THE HARDER THEY FALL (1956) B/W widescreen 109m dir: Mark Robson
w/Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling, Mike Lane, Max Baer, Jersey Joe Walcott, Edward Andrews, Harold J. Stone, Carlos Montalban, Nehemiah Persoff, Pat Comisky
From The Movie Guide: "One of the most scathing indictments of professional boxing ever committed to film, THE HARDER THEY FALL presents Humphrey Bogart as Eddie Willis, a once-scrupulous sports writer, now working for Nick Benko (Rod Steiger), a shady mob-connected promoter. Eddie is handling the publicity for Benko's new find, Toro Moreno (Mike Lane), a giant Argentine boxer with a powder-puff punch and a glass jaw. But Benko fixes one fight after another and soon the towering heavyweight, who thinks he's doing it on his own, faces Gus Dundee (Pat Comisky), a top contender who was so battered by the current champ, Budd Brannen (one-time heavyweight title holder Max Baer), that even Toro's feeble punches are enough to bring about a brain hemorrhage that kills him. This is the beginning of a moral crisis for Eddie.
"Scripted by producer Philip Yordan from the novel by Budd Schulberg, THE HARDER THEY FALL was similar enough to the real-life story of heavyweight Primo Carnera (who lost his title to Baer) that he sued Columbia. Nothing about it is pretty, with director Mark Robson (who'd already helmed the powerful CHAMPION) moving the story along at a frenetic pace and Burnett Guffey's stark black-and-white photography lending a grim feel to the movie. All of the performers are excellent, especially Bogart, in what would be his final screen appearance."