World in My Corner


1h 22m 1956

Brief Synopsis

A scrappy fighter from Jersey City named Tommy Shea -- "born in a dump, educated in an alley" -- catches the eye of wealthy businessman, Robert Mallinson, who allows him to train at his Long Island estate. Shea soon falls for Mallinson's daughter, Dorothy, but fears he doesn't have the money to support her in proper style. To get this money, Shea decides to work with crooked fight-promoter Harry Cram, even though this means dropping his honest manager, Dave Bernstein. As the big fight approaches, however, Shea begins to have second thoughts.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 1956
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Feb 1956
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
New York, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Synopsis

In a New Jersey boxing arena, Tommy Shea loses a bout but impresses boxing manager Dave Bernstein with his determination and potential. Although Tommy, currently managed by his friend Ray Kacsmerek, is ready to quit the sport in frustration, he refuses to return to the factory where he used to work, and instead accepts Dave's invitation to visit his gym. Dave's "gym" is located in the garage of a Long Island mansion owned by Robert T. Mallinson, the heir to a ball-bearing fortune. Looking for Dave, Tommy wanders into the gym and chats with the boxer inside while admiring the view: Mallinson's daughter, Dorothy, who is lounging by the pool. When Dave then arrives and introduces the boxer as Mallinson, Tommy feels duped and angrily challenges Mallinson to a round in the ring. Tommy easily outfights the older man and, as soon as Dave breaks up the fight, storms out of the garage. He is stopped, however, by Dave, who informs him that Mallinson wants to back him with Dave as his trainer. Tommy cannot refuse the offer, and over the next months tries to make amends by practicing diligently. One day, Ray visits and offers Tommy a position bookmaking for Ray's new boss, mobster Harry Cram, and although he could earn a significant amount of money, Tommy refuses. Part of Tommy's determination to stay at Mallinson's is his growing attraction to Dorothy, who treats Tommy coolly and warns him that his fascination with material goods is meaningless. Dorothy is an aspiring writer whose confidence is battered by repeated rejection letters from publishers. Her father sympathizes with her lack of success patronizingly, after which he spurns Tommy's invitation to his next match. In response, Dorothy urges Tommy to leave before Mallinson can destroy his soul, but Tommy retorts that he must stay close to the money source so some day he can "buy" a woman like her. At Tommy's next fight, Ray brings Cram, who is impressed with Tommy's progress. When he offers to arrange better bouts for the boxer, however, Tommy and Dave agree that they will not work for a gangster. Later, Dorothy worries over Tommy's injured eye and Tommy, realizing she cares for him, drives her to a street overlooking his old neighborhood. Explaining that he was "born in a dump and educated in an alley," Tommy states that he does not feel entitled to Dorothy, and she responds by kissing him. She then reveals that her mother was driven to alcoholism by her father, who then placed her in a sanatorium. Dorothy begs Tommy to take her away, and he promises to earn enough money to do so. With this in mind, he directs Ray to set up a fight, insisting that they remain aboveboard and that Dave be included as his trainer. Ray agrees, but then assures Cram that Tommy will throw the fight, allowing them to make money by betting on his opponent, Al Carelli. Tommy soon discovers the scheme and confronts Cram, vowing to wage a clean fight, after which Cram threatens to shut him out of boxing if he wins the bout. The day of the fight, Dorothy watches from home as Tommy is bested in the beginning rounds. Finally, Dave signals to Tommy to let loose a barrage of punches to Carelli's stomach, and Tommy wins the fight on a decision. Cram fires Ray and has his thugs beat him up, which compels Tommy to take him on as a manager. Soon after, Mallinson spies Tommy and Dorothy kissing, and offers to help Tommy become more refined in order to fit in to Dorothy's world. Dorothy warns Tommy that her father will manipulate him and make him dependent, but Tommy, eager to have the best that money can buy, disregards her words. Over the next weeks, Mallinson installs Tommy in a swank apartment and convinces him, over Dave's dissent, to schedule a rematch with Carelli rather than touring to build his skills. Distressed, Dorothy begs her father not to corrupt and control Tommy, then announces she is leaving both of them. Mallinson counsels Tommy to lure Dorothy back by joining forces with Cram and commanding the highest possible earnings. Tommy agrees, informing Cram that he will throw the next fight in return for a payoff. Mallinson then invites his wife to stay in the mansion in order to entice his daughter to remain, but Dorothy takes her mother and leaves. When Tommy discovers she is gone, he realizes that Mallinson has manipulated him into abandoning his principles, and rushes to Cram to rescind his offer to throw the fight. The day of the fight, Cram sends his men to beat Tommy mercilessly. Ray and Dave find Tommy unconscious, and after reviving him, insist that he cancel the fight. Tommy refuses, although his ribs are broken. During the fight, he musters his last reserves of strength, but is being beaten badly. Fearing for Tommy's life, Dave advises him to punch with his left hand, and Tommy is able to knock out Carelli with one masterful punch. Afterward, however, the doctor declares that Tommy will never fight again. Dorothy, who has attended the fight in secret, searches for Tommy and finally finds him at the overlook. Without turning around, Tommy informs her that he finally understands that material goods are meaningless without someone to share them, and she takes his hand.

Film Details

Release Date
Mar 1956
Premiere Information
New York opening: 17 Feb 1956
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
New York, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 22m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

As noted in studio press materials, the cast and crew of World in My Corner included many figures from the boxing world, including writer Joseph Stone, a former boxing official; fighters Chico Vejar, Art Aragon, Cisco Andrade, Baby Ike and Frank Muche; referees Jimmy Wilson, Mushy Callahan, Frankie Van and Bud Winters; and sportscaster Steve Ellis. According to a June 1955 Hollywood Reporter news item, location filming was done in New York.