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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great boxing movie that was also Bogart's last
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...
Published on July 14, 2002 by Robert Moore

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars if you're looking for fun and moral certitude, go home
Fantastically, brilliantly, wildly uneven: This film lurches around with more fits and starts than the Brown Bull's punching style. "The Harder They Fall" is at its heart a sports movie, the classic tale of the underdog going for the gold; be warned that far too much time is spent in the boxing ring. Yet what renders this movie special are Humphrey Bogart's soulful,...
Published 12 months ago by esplicito con beige


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24 of 26 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
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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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogart's Powerful Finale, October 13, 2007
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRUTAL FOR IT'S ERA, February 19, 2004
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Alan W. Armes (Mountain Home, Arkansas USA) - See all my reviews
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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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Harder They Fall, June 26, 2007
This review is from: The Harder They Fall (DVD)
An ailing Bogart made his final appearance in Mark Robson's raw, hard-hitting film about corruption in the boxing world, playing a jaded press agent with a biting conscience. Steiger is in top form playing the ferocious ringleader of fraudulent bettors, and Mike Lane, as dim-witted, cruelly manipulated boxer Toro Moreno (modeled after Primo Carnero) is poignant and credible. Adapted from Budd Schulberg's novel, "Fall" spares nothing in portraying the unquenchable greed of local promoters, the rabidity of fans, and the heartbreaking physical toll the sport takes on the bodies of men who are barely regarded as human.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Great Film, April 25, 2007
This review is from: The Harder They Fall (DVD)
I was pleasantly surprised to catch this film on TV the other day. Bogart's final film is a testament to his career, a tough film about a conflicted man who ultimately rises to the challenge and pursues the morally virtuous course, at great personal, professional, and financial cost.

In addition to Bogart's fantastic performance, Rod Steiger chews the scenery nicely as a corrupt manager. Their scenes together are really well done, and very well written. I particularly enjoyed the scene after the big fight where Bogart presses to find out how much their fighter will ultimately wind up for getting so badly beaten in the ring.

But for me I truly enjoyed Mike Lane's performance as the up and coming Argentinian fighter El Toro, who is huge, honest, religious, but unfortunately a terrible fighter. His performance is precious.

Highly recommended.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogart's Final Film, January 3, 2007
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This review is from: The Harder They Fall (DVD)
The Harder they Fall is a hard hitting expose of the boxing racket, and a racket it is. Excellent performances by Humphrey Bogart, as a Sportwriter turned Boxing Press Agent,Rod Steiger, Edward Andrews, Nehemiah Persoff, and the always great ( and underrated ) Jan Sterling. An Excellent Screenplay by Philip Yordan, from a Budd Schulberg Novel. Mark Robson's Direction is swift. ***** Stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogie's last film may have been his best, August 23, 2010
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This review is from: The Harder They Fall (DVD)
This bleak but realistic film about the netherworld of professional boxing is one of the best sports dramas that Hollywood ever produced. Humphrey Bogart, of course, is the centerpiece of the story and he's at his best as the cagey, jaded sports reporter who covers a heavyweight contender and knows he's a phony but nevertheless promotes him for box-office profits. The fighter, perhaps a take on Primo Carnera, is manipulated by a greedy manager and his underworld hoodlums who know full well that Toro Moreno has no business in a boxing ring. The camerawork is gritty and the picture has the look of grainy 1950s newsreels which add the the credibility of the movie. Rod Steiger and Nehemiah Persoff are great and Mark Robson's direction was excellent. Especially touching and tragic is an interview with a former boxer whose brains got scrambled from years of ring combat. A very powerful film and a great coda to Bogart's wonderful career.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars if you're looking for fun and moral certitude, go home, June 25, 2013
This review is from: The Harder They Fall (DVD)
Fantastically, brilliantly, wildly uneven: This film lurches around with more fits and starts than the Brown Bull's punching style. "The Harder They Fall" is at its heart a sports movie, the classic tale of the underdog going for the gold; be warned that far too much time is spent in the boxing ring. Yet what renders this movie special are Humphrey Bogart's soulful, tortured eyes, and his journey-- common to every Humphrey Bogart movie, I think-- towards a conscience. In general a woman, often his wife Lauren Bacall, is responsible for the transformation, but in this case we a have seven-foot tall Argentinian pugilist who arrives in the U.S. with only his rosary beads, his ingenuity and about two words of English. We often see the 1950s in rosy retrospect, as a sort of decade-long version of "Pleasantville," but as this movie reminds us, the era was imbued with as much terror and moral confusion as our own. I also think that 1940s and 50s films provide far less facile answers than more modern movies like "Avengers" and "Iron Man III." Bogart is absolutely mesmerizing, but if you're looking for brainless fun or moral certitude you won't find it here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Total Eclipse Seller, May 28, 2013
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This review is from: The Harder They Fall (DVD)
I bought this movie for my Accountant who's father is in the movie with Bogart. The cd is in excellent, new condition. It was shipped quickly. I am very pleased with this seller. The price was 30 bucks cheaper than Amazon's price. I recommend buying from them. My CPA was brought to tears in receiving the movie. He has no video footage of his Dad who has been deceased for 30 yrs. It was a priceless moment indeed. Grateful to the Seller for the speedy response. He even put it in a padded envelope to assure it's safe delivery. Great service!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bogey's Final Role Is A Gem., December 12, 2011
By 
Anthony Accordino (Massapequa Park, New York United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Harder They Fall (DVD)
I remember back in the day when my father would talk about all the great prize fighters of the past, and when he introduced me to this movie on the late show on CBS, before the era of 24 hour cable TV , I knew all the characters, who were portrayed in this epic Gangster/Prizefighting flick. The movie is based on the life of heavyweight champion Primo Carnera , who in his day, was a giant of a man at 6' 7" and 250 pounds. The problem, is Primo had little fighting skill, and many of his matches were framed, unknown to Primo, who thought he was actually winning those fights on his own. Along comes Max Baer who would have nothing to do with taking a dive for the sake of the mob, and administered a brutal beating on Primo to take the heavyweight crown. With primitive fighting skills, he fought bravely with the heart of a lion, trying to defend himself, by actually landing some leather of his own, but in the end, it was one of the saddest day's in boxing history. Having said all that, the movie is based on his life, with the main character boxer Toro Marino, who is taken to the top of the boxing world by unscrupulous mobsters who stole his earnings, and threw him to the streets in the end. Humphrey Bogart plays a boxing beat reporter who worked along with the mob, and aided in the false promotion of this make believe giant of a boxer, and in the end, did the right thing for this abused soul, that almost gives you a lump in your throat. Heavyweight champ Max Baer actually played the role of himself, under a different name for the movie script. This is an intense movie about evil and good, and a classic not to be missed. In real life, Primo left the boxing world broke, but became very successful in the world of professional wrestling and raised a family in california. He stated, the happiest day of his life, is when he became an American citizen. Known as the "Ambling Alp", Primo proved to be a model human being, loaded with kindness for all, which is more than can be said, for the real life mobsters who controlled the boxing game in the 30's, 40's and 50's.
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The Harder They Fall
The Harder They Fall by Mark Robson (DVD)
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