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The Harder They Fall

4.1 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(r)-Winner* Humphrey Bogart stars in one of his most memorable performances as Eddie Willis, a sportswriter who joins forces with a corrupt boxing promoter named Benko (Rod Steiger). Together, they scheme to deceive Toro Moreno (Mike Lane), a clumsy, seven-foot giant, and the public intobelieving Moreno has a shot at the heavyweight title. Through a carefully arranged series of fixed fights, Toro is duped into believing that he is a capable contender, only to have his dreams - and his huge body - shattered when he is brutally beaten in a genuine fight with the heavyweight champion. Jersey Joe Walcott appears as Moreno's trainer, with former boxing great Max Baer as the heavyweight champ. THE HARDER THEY FALL is an intriguing film in the tradition of Bogart classics.

Special Features

  • Photo Montage
  • Scene Selections

Product Details

  • Actors: Edward Andrews, Max Baer, Michael Lane, Rod Steiger, Humphrey Bogart
  • Directors: Mark Robson
  • Producers: Philip Yordan
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown), Portuguese (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Georgian
  • Dubbed: Portuguese
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    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: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2003
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007G1V8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,099 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Harder They Fall" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 14, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
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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Format: 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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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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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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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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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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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.Read more ›
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