Best Movies by Farr
Requiem for a Heavyweight Poster
Released Runtime Category
1962 86 Drama, Sports Movies
Director Language
Ralph Nelson English
Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney, Julie Harris

Requiem for a Heavyweight

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What's it About

After a bruising bout with knockout artist Cassius Clay, aging heavyweight Mountain Rivera (Quinn) is told by a doctor his fighting career is over; he'll go blind if he gets in the ring again. With the help of kind-hearted social worker Grace (Harris), the boxer gets a break teaching kids at a summer camp, but the gig is sabotaged by Rivera's longtime manager Rennick (Gleason), who wants Mountain to don Indian feathers and play-act in a mob-owned wrestling match.

Why we love it

Nelson's heart-rending adaptation of an Emmy-winning teleplay by "Twilight Zone" maestro Rod Serling really lands in your gut. Quinn's performance as a sympathetically dim-witted palooka is the main attraction, but the cast is full of winners too: Rooney does solid work as Quinn's morale-boosting sidekick, and "East of Eden" star Harris is all heart as Grace. But Gleason scores big points as the grifter who offers Rivera a humiliating comeback to square a bet with some gangsters. This is one of Hollywood's best boxing films, right up there with "Body and Soul" and "Raging Bull."

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"