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