The Harder They Fall (1956)
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An enjoyable film and a great final performance from Bogart.
The Harder They Fall starts with really tense music, and I was wondering what the urgency was all about. Well, this film noir/boxing movie hybrid is extremely suspenseful all the way through, and the opener is priming us for it. In this, Humphrey Bogart's last film, he plays a down-on-his-luck sports writer hired as a press agent by a crooked fight promoter to make a lumbering, talentless, and naive giant a star. So the question becomes: Who is the title referring to? Bogie who has already fallen, rises again and sets himself up for a fall? The promoter sitting on ill-gotten millions? Or the poor fighter, who surely will meet a boxer who won't take a dive at SOME point? And therein lies the tension, the last act replete with moments where you fear for the characters (the ones not part of the mob anyway). Everyone needs money in this picture, but the biggest fight isn't in the boxing ring, it's capitalism vs. integrity. Does the latter even have a chance? In there is a comment about fighting as a sport and how we take care of the people we send into the grinder.
I'm not a very big fan of boxing noir but this one is interesting.
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!