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Gladiator (1992)

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Tommy Riley has moved with his dad to Chicago from a 'nice place'. He keeps to himself, goes to school. However, after a street fight he is noticed and quickly falls into the world of illegal underground boxing - where punches can kill.

Director:

Rowdy Herrington

Writers:

Djordje Milicevic (story), Robert Mark Kamen (story) (as Robert Kamen) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Marshall ... Tommy Riley
Richard Lexsee ... Father in Park
T.E. Russell ... Spits
Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Abraham Lincoln Haines
Tab Baker Tab Baker ... Storm Trooper
Dwain A. Perry ... Storm Trooper
Joan Schwenk Joan Schwenk ... Secretary
Raul Salinas Raul Salinas ... Teen in Classroom
Marctwaine Nettles-Bey Marctwaine Nettles-Bey ... Teen in Classroom
Derek Anunciation Derek Anunciation ... Teen in Classroom
Cara Buono ... Dawn
Francesca P. Roberts ... Miss Higgins
Emily Marie Hooper Emily Marie Hooper ... Belinda
Jon Seda ... Romano
Lance Slaughter Lance Slaughter ... Shortcut
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Storyline

A story of two teenagers trapped in the world of illegal underground boxing. One is fighting to save his fathers life and using the money pay off gambling debts accumulated by his father. The second is fighting for the money to get out of the ghettos. While being exploited by a boxing promoter the two teens become friends. An explosive ending puts the two friends in the ring against each other in a fight for survival. Written by Joe Miller <joe938216@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody owns Tommy Riley. Nobody. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Fäuste - Du mußt um Dein Recht kämpfen See more »

Filming Locations:

British Columbia, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,223,441
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Trailers and TV spots gave James Marshall an "introducing" credit, despite the fact that he had several acting credits to his name, notably his role as James Hurley on Twin Peaks (1990). See more »

Goofs

When Riley punches Horn on the top of the head Horn says the skull is the hardest bone in the body. Actually the Femur (thigh bone) is! See more »

Quotes

Lincoln: Poverty is a black disease.
Tommy Riley: Not just.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Good Wife: Targets (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Rico Suave
Written by Gerardo Mejía (as Gerardo) & Christian Warren
Performed by Gerardo Mejía (as Gerardo)
Courtesy of Interscope Records/East West Records America
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Underrated Effort In The Boxing Film Cannon
26 February 2017 | by zkonedogSee all my reviews

Type "Gladiator" into any search engine for movies, and you'll get pages and pages of Russell Crowe's gladiator epic. Yet, at the bottom of those lists, you may just find this little gem that you've never heard of. If you are a fan of pugilistic big-screen experiences, this is one that at the very least will keep you entertained.

For a basic plot summary, "Gladiator" tells the story of Tommy Riley (James Marshall), a white teenage youngster who (via parental circumstances) is moved into an all-black school and neighborhood. After having enough of the constant bullying and needing money badly, Tommy is recruited into a shady boxing circuit by Pappy Jack (Robert Loggia). After befriending similar hard-luck case Lincoln Haines (Cuba Gooding Jr.), Tommy runs headlong into "big boss" Jimmy Horn (Brian Dennehy) when a huge conflict of interest rises between them.

"Gladiator", in terms of themes, is about as simple a movie as ever was made. I remember watching it off television as a kid and even then being about to follow the themes. While that simplicity keeps it from being a classic, it also makes sure that the movie ages pretty well. Whether you watching this movie in theaters in 1992 or on your flat-screen in 2014, it plays pretty much the same.

Perhaps what shines most from this movie, though, is the performance by Brian Dennehy. That is what I remembered most from the original viewing and what drew me towards finding it again. Along the way, though, I noticed great performances from Gooding Jr. and Ossie Davis as well.

If you are not a fan of boxing movies, I would say you can probably skip this one, as without an appreciate of the boxing-related themes the rest of the narrative will be a bit too simplistic to hold your interest. If you love the "sweet science", though, this one will at least entertain you with some drama and adversity themes.


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