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The Harder They Fall [DVD] [2003]

Humphrey Bogart , Rod Steiger , Mark Robson    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
Price: £4.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Harder They Fall [DVD] [2003] + Dead Reckoning [DVD] [2003] + In A Lonely Place [DVD] [2003]
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Product details

  • Actors: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling, Mike Lane, Max Baer
  • Directors: Mark Robson
  • Writers: Philip Yordan, Budd Schulberg
  • Producers: Jerry Wald, Philip Yordan
  • Format: Subtitled, PAL
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: Arabic, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish
  • Dubbed: French, German, Italian, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 27 Jan 2003
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007JGKV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,804 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



A movie that proved a fine swansong for Humphrey Bogart, The Harder They Fall is a gripping drama set against a background of fixed boxing matches. Not so much about the fights as the exploitation of the sport, the film is based on a novel by Budd Schulberg, whose Oscar-winning screenplay for On the Waterfront (1954) helped turn Rod Steiger into a star. Here Steiger delivers an equally bravura performance as the chillingly corrupt manager, Nick Benko, a man who will do anything to turn a buck. Bogart meanwhile is outstanding as unemployed sports writer Eddie Willis, hired against his better judgement to promote a no-hope Argentinean boxer, Toro Moreno (Mike Lane).

Powerfully written, if built around the unlikely premise of building a 10th-rate fighter into a world-class contender, the drama is essentially a battle for Willis's soul as he is torn between money and conscience. Though the scenes with Bogart and Steiger facing off are the strongest and a veritable masterclass of hardboiled characterisation, Mark Robson, who also helmed the Kirk Douglas boxing classic Champion (1949), directs with a convincingly dirty realism, the final punishing and bloody match a clear influence on Scorsese's Raging Bull (1980).

On the DVD: The Harder They Fall's anamorphic 1.77:1 transfer is excellent with only one brief scene showing any significant print damage. Burnett Guffey's noir-ish black-and-white cinematography looks sharp and fresh as the day it was shot, with only minimal grain. The mono sound is strong and clear, without a hint of distortion or compression. The only extra is a scored gallery of posters and lobby cards from other Bogart films available on Columbia. There are dubbed versions in French, German, Spanish and Italian, and a plethora of subtitle options. --Gary S Dalkin

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 2 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Mono ), French ( Mono ), German ( Mono ), Italian ( Mono ), Spanish ( Mono ), Arabic ( Subtitles ), Czech ( Subtitles ), Danish ( Subtitles ), Dutch ( Subtitles ), English ( Subtitles ), Finnish ( Subtitles ), French ( Subtitles ), German ( Subtitles ), Greek ( Subtitles ), Hindi ( Subtitles ), Hungarian ( Subtitles ), Italian ( Subtitles ), Norwegian ( Subtitles ), Polish ( Subtitles ), Portuguese ( Subtitles ), Spanish ( Subtitles ), Swedish ( Subtitles ), Turkish ( Subtitles ), ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Black & White, Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Jobless sportswriter Eddie Willis is hired by corrupt fight promoter Nick Benko to promote his current protégé, an unknown Argentinian boxer named Toro Moreno. Although Moreno is a hulking giant, his chances for success are hampered by a powder-puff punch and a glass jaw. Exploiting Willis' reputation for integrity and standing in the boxing community, Benko arranges a series of fixed fights that propel the unsophisticated Moreno to #1 contender for the championship. The reigning champ, the sadistic Buddy Brannen, harbors resentment at the publicity Toro has been receiving and vows to viciously punish him in the ring. Eddie must now decide whether or not to tell the naive Toro the truth. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Cannes Film Festival, Oscar Academy Awards, ...The Harder They Fall (1956)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The pen is mightier than the boxing glove. 25 Nov 2010
By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER
Eddie Willis was once a top sports writer, but now he is down on his luck and searching for work. He gets a proposition from dodgy promoter Nick Benko, he is to write up sensationalist press for Benko's new discovery, the gigantic Toro Moreno. Trouble is is that Moreno is a poor boxer, powder puff punches and a glass jaw. But each fight is fixed by Benko and along with Eddie's press writings, this propels Moreno to being a household name, thus a crack at the heavyweight title is in the offering. However, Eddie starts to feel conflicted the more the story unfolds and just around the corner is a tragedy that will shape the destinies of everyone who is involved.

This was sadly to be the last film from the great Humphrey Bogart. He would pass away the following year, but thankfully this Mark Robson directed piece proves to be a fitting swansong. He puts depth to his portrayal of Willis and his face off scenes with Rod Steiger's Benko are a real acting joy to observe. The film itself {great scripting from Phillip Yordan} is a scathing and critical look at the boxing circuit, corruption, greed and a scant care for human life come bubbling to the surface, with Burnett Guffey's stark black & white photography adding grime to the nasty underbelly. Real life {and one time heavyweight champion of the world} boxer Primo Carnera sued {and lost} Columbia because The Harder They Fall's story was close enough to his own life story, that in itself makes this film's core story all the more interesting. 8/10
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bogart's last film 10 April 2004
This 1956 picture was screen legend Humprhey Bogart's last. Playing a sports journalist Bogart watches the rise and fall of a boxfigther used by unscrepoulous managers and promoters.
Humphrey Bogart plays a great caracther in this picture, very much in the mold of his famous screen persona, but this time with a gentelness that was not always so obvious in other pictures.
Filmed in widescreen with b/w photography, the dvd presents a good copy of the film with lots of subtitles.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The bigger they come- the harder they fall 6 May 2009
By Peter Wade VINE VOICE
I am a fan of film noir. They all seem to have been made in the late forties and early fifties.This is a late one at 1956.

I remember watching these films when I was young and apart from the glossy version of Hollywood this seemed to me a truer depiction of what America was really like in the 1950s. Written by the same writer who did On the Waterfront. It covers the same sort of area, corruption.

We never had hard fhitting films about corruption in Britain so we had to view the US version.

The idea of promoting a poor amateur fighter to become the heavy weight champion of the world by fixing fights is on the first loook a little far fetched but I was reading an article about people who have either won or were runners up in recent reality telvision shows such as X factor. They are taken on by the pormoters get top billing maybe a number one record then are dropped.

It is the same sort of idea. the promotors can almost make anything happen and the public believe anything.

Rod Steiger is great as the crooked promoter and Humphhrey Bogart is remarkable as the down at heel writer who provides all the words and people believe it.

Poor old Toro Moreno from Argentina he has no idea what is going on but Bogart has a conscience in the end.

I am sure it is going on somewhere as we speak. A great film and very realistic.I am not a sports fan but this is one of the best sports films I have ever seen.

Great film unmissable
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Bigger they are....... 7 May 2013
By lycidas
Primo Carnera, a giant heavyweight with nothing but his size to commend him, was naturally upset to discover that a film, loosely based on his career, had been presented to the general public. Mike Lane, a giant strongman, plays the part of the parvenu Toro Moreno 'The Wild Bull of the Andes, who is mercilessly exploited by Rod Steiger. The boxing impressario is fully aware that his protege is totally useless, a massive lump of flesh with a glass jaw. Toro is both physically and mentally thick and doesn't realise that he is being 'taken for a ride'. Humphrey Bogart, the boxing journalist, watches the situation develop, the glitz, the gaudy advertising, and eventually is won over to sympathise with the victim of such a cynical system. Mike Lane is superb as the pitiful heavyweight. The scene where Bogart hands the battered boxer a substantial paypacket instead of the miserable $48.50 which the loser is left with after the leeches have taken their cut, is wonderful. Forget Sylvester Stallone. Mike Lane may be a loser in the ring, but he wins our sympathy with this performance.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Harder they Fall 9 May 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A film I've seen before, but wanted to see again. Two superb actors, Bogart and Steiger make it a classic, revealing professional boxing as a dirty game.
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