Harder They Fall [1956]

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Rod Steiger, Jan Sterling, Mike Lane, Max Baer
Genre: Drama, Film-Noir, Sport
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Runtime: 109 minutes

Humphrey Bogart's final screen role was in this 1956 film by Mark Robson (Home of the Brave), about a cynical sportswriter who becomes a press agent and sees firsthand how badly boxers are used and manipulated by crooked managers. The story finds Bogart's character waffling about the ethics surrounding the exploitation of an overrated fighter who will earn money for his handlers in the short term, then be tossed onto the scrap heap. This is a very tough tale written by Budd Schulberg and shot with determined unromanticism; the boxing sequences are among the most striking and violent ever committed to film. Jan Sterling plays Bogart's wife, who watches him vacillate about whether to expose the fight syndicate as a racket. --Tom Keogh

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