Academy Award-Winner Humphrey Bogart stars in one of his most memorable performances as Eddie Willis, a sportswriter who joins forces with a corrupt boxing promoter named Benko (Rod Steiger). Together, they scheme to deceive Toro Moreno (Mike Lane), a clumsy, seven-foot giant, and the public into believing Moreno has a shot at the heavyweight title. Through a carefully arranged series of fixed fights, Toro is duped into believing that he is a capable contender, only to have his dreams - and his huge body - shattered when he is brutally beaten in a genuine fight with the heavyweight champion.
Poignant but hard-hitting
- The Harder They Fall review by MD
Poignant because it was Bogie's last film. He was dying of throat cancer but refused to stop, carrying on through the pain - you can sometimes hear it in his voice.
That aside, this is a tough, no-compromises look at the corruption in the boxing industry, and how one sports writer was sucked in but recovered his dignity. You will rarely see a more no-holds-barred portrayal of the viciousness of boxing - both inside and outside the rung. Watch it and weep - and enjoy too.