Requiem for a Heavyweight (Sous-titres français) [Import]
Adapted from Rod Sterling's teleplay, REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT stars Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney and Julie Harris. It tells the story of a prizefighter who eventually falls into theworld of professional wrestling. Muhammad Ali (billed as Cassius Clay) has a small role as a fighter.
This feature version of Rod Serling's memorable teleplay, theatrically released in 1962, was previously produced in 1956 for live television. The grim tale stars Anthony Quinn as a brain-damaged fighter suffering from too many years in the ring yet pushed into another and yet another punishing round by his corrupt manager (Jackie Gleason). Yearning for a life of his own, Quinn's burned-out hitter falls for a shy social worker (Julie Harris), while Gleason's small-timer tries fending off the pressures of truly bad guys who want the money he owes them. Directed by Ralph Nelson (who also made the TV version), this Requiem opens up into a powerful piece of social realism with the undercurrent of a cautionary fable. The characters are almost archetypal, the story never stops moving, the acting is superb (Mickey Rooney is very good as Quinn's reluctant trainer), and the ending is nightmarishly apt. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This film is one of the great forgotten masterpieces. Rarely do you see such depth of emotion as displayed by the three leading characters: Anthony Quinn, Mickey Rooney and Jackie Gleason. This is undoubtedly Quinn's greatest and most poignant performance, he delivers a knock out interpretation of the brain-damaged Mountain Rivera. Make-up and a false nose disguises Quinn's good looks and he resembles a drunken Victor MacLagen here. Mickey Rooney, always seriously underrated, is magnificent as Mountain's assistant. And Jackie Gleason is perfection as the greasy, sleazy manager. The scene of him on the stairwell with Julie Harris is one of the great moments in cinema history. What a movie!
I'm at a loss to explain why this brilliant film is not universally recognized as one of the great movies ever made. The acting is superb, the screenplay gripping and the ending will mesmerize you. A thinking man's flick, to be sure. This is definitely a keeper.
In the case of the moving and powerful "Requiem" (and I agree with the customer who feels that the Jackie Gleason/Julie Harris staircase scene belongs at the top of the all-time list of great movie scenes), the film was obviously released in several different versions.
The confusion begins,in fact, immediately after the staircase scene. There are AT LEAST THREE SCENES from the latter part of the film that are NOT INCLUDED on the DVD:
1.) Gleason's encounter with the vile Ma Greeny in the hallway when he tells her he'd "like to run into her when you're not grafted to that torpedo..." (referring to her big thug/bodyguard).
2.) A lengthy (and painful) scene where Quinn is training to be a wrestler, and the moronic Pirelli (Stan Adams, the only actor to reprise his role from the 1956 TV original version) signals Quinn's wrestling partner to intentionally gouge his bad eye, whereupon Quinn beats the crap out of the guy.....
3.) Gleason's final speech on the rotten world of Prize Fighting which he delivers to the young wanna-be.....
If Serling ultimately wanted these scenes cut, WHY IN THE WORLD were they ot included as EXTRAS??? I have old video copies of late-night, local TV airings of this film that are FAR MORE COMPLETE than this state-of-the-art DVD release.
What a pity---to see such a cool film treated so poorly (the audio is also very low on this disc; I had to jack the TV volume all the way up to get a decent signal).
I purchased this DVD after viewing a portion of the movie on TV - What I saw on TV that made the biggest impression on me, was a scene towards the very end of the movie. Jackie Gleason confronted by the up and coming boxer and his handler gives one of the most powerful speeches of the movie, and some of the most memorable acting I've ever seen. He chides these two for believing that they could be a champion for believing that they'll turn out any different than the Mountain, and rejects their offer to be their manager.
Not only was the speech powerful, the acting superb but also the scene gives insight into the future of Gleason's character. Maish, has learned his lesson, he isn't going to be manager another boxer for 17 year while chasing the ghost of a championship. He is still a bum who betted against his own fighter, but the story goes to great lengths to make Gleason more than just a one-dimensional rotten manager, and this final scene brings that point home.
I don't why these scenes were excluded. Maybe this is the original release version - but then why weren't they included as extras on the DVD? I don't know. I hope that at some point, this movie, with the missing scenes is released on DVD. If it is I will happily buy that version - While this DVD is crisp and clean, while the story is still great and the acting perfect - to know that these other scenes are missing, particularly the one I mentioned, well in this case this DVD isn't enough
- Complete its a 5 stars - incomplete its still great - but I can't help feeling I'm missing an important part of the movie without it including these scenes - so I am giving it 3 stars - to draw attention that something is missing from this movie - and not as a reflection of the movie that is on the DVD which is still great -
Most recent customer reviews
REQUIEM FOR A HEAVYWEIGHT serves as a powerful indictment of the sport of professional boxing. The film is marked by strong performances from some of the best actors available at... Read morePublished on March 21 2004 by Peter Kenney
If the use of the word ï¿½Requiemï¿½ in the title doesnï¿½t give the game away, let me assure you that this superb film is as far removed from the wisecracking... Read morePublished on May 17 2003 by Paul Fogarty
This movie is one of the very few I have seen that I call truly heartwrenching. All of the main characters act out of complicated motives, and no one is wholly bad or good. Read morePublished on March 22 2003
"Requiem for a Heavyweight" is as much a film about boxing as "Taxi Driver" is about cab driving. Gloves are the departure point for the pummeling Anthony Quinn takes as he is... Read morePublished on Jan. 22 2003 by M. Auerbach
'Requiem for a Heavyweight' is not only one of the great forgotten boxing pictures, it's also one of those movies that has almost vanished. Read morePublished on Dec 3 2002 by A. Wolverton