Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema X [Flesh and Fury / The Square Jungle / World in My Corner]
Directed by Joseph Pevney, Jerry Hopper, Jesse Hibbs
This collection features three pugilistic film noir classics. FLESH AND FURY (1952) – Screen legend Tony Curtis (Some Like It Hot) sizzles in the knock-out boxing film noir Flesh and Fury from director Joseph Pevney (The Midnight Story). Gold-digging blonde Sonya Bartow (Jan Sterling, Ace in the Hole) and retired fight manager Pop Richardson (Wallace Ford, He Ran All the Way) take deaf-mute boxer Paul Callan (Curtis) under their wing. Now Paul is all but unstoppable…until reporter Ann Hollis (Mona Freeman, Angel Face) appears and falls for the handsome prizefighter. With a three-way bout under way for influence over Paul, he takes matters into his own hands, but learns the hard way that getting what he wants isn’t necessarily a happy ending. Flesh and Fury features rousing boxing sequences, gripping drama and an exceptional cast: Curtis excels in one of his first starring roles, and Sterling is sensational as the money-hungry bombshell. Featuring Harry Guardino (Madigan) as Lou Callan, Paul’s brother. THE SQUARE JUNGLE (1955) – Tony Curtis (The Vikings) stars as a grocery clerk turned prizefighter in the riveting film noir The Square Jungle. Eddie Quaid (Curtis), in danger of losing his father to alcoholism and his girl Julie (Pat Crowley, There’s Always Tomorrow) through lack of career prospects, goes into boxing. His cop friend McBride (Paul Kelly, Crossfire) finances him; ex-con Bernie Browne (Ernest Borgnine, Marty) trains him. Three years later, he’s a challenger for the championship, and Julie re-enters his life. Can she win him back from a predatory blonde? And why does the prospect of Eddie’s winning worry Bernie more than his losing? Directed by Jerry Hopper (Naked Alibi) and featuring a fine supporting cast that includes Jim Backus (Bright Victory), David Janssen (Macho Callahan), John Marley (I Want to Live!), Leigh Snowden (Outside the Law) and real-life heavyweight champ Joe Louis. WORLD IN MY CORNER (1956) – Screen great Audie Murphy (To Hell and Back) is a scrappy young fighter named Tommy Shea—“born in a dump, educated in an alley”—in the electrifying film noir World in My Corner. The up-and-coming boxer catches the eye of the wealthy Robert Mallinson (Jeff Morrow, Captain Lightfoot), who allows him to train at his Long Island estate. Shea soon falls for Mallinson’s daughter, Dorothy (Barbara Rush, Magnificent Obsession), but fears he doesn’t have the money to support her in proper style. To get this money, he decides to work for crooked promoter Harry Cram (Howard St. John, Strange Bedfellows), even though this means dropping his honest manager, Dave Bernstein (John McIntire, Johnny Stool Pigeon). As the big fight approaches, however, he begins to have second thoughts. Directed by Jesse Hibbs (Ride a Crooked Trail), World in My Corner is a bang-up drama with a hard-hitting performance by Murphy.