- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
Fairly diverting stuff. Well paced direction by Woody Van Dyke (except for a stretch of boredom halfway through, featuring Max Baer "singing" and "dancing") and with, as one of the previous reviewers mentioned, a well written screenplay by John Lee Mahin and Eddie Meehan (sounds like a vaudeville act) that not only features snappy, sophisticated dialogue, but also creates some interesting quirks that you don't usually see in boxing movies, like having the most sensitive and vulnerable character in it be a vicious gangster, and actually making you buy it! (It also helps that the gangster is played by the great character actor, Otto Kruger of "High Noon" and "Saboteur" fame.) Also helping this film immensely is Myrna Loy. There aren't too many actresses who could play what is essentially a doormat for an abusive husband and still make you care about her, but Loy is certainly one who can. Maybe it's because she dials down the self pity and dials up the humor and zest in her character of boxer's wife and gangster's moll, Belle Mercer Morgan. And when Baer isn't singing or dancing he's not bad as prizefighter, Steve Morgan. He's certainly not a great or even good actor (although next to Jack Dempsey, playing himself, he's Sir John Gielgud!) but he manages to turn in a credible, at times even touching, performance. Credit Van Dyke for coaxing this out of a non professional. So while it's not in "Raging Bull's" league or even "Somebody Up There Likes Me," for that matter, it's a most watchable hour and forty five minutes. Give it a B. P.S. The final fight scene with two actual pro fighters, Baer and Primo Carnera, is quite realistic.
Did u see Sammy Davis Jr. as an 8 or 9 year old at the very end?
A Film That Needs to Be Seen More Often
- Nancy Thompson-Jones
Now I am not a boxing fan, but to have Max Baer as not only a boxer, but a singing-Romeo [even though it may have been a voice over]. In addition Primo Carnera and Jack Dempsey, were members of the cast. The film itself is notable for having an Academy Award nomination for Best Writing, Original Story and Art Direction. It surprises me that this is not shown more often. The film is touted as a Crime-Romance-Comedy just about covers it all. Such history! I would like to see it shown during times when it is reviewed by Robert Osborne, Ben Mankiewicz or Bill Hader.
The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933)
Appealing classic, well written with an alluring performances from Myrna Loy. It's interesting to Max Baer, shortly before he won his heavyweight boxing title. Good slice of history.