THE HARDER THEY FALL
1956, Sony Repertory, 109 min, USA, Dir: Mark Robson

In this adaptation of Budd Schulberg’s bestseller, Humphrey Bogart (in his last role) plays burned-out sportswriter Eddie Willis, hired by a crooked boxing promoter (Rod Steiger) to tout his circus-freak heavyweight as a legit contender (based on the true story of Primo Carnera). Director Mark Robson crafts a fitting finale to Bogart’s legendary career and lands a few devastating blows to the reputation of the "Sweet Science." Also featuring Jan Sterling, Mike Lane, Max Baer, “Jersey” Joe Walcott and Nehemiah Persoff.


FLESH AND FURY
1952, Universal, 83 min, Dir: Joe Pevney

Tony Curtis delivers a knockout performance as a deaf boxer who looks to be easy pickings for a mercenary blonde (Jan Sterling) while a compassionate reporter (Mona Freeman) tries to prevent him from being counted out for good. Bernard Gordon’s crisp script and a solid supporting cast (including the debut of Harry Guardino) bolsters Curtis’ early starring turn.


HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL!
1958, MGM/Cinema Associates, 85 min, USA, Dir: Jack Arnold

“Behind these ‘nice’ school walls – a teacher’s nightmare! A teen-age jungle!” More interested in studying marijuana than mathematics, tough new kid Tony Baker (Russ Tamblyn) makes a beeline for the wrong crowd in this fast-paced exploitation fave. The cast is as wild as the action, with memorable appearances from slumming Hollywood scions Charlie Chaplin, Jr. and John Drew Barrymore, recovering teenage werewolf Michael Landon and the immortal Mamie Van Doren as Tony’s hot-to-trot aunt. Rocker Jerry Lee Lewis sings the classic title song.


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