This riveting 1947 drama, regarded by many as the greatest boxing movie of all time, centers on a former pugilist who looks back on his life in and out of the ring and realizes that self-respect is a more important prize than winning. John Garfield is Charlie Davis, a former boxing champion who began fighting in order to save himself and his mother from poverty after his father was killed in a mob-related bombing. William Conrad plays Quinn, a veteran boxer-turned-trainer who discovers that Davis has the potential to be a professional fighter. Eager to take on all contenders, Davis eventually defeats the world champion, but winning has cost him more than he bargained for. He falls in with the mob and takes to a life of easy women and plentiful booze, winning easy bouts with second-rate opponents. In the end, Davis realizes the error of his ways -- but is it too late? With all the odds against him, and knowing that the fight has already been fixed, Davis is forced to make the choice between what's expected of him and what he expects of himself. The fight sequences were filmed on roller skates with a hand-held camera, adding a realism that strengthens the film's verisimilitude.
by Don Kaye synopsis