Aug. 28, 2008, 4:42 a.m. CST
Will have to check it out.
Aug. 28, 2008, 4:44 a.m. CST
Aug. 28, 2008, 4:44 a.m. CST
Been there and enjoyed it.
Aug. 28, 2008, 4:44 a.m. CST
Aug. 28, 2008, 4:46 a.m. CST
to those about to first, we salut you.
Aug. 28, 2008, 5:15 a.m. CST
The Set-Up is an overlooked gem that at least deserves a reputation equal to the best film noirs. It’s without doubt a top highlight of Robert Wise’s career. I enjoyed it more on a second viewing though my feelings were as strong the first time. Gratifyingly, Martin Scorsese does commentary on the DVD which hopefully will bring The Set-Up more attention. I haven’t listened to the Wise-Scorsese commentary yet, but look forward to it.<p>The boxing arena is a seamy underbelly of sweat and smoke. Everyone is against Stoker. His wife, his manager, the crowd, and his age. This gloom mixed with the fragile dreams of the locker room creates grim mood reflective of the best hard-knuckled noir. Lovely evocative cinematography enhances the tone. Robert Ryan as Stoker bares the brunt with a relaxed confidence trying to ignore that his best days are behind him. He has to stop what he loves sooner rather than later. The supporting cast in the locker room does an excellent job of creating a desperate dreams atmosphere, not a weak link in the bunch. Once again, Wise captures a brutal boxing match but with more emphasis on the ring’s isolation. Though the “real time” clocks feel a bit self-conscious, it’s a lean mean film with very little waste. I give it the strongest recommendation.
Aug. 28, 2008, 5:51 a.m. CST
Great write-up Quint, I love that gladiatorial combat parallel.
Aug. 28, 2008, 7:28 a.m. CST
Man did classic Hollywood have great extras, as Quint points out. Look at those faces. You don't see mugs with character like that in H'Wood today outside of a few specific directors' films like the Coens.
Aug. 28, 2008, 7:30 a.m. CST
by Napoleon Park
I grew up in the era when late night Tv and even afternoons were filled with old black and white movies and, as a kid, I wasn't that appreciative. I wish there were a station or two carrying that stuff now (on basic cable, which is all I can afford). I might appreciate the characterization and plot twists not, as an adult. but as a kid... well, consider the description. a movie about boxing mostly set in a locker room where we never see most of the fights. you can see where a little kid would have a problem with something like that.<p>Of course in these PC times I'd be offended by the fat guy stuffing his face with a variety of snacks. Oh, how funny, where did he gat all that food from? I know, let's do a movie with only one fat person in it and call him Porkins.
Aug. 28, 2008, 7:44 a.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
... is probably better-regarded than you realize, Quint. I think anyone familiar with the era when he worked would agree that he was one of those guys who served as a backbone to the industry, solid and dependable every single time. I can't think of a Robert Ryan performance that was anything less than real, and in many films, he was transcendent. Peckinpah was a particular fan, and really knew how to get the best out of him. Glad to see you're digging him, and this was one of the best written reviews you've published in this series so far. The film really seems to have struck a chord with you. It should. It's a good one.
Aug. 28, 2008, 8:10 a.m. CST
by Grammaton Cleric Binks
I've seen documentaries on magic, and he is a very eloquent speaker. But, if he's on stage or in character like in Run DMC's It's Tricky video... forget it.
Aug. 28, 2008, 8:41 a.m. CST
by Mr Sidney James
Watching someing that wasn't made in the '40s. something us bright young things can relate to from the '80s or '90s I'm starting to get bored.
Aug. 28, 2008, 9:05 a.m. CST
I hope you don't burn yourself out. I'd rather a movie a week on your favorite for that week. Anyone can churn out daily reviews.
Aug. 28, 2008, 9:11 a.m. CST
by Nasty In The Pasty
One of the best in the first Warner Bros. film noir boxed sets.
Aug. 28, 2008, 9:11 a.m. CST
As if the movie alone wasn't cool enough. Always thought this would make a great play.
Aug. 28, 2008, 9:41 a.m. CST
I just happened to catch a movie with him and Jimmy Stewart and Janet Leigh the other night on TCM called The Naked Spur...a hell of a good western, was totally mesmerized by his performance and watching it I thought "this is the movie that 3:10 To Yuma (the Mangold version) wishes it could be"<P>I haven't seen this film but the review alone and the strength of Ryan's performance makes me want to see it, the cherry is the Wise/Scorcese commentary
Aug. 28, 2008, 10:05 a.m. CST
The Elephant Man, Flashback, On Golden Pond, Strange Invaders, Kingdom of Heaven, Cadillac Man, The Sure Thing, Moving Violations. I'm sure Quint will swing back around to that era again.
Aug. 28, 2008, 10:13 a.m. CST
Too bad no studio exec. has had the notion to get today's generation interested in the classics by putting them on new releases as bonus features. Wouldn't this film have been a great addition to the latest Raging Bull DVD? Or put Start the Revolution Without Me as a feature on the DVD release of Marie Antoinette.
Aug. 28, 2008, 10:24 a.m. CST
By making me want to see a movie I've never heard of. Seriously, I hope when Blu-Ray catches on some more that they start putting out those 30-movie discount packs of older films. Properly mastered, B&W stuff looks awesome in hi-def (maybe it's because the old color treatments washed the image clarity a bit? Dunno.) I've even started eyeing interesting stuff in the used sections. I used to rarely buy older movies, now in recent days I've picked up the 1940 MARK OF ZORRO, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE MALTESE FALCON, THE WILD BUNCH, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST...and my Sony HD projector & 90-inch screen was possibly of the best $1200 I've ever spent. Thanks again Quint...and Vegas rules, you lucky bastard. I won't be able to make a real trip for months since I'm about to switch jobs.
Aug. 28, 2008, 11:16 a.m. CST
by Tycho Anomaly
This may be the only boxing movie ever made that's based on a poem. Joseph Moncure March was best known for his other narrative poem, "The Wild Party", and for an assortment of screenplays of varying quality. He wasn't asked to do the screenplay for THE SET-UP, and wasn't pleased that they took out the racial themes (Sterling Hayden's character in the poem is black). More about March here: http://tinyurl.com/6p297t
Aug. 28, 2008, 12:06 p.m. CST
So had Quinn not yet seen it, tomorrow's movie could have been "Gunga Din" based on the segue of movies based on poems? Neat.
Aug. 28, 2008, 2:17 p.m. CST
But certainly the weakest in the Warner Bros. Film Noir Vol. 1 collection (Gun Crazy being the best).
Aug. 28, 2008, 6:04 p.m. CST
This is such a great flick! If you are a fan or boxing movies you are doing yourself a disservice by not checking this out. If you are a fan of great movies in general you are doing yourself a disservice by not checking this out. It is such a great example of mood and tone without overwhelming music and quick, slick editing. This film is easily overlooked but hard not to love once you've seen it. Plus...Jesus, the boxing choreography is truly amazing!
Aug. 28, 2008, 10:25 p.m. CST
Here's another article that compares both film and poem- it's worth checking out. http://www.hudsonreview.com/su08/su08hunter.html
Aug. 29, 2008, 2:01 a.m. CST
by Alonzo Mosely
My respect for Quint has grown a thousandfold during this run. He has shown self-discipline and maturity in getting these done, and without any 3 paragraph rush jobs. He set himself an insane schedule and he is sticking to it. Bravo.<p> Before this series, Quint to me, was just the guy who was in King Kong, made rudimentary grammar errors and often wrote articles that were obviously based on 5 minutes research on IMDb and ended with a pleading "what do you guys think" at the end.<p> It has been a joy to watch him develop as a writer and see his film education develop before our eyes.
Aug. 29, 2008, 8:29 a.m. CST
I'd love it if some lesser known older films were added to new releases as a bonus feature. I can't imagine the sales on some of these older movies being too high, so the studios won't be losing much. In fact, it will probably boost sales. Hope it catches on.
Aug. 29, 2008, 9:15 a.m. CST
by John L Raiser
I always liked "Bad Day at Black Rock" with Ryan and Spencer Tracy, and "Odds Against Tomorrow" Ryan, Belafonte, and Ed Begley. I agree with Quint. Ryan is woefully underrated/known.
Aug. 30, 2008, 6:54 p.m. CST
I suggest you check out "Act of Violence" by Fred Zinnemann, "On Dangerous Ground" by Nicholas Ray and "Odds Against Tomorrow" by Robert Wise. No one could portray internal hurt, bitterness and suffering like Robert Ryan.