Directed by Robert Wise • 1949 • United States
Starring Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, George Tobias
In one of his defining performances, Robert Ryan stars as boxer Stoker Thompson, an over-the-hill heavyweight boxer who’s been in the game for twenty years and is sure he’s just one punch away from the big time. This particular night, however, there’s one thing Stoker doesn’t know yet: his manager has set him up to lose in a fight fixed by a ruthless gangster. Robert Wise directs, shaping real-time events into a pungent and unsparing film noir look at the stale-air venues, bloodthirsty fans, ring savagery, and delusional dreams of boxing’s palooka underworld.