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Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama, Sport | 16 November 1962 (West Germany)
Mountain Rivera, a punchy has-been managed by the unprincipled Maish, is mauled in a fight and forced to quit boxing. Can his devoted cutman and a sympathetic social worker help him find a ... See full summary »

Director:

Ralph Nelson

Writers:

Rod Serling (teleplay), Rod Serling
Reviews
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Quinn ... Louis 'Mountain' Rivera
Jackie Gleason ... Maish Rennick
Mickey Rooney ... Army
Julie Harris ... Grace Miller
Stanley Adams ... Perelli (as Stan Adams)
Madame Spivy Madame Spivy ... Ma Greeny
Val Avery ... Young fighter's promoter
Herbie Faye ... Charlie, the Bartender
Jack Dempsey ... Self
Barney Ross Barney Ross
Alex Miteff Alex Miteff
Rory Calhoun Rory Calhoun ... Self
Muhammad Ali ... Self (as Cassius Clay)
Gus Lesnevich Gus Lesnevich
Willie Pep Willie Pep
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Storyline

Mountain Rivera, a punchy has-been managed by the unprincipled Maish, is mauled in a fight and forced to quit boxing. Can his devoted cutman and a sympathetic social worker help him find a life outside the ring, or will Maish find a way to exploit him one more time? Written by John Whorfin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Unforgettable Four - From the fiery brilliance of four great stars comes a motion picture of guts and genius in the experience of a lifetime! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sport

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Anthony Quinn did this film when Lawrence of Arabia (1962) went on a two month hiatus between October and December of 1961. The film was released before "Lawrence" came out. See more »

Goofs

Gleason's character is beaten up by goons in the beginning of the movie, but in what is suppose to be the next day, doesn't have a mark on him and is uninjured in any way. See more »

Quotes

Ma Greeny: [to Maish] Take a good look in the mirror and then say goodbye to what you see.
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Alternate Versions

The original theatrical release (@ 102 minutes) includes the following three segments which were removed from the VHS and DVD releases (both of which are approximately 86 minutes):
  • Following the fade on Ma Greeny's reaction shot as Maish is beaten in the boxing ring, there is a seven minute sequence in the hotel bar and adjacent alley: Maish asks Mountain if he has any money stashed away (to pay off Ma Greeny); Mountain recognizes and stops to help a bleeding, drunk fighter in the alley and gets into a fight with his scumbag promoter of illegal matches, which is broken up by Army and Maish, who rejects scumbag's idea of getting Mountain a wrestling career with Pirelli. Scene ends with Maish's clichés about the Three Musketeers and "Til death do us part" that reinforce the illusion that "Nobody jumps anybody in this group!"
  • A 1 minute 43 second transitional sequence after Mountain is rejected for the movie usher job shows him rejected as he tries to get a job on a moving van crew and as a sparring partner for a boxer who's training to fight Clay. Again he starts a fight after the boxer says, "I already got a punching bag!"
  • A 6 minute 27 second sequence after Maish's reaction shot in the stairway following his confrontation with Grace Miller. Pirelli is coaching Mountain in the gym to "make it look real!" Again Mountain starts punching his wrestling partner after his seriously injured eye is intentionally reinjured. Ma Greeny's goon squad warns Maish that he has till tomorrow to come up with the cash. And Ma Greeny tells Maish that "we're cutting out the middleman" and that Pirelli will pay her directly for Mountain's wrestling contract. Maish says, "I wish you weren't a woman," and Ma replies, "Maishy darling, that's the nicest thing anyone ever said to me!"
  • The VHS release adds an additional scene (@ 1 minute 11 seconds) which was cut from both the theatrical and DVD releases. [Since the DVD restores the original sequence at this point, and significantly changes the emotional focus of the ending, the DVD is preferable to the VHS release.] As Mountain ascends (both literally and figuratively) to the wrestling ring, the deleted scene has Maish warning the newbie who wants to sign a boxing contract replacing Mountain to "Go home!" instead of starting a career in which there are only eight champions and everybody else is a loser. The VHS also cuts medium shot in which the referree says, "Come on, Mountain, let's get this show on the road!" and, more significantly, the closeup in which Mountain makes the crucial decision to embrace his humiliation and starts his warwhoop dance around the ring.
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Soundtracks

Avalon
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User Reviews

 
Stark and Realistic
14 March 2005 | by hillariSee all my reviews

A sad, heartbreaking, and somewhat disturbing story. Quinn is totally believable as Mountain Rivera, a boxer who, perhaps, has been in the game too long and finds himself forced out. While his world-weary cut man (Rooney) is protective of him to an extent, his manager (Gleason) only views Rivera as a paycheck. An unemployment agency staff person (Miller) sees something in Rivera that prompts him to go above and beyond the call of duty to help him get a job. All of the leads are extremely good. It appears that most of the film takes place in the dark, highlighting the seamy side of boxing. The only daytime scene is when Rivera visits the unemployment office, and even then, it appears that the place has no windows to see outside. The office is just as closed up and restricted as Rivera's limited choices after his career ends. The actress who portrayed the underworld figure that Rivera's manager has a connection to was appropriately evil and creepy. The very last scene, filled with a sense of finality and resignation, is powerful.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 1962 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Requiem for a Heavyweight See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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