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Requiem for a Heavyweight

76 customer reviews

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(May 14, 2002)
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Editorial Reviews

Adapted from Rod Sterling's teleplay, REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT stars Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney and Julie Harris. It tells the story of a prizefighter who eventually falls into theworld of professional wrestling. Muhammad Ali (billed as Cassius Clay) has a small role as a fighter.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jackie Gleason, Julie Harris, Anthony Quinn, Mickey Rooney, Stanley Adams
  • Directors: Ralph Nelson
  • Producers: David Susskind
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Spanish, English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 14, 2002
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000063UQP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,234 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Requiem for a Heavyweight" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Lawrence Rapchak on October 23, 2003
Format: DVD
C'mon, guys!!! This is the age of DVD "extra-mania" with every sort of outtake, alternate scene, missing scene, lost scene, director's cut,, etc etc being an ESSENTIAL part of a film's legacy as preserved in the DVD format.
In the case of the moving and powerful "Requiem" (and I agree with the customer who feels that the Jackie Gleason/Julie Harris staircase scene belongs at the top of the all-time list of great movie scenes), the film was obviously released in several different versions.
The confusion begins,in fact, immediately after the staircase scene. There are AT LEAST THREE SCENES from the latter part of the film that are NOT INCLUDED on the DVD:
1.) Gleason's encounter with the vile Ma Greeny in the hallway when he tells her he'd "like to run into her when you're not grafted to that torpedo..." (referring to her big thug/bodyguard).
2.) A lengthy (and painful) scene where Quinn is training to be a wrestler, and the moronic Pirelli (Stan Adams, the only actor to reprise his role from the 1956 TV original version) signals Quinn's wrestling partner to intentionally gouge his bad eye, whereupon Quinn beats the crap out of the guy.....
3.) Gleason's final speech on the rotten world of Prize Fighting which he delivers to the young wanna-be.....
If Serling ultimately wanted these scenes cut, WHY IN THE WORLD were they ot included as EXTRAS??? I have old video copies of late-night, local TV airings of this film that are FAR MORE COMPLETE than this state-of-the-art DVD release.
What a pity---to see such a cool film treated so poorly (the audio is also very low on this disc; I had to jack the TV volume all the way up to get a decent signal).
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Don Cheeseman on October 25, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
(DVD) I agree with Mr. Rapchak. In addition to the missing scenes he outlines, there are other missing scenes near the beginning of the movie. The bar scene after Gleason is worked over by mob muscle; Quinn wandering the street, meeting a down-and-out ex-fighter/boozer and tussling with his boss, broken up by Gleason and Rooney. Quinn trying to get a moving van job...etc. There's no warning on the DVD cover that it does NOT contain the movie Requiem For A Heavyweight but rather selected scenes from the real movie. On the back of the DVD case however there are two pictures from scenes in the movie...they are among the scenes that are NOT included on the DVD. That strikes me as deceptive. I have seen the entire movie on satellite TV and the Columbia/Tri-Star version is a rip off. If you want to see the real Requiem For A Heavyweight then you'll be very disappointed with this butchered version of the movie. Maybe the VHS version will have the complete movie; I don't know.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Candace Scott on March 21, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
I am reviewing the VHS version of this film because the DVD is edited and omits several key scenes. I was bitterly disappointed in the DVD and would not recommend it. However, I enthusiastically recommend the VHS version.
This film is one of the great forgotten masterpieces. Rarely do you see such depth of emotion as displayed by the three leading characters: Anthony Quinn, Mickey Rooney and Jackie Gleason. This is undoubtedly Quinn's greatest and most poignant performance, he delivers a knock out interpretation of the brain-damaged Mountain Rivera. Make-up and a false nose disguises Quinn's good looks and he resembles a drunken Victor MacLagen here. Mickey Rooney, always seriously underrated, is magnificent as Mountain's assistant. And Jackie Gleason is perfection as the greasy, sleazy manager. The scene of him on the stairwell with Julie Harris is one of the great moments in cinema history. What a movie!
I'm at a loss to explain why this brilliant film is not universally recognized as one of the great movies ever made. The acting is superb, the screenplay gripping and the ending will mesmerize you. A thinking man's flick, to be sure. This is definitely a keeper.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ASalm on April 4, 2006
Format: DVD
I love this movie. Although I prefer the orginal TV version because the ending is more upbeat, this is still a powerful film that really does not get its due. Even on DVD. The picture is suberb, having been remastered. BUT this edited version of the film leaves out too much. With a run-time of only 86 mintues, you'd think the dim bulbs behind the DVD would want to "pad" the release with everything they could find. And the scenes they left out are anything but padding. Gleason's speech at the end completes his character. We see that he has been ripped apart by the last 17 years and what he was forced to do to Mountain to save his life. The scene is only 1 minute long. Would it really have been so difficult to include this?

In closing, this is a great, great movie. Rod Serling was the best tv writer of his time -- one of the great writers of all time -- and Requiem is one of his best. I recommend BOTH versions. If the DVD was a complete version of the film with some extras about the film, then it would get my highest recommendation! I was fortunate enough to get this second hand for only $4.99 and still feel let down by what is not included in the release.

The movie is worth watching. Make no mistake. If you've never seen it before, it will rip your guts out. But for long-time fans of the film, this DVD release just doesn't measure up. Great picture and sound. Great viewing experience. Incomplete movie. Here's hoping a future relase will correct the mistakes made on this one. The film deserves it.
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