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The Set-Up

The Set-Up (1949)

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Release Date: Jan 1, 1949 Wide

audience

88

liked it
Average Rating: 4/5
User Ratings: 1,677

My Rating

Movie Info

As shown by the clock face that opens and closes the film, The Set-Up takes place within a compact 72 minutes, with the action played out in "real time." Robert Ryan plays Bill "Stoker" Thompson, a washed-up boxer who refuses to give up his career despite the pleas of his wife Julie (Audrey Totter). There's little chance that he's going to win this evening's bout; still, Stoker's manager Tiny (George Tobias) has secretly made a deal with a crooked gambler (Alan Baxter). Stoker is to take a dive,

Unrated,

Drama, Art House & International, Classics

Art Cohn

Jul 6, 2004

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All Critics (9) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (1) | DVD (7)

Its boilerplate fatalism undone by overbearing moralizing and the fact that Ryan's boxer is too one-dimensionally good to register as tragic.

May 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

This is one of the top boxing films ever made, along with Raging Bull and Body and Soul.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Set-Up

this film is TIGHT.
April 17, 2007
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Playing in real time, The Set-Up is the story of a washed up prizefighter looking for one last shot at glory. According to IMDb, the screenplay was actually based on a poem about a black boxer named Pansy Jones. The author, Joseph March, was reportedly unhappy about his character being changed to Stoker Thompson, a white man.

Unlike most films about boxing, the fight scenes here seem raw and unchoreographed. Robert Ryan (who, by the way, was a boxer at Dartmouth) is completely believable in his portrayal and director Robert Wise manages to make the dark tension of the piece tangible. You can almost feel the punches and smell the sweat.
September 29, 2009
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Tough tight little noir. Lean in the best sense, not one shot is wasted.
September 24, 2008
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

a terrific stripped down boxing picture made in real time. robert ryan plays a fighter facing the end of his career. incredible fight scenes and beautifully rendered characters inhabiting their own little world. just great
January 4, 2008
rubystevens
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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