Set among the 'pugs and mugs' of Bourbon Street, New Orleans, this is long on atmosphere but short on credibility. Meeker plays (very well) a boxer who literally runs out on the bout that might have made him a contender. Hounded as a coward, especially by the blind father (Kasznar) of the girl he loves (Caron), he is too proud to explain that, as a child, he suffered a fractured skull at the hands of his drunken father; under the bright lights of the ring, the trauma recurred of schoolmates jeering at his shaven, stitched skull. After a bout with alcohol, he enlists, returning from the war a much-publicised hero. Only Kasznar refuses to relent, until an eye specialist (secretly summoned by Meeker) suggests an operation that might restore his sight. It doesn't, but ('there are various kinds of blindness') does effect a change of heart. Meeker, now a welcome son-in-law, goes on to become champ. Disgorged in clumsy chunks by Art Cohn's script, this farrago becomes much easier to take when leavened by Walsh's ebullient response to the low-life fellowship of the milieu. The jazz score, with Armstrong in good voice and Caron contributing some charmingly quaint honky tonk/ballet routines, is a bonus, too.
Cast and crew