During the Great Depression, the mysterious drifter Chaney befriends the promoter of illegal street fights Speed and they go to New Orleans to make money fighting on the streets. Speed is welcomed by his mistress Gayleen Schoonoverand invites his former partner Poe to team-up with them. Meanwhile Chaney has a love affair with the local Lucy Simpson. Speed has a huge debt with the dangerous loan shark Doty and borrows money to promote the fight of Chaney and the local champion Jim Henry, who is managed by the also promoter. Casey wins the fight, they make a lot of money but Speed is an addicted gambler and loses his share in the dice table. But Doty wants his money back and Speed's only chance is Chaney accepts to bet his own money that he is saving and fight a winner that Gandil brought from Chicago. Will he accept the challenge?Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
According to cinematographer Philip H. Lathrop, more than a few difficulties had to be surmounted in order to shoot on actual sets rather than on a soundstage. Lathrop said: "It's a wholly different type of treatment because you're working on actual sets and you have to invent a lot of different things that you need not do in the studio, where you can remove a wall or have lights above on the scaffolds. But it gets done". See more »
When the Cajun band is playing on the platform by the river, a paddle-wheel steamboat travels by. Though the boat is clearly moving faster than the current and driven by an external power source, its paddle-wheel is not turning. See more »
[Speed is being held hostage by Gandil's thugs]
If things don't work out, who gets to do the job on him?
We take turns.
Uh-uh. This time, I get to do it.
That's right; you ain't won one in a while, have you?
[grins at Jim Henry]
He really cleaned your clock, didn't he?
See more »
Compare Bronson's fighting style with almost any other fight movie like Kirk Douglas in 'Champion' or Stallone in the 'Rocky' series. Bronson slips and ducks his opponent's punches like a real fighter does, putting as much effort into not getting hit as he does hitting the other guy. Any fighter taking the hits that most movie boxers take would be unconscious or dead in a matter of minutes, and even sluggers like Rocky Marciano and George Frazier were constantly moving, never offering a good target.
This depression era movie is similar in flavor to the Lee Marvin Ernest Borgnine vehicle 'Emperor of The North'. Both movies have unsentimental, tough, taciturn heroes who communicate more with glances and gestures.
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