There are a number of elements in Right Cross that add interest to what otherwise is a fairly routine telling of a story. Although it is a boxing film, Cross manages to trip up some of one's expectations: for example, unlike in most films of this sort, our hero doesn't emerge victorious from his big fight. Also, while the pugilist is of Hispanic background and talks about the prejudice he endures, most of what he experiences is actually a fear of and paranoia concerning that possible prejudice. Cross deserves points for including these and other unusual elements in its story; it's too bad that it didn't go further and make its romance-in-the-ring story into something surprising all the way through. As it is, there's still too much that's familiar from other movies. John Sturges' direction, however, is solid and more than capable, and he does very well with his cast. Ricardo Montalban looks quite believable as the fighter, and his performance has some pleasing shades to it. June Allyson does well as the love interest-slash-manager, and Dick Powell plays his essentially supporting part quite well. Lionel Barrymore is dependable, and the denizens of the ring are all appropriately colorful.
by Craig Butler review