27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
An acting tour de force!,
This review is from: Requiem for a Heavyweight [VHS] (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.