The Harder They Fall

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3 thoughts on “The Harder They Fall

  1. 19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    A great boxing movie that was also Bogart’s last, July 14, 2002
    By 
    Robert Moore (Chicago, IL USA) –
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    This is far from one of Bogart’s best movies, but it is still well worth watching. In this film, he plays a washed-up sportswriter who has been hired as a PR man for gigantic South American boxer named Toro Morena. The problem is, Morena, despite his immense size, can’t box at all. Bogart and Morena’s crooked owner, magnificently played by Rod Steiger, manage to take him up the heavyweight ranks by fixing a string of fights.

    Of all the sports, none have inspired as many excellent films as boxing. In fact, there may be more first-rate boxing films than first rate films from all other sports combined. There are probably a good dozen very, very good fight films, and this belongs to their number.

    The tension in the film derives from the ultimate conflict between Bogart’s inherent decency and Steiger’s unmitigated exploitativeness. The two had great onscreen chemistry in their scenes together. They employed very different acting styles, Steiger being one of the first Method actors to enjoy success in the movies. Bogart was strictly old school, but he not only held his own, he dominated their scenes together.

    A couple of real life boxers played major roles in the film. Jersey Joe Alcott plays Toro Moreno’s trainer. Toro Moreno himself was very loosely based on the career of Primo Canera (with the difference that Canera actually could box, the similarities being that he was a remarkably tall heavyweight who killed a man in the ring). Max Baer, former heavyweight champion and the father of Max Baer Jr. (Jethro on THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES), plays heavyweight champion Buddy Brannen. The irony in this is that Baer in real life became heavyweight champion by beating Primo Canera. The in-the-ring shots are among the finest that have ever been filmed in boxing pictures.

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  2. 8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Bogart’s Powerful Finale, October 13, 2007
    By 
    Scott T. Rivers (Los Angeles, CA USA) –
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    This review is from: The Harder They Fall (DVD)

    Based on Budd Schulberg’s 1947 novel, “The Harder They Fall” (1956) is a stunning indictment of the boxing profession. The film also marks Humphrey Bogart’s final performance as a former sports writer turned publicist – and he’s in good company. Bogie’s scenes with Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling and Mike Lane (as the giant Argentinian boxer) are truly memorable. Mark Robson’s no-nonsense direction makes the most of Burnett Guffey’s Oscar-nominated cinematography. Unlike other screen legends, Bogart ended his career in classic fashion.

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  3. 8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    BRUTAL FOR IT’S ERA, February 19, 2004
    By 
    Alan W. Armes (Mountain Home, Arkansas USA) –
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    This review is from: The Harder They Fall (DVD)

    absolutely Bogart’s greatest and valedictory performance. Bogart exited this life with his greatest performance. not only was this Bogart’s best but this film also boasts a stellar ensemble of actors. this film dares to explore the criminal racketeering that once plagued the sport of professional boxing. the brutal realistic portrayals given by the actors is unsurpassed. from the intimidating performance by Steiger especially to the moral dilemma of Bogart is no less than incredible. an absolute must and imperative for one’s film library. almost unbearable final fight to watch.

    as for the DVD, some artifacts present but overall a good transfer. the audio is stereo and also good.

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