The Set-Up (1949) 1080p

Movie Poster
The Set-Up (1949) 1080p bluray - Movie Poster
Crime | Film-Noir
Frame Rate:
23.976 fps
English 2.0  
Run Time:
73 min
IMDB Rating:
7.9 / 10 
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Directors: Robert Wise [Director] ,

Movie Description:
Over-the-hill boxer Bill 'Stoker' Thompson insists he can still win, though his wife Julie pleads with him to quit. But his manager Tiny is so confident he will lose, he takes money for a "dive" from tough gambler Little Boy...without bothering to tell Stoker. Tension builds as Stoker hopes to "take" Tiger Nelson, unaware of what will happen to him if he does.


  • The Set-Up (1949) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 1
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  • The Set-Up (1949) 1080p bluray - Movie Scene 1

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Excellent picture combines magnificent performances , evocative cinematography and adequate settings

Tense Noir picture dealing with boxing corruption and personal integrity . The movie takes place in real time concerning a big fight winds up to real tragedy , which turns out to be one of the best boxing movies of all time . Starred by Bill 'Stoker' Thompson (Robert Ryan in the title role playing one of his earliest characters as main star and he was a boxing champion while a student at college) as the has-been fighter as well as fiercely independent . He is an upright boxer who refuses to disregard his principles as he insists he can still win an important bout , though his beloved wife Julie (Joan Blondell was originally considered for the part of Thompson's wife before the part went to Audrey Totter as victimized spouse) pleads with him to quit . But his coach Tiny (George Tobias) is so confident he will lose , he takes money for a "set up" from gambler Little Boy (Alan Baxter) without bothering to tell Stoker . Suspense builds as Stoker hopes to win Tiger Nelson (Hal Baylor) , unaware of what will happen to him if he carries out .

Deeply stirring as well as claustrophobic movie based on an interesting screenplay , it is a noir drama about boxing world with a honorable starring well personified by Robert Ryan and well drawn roles . Based upon a narrative poem published in 1928 by Joseph Moncure March, who gave up his job as the first managing editor of "The New Yorker" to devote himself to writing. One of the first films to be shot using the device of real time , in fact the film lasts the same length as the deeds it depicts. Other notable examples of this narrative device are High Noon (1952) and Nick of time (1995). Very good acting by Robert Ryan as an over-the-hill boxer , role who marked his illustrious career . Producers said they were willing to cast a black actor as the lead character , as it was originally written, but since there were no African-American leading actors in Hollywood at the time, he was obligated to switch the character to a white man . Main starring is supported by Hollywood's finest character actors such as George Tobias , Alan Baxter , Daryl Hickman and Wallace Ford , John Ford's brother. The violent boxing images shocked audiences of the 40s and still retains quite power nowadays. It's a grueling boxing tale with tough realism full of face-blistering, punch, knocks until ¨Raging Bull¨ surpassed it years later . In fact , Martin Scorsese is a big fan of the film and was so impressed by the boxing sequences that he had to deliberately avoid copying any of Robert Wise's camera tricks when it came his turn to make a boxing movie, Raging bull (1980). This results to be one of two boxing movies released in 1949 which are now considered seminal examples of the genre , the other films being Mark Robson's The champion (1949) and The harder they fall also directed by Robson . Dark cinematography in black and white plenty of of lights and shades by Milton R. Krasner . Atmospheric and appropriate production design by RKO's classic designer Albert D'Agostino.

The motion picture was compellingly directed by Robert Wise and the shoot took twenty days . With this ¨The Set up¨, his ninth for RKO, Robert Wise fulfilled his contract with the studio and was able to go off and freelance for other studios . As he was a successful director of all kind genres as musical as ¨West side story¨, ¨The sound of music¨ , Sci-fi as ¨The day the earth stood still¨, ¨Star Trek : the motion picture ¨, ¨The Andromeda strain¨ , Terror as ¨The body snatchers¨ , ¨ Curse of the cat people¨, ¨Audrey Rose¨ , ¨The haunting¨ , Western as ¨Blood on the moon¨, ¨Tribute to a bad man¨, Epic or colossal as ¨Elen of Troy¨ and wartime as ¨The desert rats¨, ¨Run silent , run deep¨ , ¨Hinderburg¨ , ¨The sand pebbles¨ and this his best film : ¨The set up¨. Rating : Better than average . Worthwhile watching .


If you, like me, enjoy a real rock'em/sock'em boxing film with realism so brutal and gritty that it plays out like a slice of Film Noir, then The Set-Up (from 1949) is your ringside seat to 4 hard-hitting rounds of pulverizing action, non-stop.

Filmed in its entirety on an indoor set that represented a grubby, downtown section of the fictional Paradise City, The Set-Up is an overlooked gem that is truly rough, mean and rugged filmmaking at one of its finest hours.

Washed-up boxer, "Stoker" Thompson, who, at 35, still believes that he can lick his opponent (this time it being the 23 year-old pug, "Tiger" Nelson), is unknowingly set-up by his unethical manager to take a dive, which, in turn, will profit ruthless gangster, Little Boy, who's got some big bucks riding on "Tiger" to win the match.

During 4 grueling rounds of sweaty, face-smashing, gut-punching action, Stoker (and his amazing ability to endure "Tiger" Nelson's lightning-fast wallops) earns the unanimous vocal support of the blood-thirsty spectators who at first had venomously rooted against him.

Filmed in stark b&w, The Set-Up has a running time of only 72 minutes.

This unsparing story and its savage look at the delusional dreams of one palooka's world of boxing, was directed by Robert Wise who went on to filmmaking greatness with such classic motion pictures as The Day The Earth Stood Still, West Side Story and The Andromeda Strain.

One for the Ten Best Lists.

Its interesting to consider, that of all the sports, only boxing is the one Hollywood has been able to make great (and popular) films out of all. Here is one of the greats: "The Set-Up" (1949), directed by Robert Wise, who despite the constant jibes from film critics about "The Sound of Music" (1965), was a real professional and could make a high-quality film in virtually all genres. This film noir, though, is probably his all-time best, that, as "Time Out Film Guide" critic Chris Auty put it, is "One for the Ten Best Lists".

Ageing boxer Bill "Stoker" Thompson (Robert Ryan) thinks he can still win, although his wife Julie (Audrey Totter) wants him to quit, not being able to take the mental and physical battering of the fight business. His manager Tiny (George Tobias) is confident he will lose, and, without telling him, he arranges for him to take a dive with tough gangster Little Boy (Alan Baxter). Everybody expects Thompson to lose against Tiger Nelson (Hal Baylor), only nobody told Stoker that...

Brilliently directed in real time (although not so you'd notice), with excellent photography from Milton Krasner, boasting a number of long shots full of darkness, it also benefits from an absolutely impeccable performance from Ryan. He was one of the best actors of his generation, being able to generate a unique intensity that comes to the fore here. The supporting cast, including Totter, Tobias and Baxter, are all very good, but it is Ryan's show through and through.

Along with Robert Rossen's excellent "Body and Soul" (1947), this has plainly had a palpable influence on Martin Scorsese's masterpiece "Raging Bull" (1980).

A film that is a pure expression of fruitless pride coupled with masochism as there is anywhere, this is the best film anybody here ever worked on.
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