7.5/10
6,261
75 user 40 critic

The Harder They Fall (1956)

Passed | | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport | 31 March 1956 (USA)
Down-on-his-luck ex-sportswriter Eddie Willis is hired by shady fight promoter Nick Benko to promote his latest find, an unknown but easily exploitable phenom from Argentina.

Director:

Mark Robson

Writers:

Philip Yordan (screen play), Budd Schulberg (based on a novel by)
Reviews
Popularity
4,197 ( 4,901)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Humphrey Bogart ... Eddie Willis
Rod Steiger ... Nick Benko
Jan Sterling ... Beth Willis
Mike Lane ... Toro Moreno
Max Baer ... Buddy Brannen
Jersey Joe Walcott Jersey Joe Walcott ... George
Edward Andrews ... Jim Weyerhause
Harold J. Stone ... Art Leavitt
Carlos Montalbán Carlos Montalbán ... Luís Agrandi (as Carlos Montalban)
Nehemiah Persoff ... Leo
Felice Orlandi ... Vince Fawcett
Herbie Faye ... Max
Rusty Lane ... Danny McKeogh
Jack Albertson ... Pop
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Storyline

After 17 years as a recognized and respected sports journalist in New York City, Eddie Willis finds himself out of a job when his newspaper folds. He's approached by a major fight promoter, Nick Benko, to act as a public relations man for his new heavyweight fighter Toro Moreno. Eddie knows the how the fight game works and after watching Toro in the ring, realizes Toro is nothing but a stiff who has no hope of succeeding. Benko offers him a sizable salary and an unlimited expense account and given his financial situation, he agrees. Benko's strategy to make money is one that has been used time again. Starting in California and moving east, they arrange a series of fights for Toro with stiffs and has-beens. All of the fights are rigged to build up his record and get him a fight with the heavyweight champion, Buddy Brannen, where they will make a sizable profit at the gate. Along the way, one boxer gets killed in the ring and Eddie begins to have serious doubts about what he is doing. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

No Punches Pulled! If you thought "On The Waterfront" hit hard... wait till you see this one!


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

31 March 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La caída de un ídolo See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,350,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is based on a novel by Budd Schulberg of the same name. See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence Eddie gets into a taxi in front of Peter Cooper Village near East 14th Street, but the rear view of the cab has it located by a housing project near the Brooklyn Bridge about 2 miles south. See more »

Quotes

Nick Benko: The people, Eddie, the people! Don't tell me about the people, Eddie. The people sit in front of their little TVs with their bellies full of beer and fall asleep. What do the people know, Eddie? Don't tell me about the people, Eddie!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Facing the Past (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Although Ill, Bogey Could Still Carry A Film
30 September 2006 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This was an interesting story but not always enjoyable to watch, simply because it's a real downer in spots, and seeing an ill Humphrey Bogart was sad.

Bogart, as "Eddie Willis," plays a decent guy who knows he's doing the wrong thing so he's ornery for most of the film. His conscience is getting the best of him. Not many others in here are happy, either, for that matter, in this tale of crooked boxing. Boy, filmmakers in the '40s and '50s loved making crooked boxing stories.

What's also different about this is the featured boxer: a 6-foot-8 Argentinian import named "Toro Moreno" (Mike Lane), a stiff who is being groomed for the heavyweight championship via a series of fixed fights, led by the crooked promoter played by Rod Steiger.

Along the way, it was interesting to see real-life fighters Max Baer and Jersey Joe Walcott.

Bogart died a little a little over a year after making this film. He looked haggard, which is understandable, but he still did his normal excellent job of acting and keeping the story interesting. Like him or not, Bogart always got your interest. He, along with James Cagney, were the best at dominating a film.

A decent boxing film, but nothing spectacular, to be honest. There are many, many better boxing movies, but this is still worth watching.


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