The Set-Up | Chicago Reader

The Set-Up

A pungent noir from 1949, with Robert Ryan as an aging boxer whose manager has arranged for him to throw a fight and noir axiom Audrey Totter as the boxer's girlfriend, who's getting fed up with the grim life he leads. Screenwriter Art Cohn improbably adapted a book-length narrative poem by Joseph Moncure March (whose verse also inspired James Ivory's 1974 feature The Wild Party), and Robert Wise directed during his best period, as an efficient studio craftsman. I probably wouldn't tag this the greatest of all boxing pictures, but it's certainly a contender—and I'd pick it in a flash over Raging Bull.


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