The Set-Up

  • Film
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One for the Ten Best lists. This is the boxing movie to lick all others, with Ryan impeccable as the ageing fighter gearing up for a bout he's expected to lose; Audrey Totter leaving him because she can't stand the mental and physical battering of the fight business, wandering the streets amid snatches of ringside radio commentary; and an invading sense of desolation the result. Great blue moments in black-and-white from a director whose early work is still outstanding: the film burns with the humanity that Raging Bull never quite achieves, an expression of masochism mixed with futile pride that is the essence of boxing as a movie myth.

Release details

Duration: 72 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Robert Wise
Screenwriter: Art Cohn
Cast: Robert Ryan
Audrey Totter
George Tobias
Alan Baxter
Wallace Ford
Percy Helton
Darryl Hickman
James Edwards

Average User Rating

5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:1
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
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Leona Luk

While I cannot give such a superlative review as Time Out, this is still no doubt another great film from Robert Wise. What struck me more than Ryan's hope and Totter's sadness was James Edwards as Luther Hawkins - a black fighter who is seen as a human being. There's probably something for everyone in this film, something that will touch everyone. I think that speaks to the greatness of the film.

Leona Luk

While I cannot give such a superlative review as Time Out, this is still no doubt another great film from Robert Wise. What struck me more than Ryan's hope and Totter's sadness was James Edwards as Luther Hawkins - a black fighter who is seen as a human being. There's probably something for everyone in this film, something that will touch everyone. I think that speaks to the greatness of the film.