Freitag, 31. Mai 2013

The harder they fall (Robson, 1956)



The has-been columnist Eddie is hired by a boxing racketeer as a press agent, to jumpstart an Argentinian boxer's career through fixed fights. But Eddie gets into a dilemma when he realizes that the boxers are treated like cattle by the racketeers and one opponent dies.

Bogart and Steiger are the highlights of this films - Steiger steals the show in the scenes where he tries to convince Eddie, Eddie's wife or Toro the boxer by being the impassioned salesman. His delivery makes his arguments sound somewhat honest, even though his character has just cooked them up on the fly.

Why the wife is still in the story I didn't understand. I didn't feel her arguments were persuasive and generally the encounters between her and Eddie felt cold and casual. She represents some moral force, but so does Art - Eddie's assistant from the old days, now a TV celebrity - in a much more convincing way. The two characters could have been melted into one to heighten Eddie's conflict.

The happy ending didn't make the film feel noir-ish.

The title sequence is the first one I recall using cut-out style.

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