Classic Movie Reviews

Requiem for-Heavyweight


Six years before it became a motion picture, Requiem for a Heavyweight was written as a teleplay by Rod Serling (of "Twilight Zone" fame) and was aired on "Playhouse 90," one of several broadcasters of quality TV dramas at that time. (Sadly, that era ended as TV devolved into its present state.) Ralph Nelson also directed the television presentation. Serling later said that Requiem was his favorite of all his productions. In the TV version, Jack Palance played the part filled by Anthony Quinn in the film, Keenan Wynn played the manager and Wynn's father, Ed, played Mickey Rooney's part. The teleplay won a prestigious Peabody Award and an Emmy. The BBC later produced a British edition of the teleplay, with Sean Connery as the boxer (five years before James Bond), and The Netherlands also did their own TV version.

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There have been a relative few movies that had something important to say and said it in a profoundly moving way, becoming classics. These are movies worth seeing more than once. Some of these are identified and described on this and the following pages

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A dark tale of the modern gladiators in the boxing and wrestling rings. Anthony Quinn gives one of his best performances as a one- time promising heavyweight contender who is now past his prime and running out of options. Jackie Gleason is convincingly detestable as Quinn's manager who betrays him. Mickey Rooney is solid as the trainer who, unlike the manager, actually cares what happens to the man who was the source of his income for many years. The ending exemplifies the truth that sometimes living can be more of a tragedy than dying. Adapted for the screen by Rod Serling, from his original teleplay.

1962, Directed by Ralph Nelson

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  Complete List of all the Movie Reviews:

A Face in the Crowd     
The African Queen       All Quiet on the Western Front    The Apartment    Bambi    Ben Hur    
The Best Years of Our Lives 

Bugsy Malone    Cabaret    The Caine Mutiny    Casablanca    Chicago    The Defiant Ones     Doctor Strangelove 

Double Indemnity
    El Cid    Elmer Gantry    Fantasia    Fiddler on the Roof    For Whom the Bell Tolls  

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

From Here To Eternity
    Funny Girl    Glory    Go For Broke    The Grapes of Wrath    Hamlet    

The Iceman Cometh   Inherit the Wind    It’s a Wonderful Life    Jesus Christ Superstar    Judgment at Nuremburg    

Julius Caesar    Key Largo Lawrence of Arabia    The Learning Tree    The List of Adrian Messenger     Little Big Man

My Fair Lady
The Neverending Story    North by Northwest    The Owl and the Pussycat    Porgy and Bess    

Pride of the Yankees
   The Producers    Purlie    Quo Vadis    The Red Badge of Courage    Requiem for a Heavyweight    

Rhapsody in Blue
     The Sand Pebbles    The Sea Wolf    Seven Samurai    Ship of Fools    Some Like It Hot   

The Sound of Music    South Pacific   Spartacus    The Spirit of St. Louis    Stalag 17    

Sunset Boulevard

To Kill a Mockingbird      The Treasure of the Sierra Madre       Twelve Angry Men       Twelve O’Clock High    

2001 A Space Odyssey    The Victors     Victor Victoria   Watership Down     West Side Story    

The Wizard of Oz
    Yankee Doodle Dandy  

The Yearling

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