THE HARDER THEY FALL (1956)
An obviously ailing Humphrey Bogart made his final screen appearance in The Harder They Fall. Adapted from a novel by Budd Schulberg, the film is a thinly disguised a clef account of the Primo Carnera boxing scandal. Bogart is cast as unemployed newspaperman Eddie Willis, who sells his soul down the river when he signs on as press agent for slimy fight manager Nick Benko (Rod Steiger). It is Willis’ job to stir up publicity for Benko’s newest protégé, Argentinian boxer Toro Moreno (Mike Lane). In this noir sports melodrama, which is his final screen role, Bogart gives a powerful performance. The character of Eddie Willis is based upon the career of writer and event promoter Harold Conrad. Primo Carnera unsuccessfully sued the film’s makers, claiming it damaged his reputation for implying that he was involved in fixed fights. Carnera’s career is one of the biggest mysteries in boxing, as many of the sport’s historians believe that, without Carnera’s knowledge, his managers paid most of his opponents to throw their fights. I’ll tell you what I could not find the trailer so you can watch the whole movie.