Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Sports Drama  |   Release Date - Oct 17, 1962 (USA)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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One of the most memorable sports dramas because of its strong character development, Requiem for a Heavyweight is carried by Anthony Quinn as the washed-up boxer Mountain Rivera, and Jackie Gleason as his sleazy manager, Maish Rennick. In the opening scenes, Cassius Clay -- before he became Muhammad Ali -- knocks out Rivera in a stunning fight sequence. Rivera's career is over, and although his trainer Army (Mickey Rooney) and a social worker (Julie Harris) encourage him with vain hopes for an alternate career, the boxer's courage is stronger than his addled senses, a serious barrier to getting any job. Then Rivera's manager Rennick breaks down and tells him he has lost a gambling bet against the fighter and needs him to bail him out -- by becoming a wrestler. The question is, will Rivera take this humiliating path just to save his unethical manager, or will he stick to his scruples and reject the idea?

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Keywords

aging, boxing, career, corruption, dignity, has-been, manager, retirement, social-worker, sports, struggle, training, conflict, employment, forces [military], heavyweight, performer, ring [jewelry]