Harder They Fall

Harder They Fall

Director: Mark Robson Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling

VHS

Overview

An obviously ailing Humphrey Bogart made his final screen appearance in The Harder They Fall. Adapted from a novel by Budd Schulberg, the film is a thinly disguised a clef account of the Primo Carnera boxing scandal. Bogart is cast as unemployed newspaperman Eddie Willis, who sells his soul down the river when he signs on as press agent for slimy fight manager Nick Benko (Rod Steiger). It is Willis' job to stir up publicity for Benko's newest protégé, Argentinian boxer Toro Moreno (Mike Lane). Benko's boy quickly rises to the top of his profession, though everybody but Toro knows that all the fights have been fixed. Upon learning that Benko intends to bilk Toro of his earnings, Willis regains his integrity, tells the wide-eyed young pugilist the truth, then sits down to write a searing expose of the fight racket. Jan Sterling costars as Willis' estranged wife, while real-life boxers Jersey Joe Walcott and Max Baer are suitably cast as Toro's trainer and ring opponent, respectively. There is also a heartbreaking cameo appearance by ex-fighter Joe Greb, cast as a punchdrunk skid row bum. The Harder They Fall originally went out with two different endings: in one, Eddie Willis demanded that boxing be banned altogether, while in the other, Willis merely insisted that there be a federal investigation of the prizefighting business. The videotape version contains the "harder" denouement, while most TV prints end with the "softer" message.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/23/1994
UPC: 0043396600102
Original Release: 1956
Rating: NR
Source: Sony Pictures

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Humphrey Bogart Eddie Willis
Rod Steiger Nick Benko
Jan Sterling Beth Willis
Mike Lane Toro Moreno
Max Baer Buddy Brannen
Edward Andrews Jim Weyerhause
Jersey Joe Walcott George
Harold J. Stone Art Leavitt
Carlos Montalban Luis Agrandi
Nehemiah Persoff Leo
Felice Orlandi Vince Fawcett
Herbie Faye Max
Rusty Lane Danny McKeogh
Jack Albertson Pop
Val Avery Frank
Tommy Herman Tommy
Vinnie de Carlo Joey
Pat Comiskey Gus Dundee
Matt Murphy Sailor Rigazzo
Abel Fernandez Chief Firebird
Marian Carr Alice
Patricia Dane Shirley
Diana Mumby Actor
Ralph Gamble Actor
Mark Scott Actor
Joe Herrera Actor
J. Lewis Smith Brannen's Manager
Everett Glass Minister
William Roerick Lawyer
Lillian Culver Mrs Harding
Jack Daly Reporter
Richard Norris Reporter
Don Kohler Reporter
Charles Tannen Reporter
Russ Whiteman Reporter
Mort Mills Reporter
Stafford Repp Reporter
Sandy Sanders Reporter
Emily Belser Reporter
Elaine Edwards Vince's Girl Friend
Tina Carver Mrs. Benko
Paul H. Frees Priest
Frank S. Hagney Referee
Tony Blankley Benko's Son

Technical Credits
Mark Robson Director
Clay Campbell Makeup
William Flannery Art Director
Hugo W. Friedhofer Score Composer
Burnett Guffey Cinematographer
William Kiernan Art Director,Set Decoration/Design
Lionel Newman Musical Direction/Supervision
Jerome Thoms Editor
Philip Yordan Producer,Screenwriter

Customer Reviews

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The Harder They Fall 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, I have been awaiting the release of the DVD version of ''The Harder They Fall'' for years, and here it is! Since this DVD has yet to be released, this review is based on the version shown on premium TV networks. Without a doubt, this film is grittier than any boxing film ever made, and I feel it is very underrated. However, the dramatic and powerful nature of this film should appeal to anyone not even interested in the sport. This is hardly a corny, ''Rocky''-type formulated film. Simply put: Excellent performances all the way around with no lags in the plot. One of the film's outstanding effects is the sound of the punches landed, which is yet another underrated aspect of this movie. The filmaker's intent here will hit you in the gut, and despite the film's age it's an effect that still works to this day. Rather than reveal the plot, I will say this film can be watched over and over through the years. If the climatic scene and its aftermath don't leave you both sad and angry, you haven't watched this film too closely. It's a great study in the politics of boxing as written ¿ and no doubt personally experienced ¿ by an insider, and it still holds its own to this day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was about the boxer, Primo Canerra. They changed the name is all. THe scene where Jersey Joe Walcott shows him for the bum he is, is truly a powerful and heart rending bit of cinema. The acting, direction, and story, A+. I rate it with another favorite, ''All the Kings men'' for excellent verbal exchanges.