alaniz ... Carlos
Paul Marion Paul Marion ... Rivas
Robert Wells Robert Wells ... Tex


In Mexico, a young boxer uses his winnings to buy guns to avenge his family's murder.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


JACK LONDON'S bare-knuckled masterpiece of adventure!


Drama | Film-Noir | Sport


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

23 May 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mexican Kid See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Version of Meksikanets (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Mediocre Oddity
10 September 2016 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

Plot-- A peasant rebel fighting against Mexico's government in the early 1900's is separated from the main force and seeks to rejoin them with the 1000 rifles they need. But the only way he can finance the rifles is by returning to the boxing ring.

Oddball movie adapted from a Jack London story. I expect London's version gels better than the film, though the latter does have its moments. Unfortunately, the boxing sequences are typical Hollywood hokum in which blockbuster punches never miss nor is defense ever practiced. I guess that's because missed round-houses and defensive jabbing lack drama while film is expensive. Nonetheless, photographer Howe (and perhaps uncredited Crosby) alternate camera angles in unusual and compelling fashion that keep the viewer interested.

Too bad, IMDb doesn't report where the Mexican scenes were filmed, because the grimy hovels and city streets look authentic as heck. I wish I could say the same for the clumsy exterior backdrops that mar some scenes, but at least they're not over-used. Still, there are several darn near sublime scenes. That's when the camera suddenly drops us behind the lovers sitting seaside. In contrast to the movie's high-key lighting, this is a poetic night world in which the lovers appear to contemplate a noirish eternity that stretches out before them. To me, these are the movie highlights.

As an old movie fan, I'd never heard of this 1952 indie entry. Moreover, I expect it got crushed by the same year's release of Marlon Brando's Viva Zapata. Then too, I expect political lefties like actor Cobb, writer Kandel, and director Kline were drawn to the politically charged material. Unfortunately, for them and maybe the film too, the McCarthy purges of Hollywood lefties was gaining momentum. So likely a cheap indie like this didn't get much distribution, nor do I recall it showing up on a late show in film-conscious LA.

That fine actor Conte manages in the lead role, while Cobb's out-sized presence fits that of a revolutionary leader. Nonetheless, the conflicting sides are made up of stereotypes, right down to the well-scrubbed peasant women and the cruel Federales. All in all, the 70-minutes has an interesting look to it. Yet the parts do shift back and forth erratically, failing ultimately to merge into anything memorable.

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