The Harder They Fall (1956), 109 minutes
Broke and without work, newspaper reporter Eddie Willis (Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca) agrees to work for the corrupt boxing promoter Nick Benko (Rod Steiger, On The Waterfront) to help hype his new boxer, Toro Moreno (Mike Lane, Frankenstein 1970). While Toro is beastly in appearance, he has no actual boxing talent, and all his fights are fixed. When Toro gets a shot at the title against the brutal Buddy Brannen (Max Baer, Africa Screams), Willis is faced with the tough decision of whether or not to tell Toro that his entire career is a sham.
Director: Mark Robson
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling
Requiem For a Heavyweight (1962), 85 minutes
Over-the-hill heavyweight Louis "Mountain" Rivera (Anthony Quinn) is totally outclassed by the young Cassius Clay (the future Muhammad Ali—playing himself). Although the faith of his trainer (Mickey Rooney) never waivers, Rivera knows that his pro career is over. With few options left open to him, he is convinced by his shady manager (Jackie Gleeson) to become a wrestler. Broken and battered, Rivera must come to terms with life after the bright lights and top billings have faded into memory—and humiliation and betrayal haunt him.
Director: Ralph Nelson
Cast: Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney and Julie Harris