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Directed by John Huston • 1972 • United States
Starring Stacy Keach, Jeff Bridges, Susan Tyrrell
John Huston’s adaptation of the cult novel by Leonard Gardner (who also wrote the screenplay) stands as one of the finest and most achingly human films ever made about the desperate, less-than-glamorous side of boxing. On the down-and-out margins of Stockton, California, washed-up, alcoholic boxer Billy Tully (Stacy Keach) finds himself in limbo between retirement and his youthful prime. Sparring with budding, eighteen-year-old fighter Ernie (Jeff Bridges) inspires Tully to get back in the ring—but as the young man’s career ascends, Tully finds himself battling against his inner demons in his quest to make a comeback.