Flesh and Fury (1952)

82 mins | Drama | March 1952

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Hear No Evil . Universal borrowed Jan Sterling and Mona Freeman from Paramount for the film. The studio cast real figures from the boxing world, including fighter Harry Guardino, who played "Paul's" brother "Lou," and referee Frankie Van, who acted as the film's technical advisor and played the referee in the "Logan" fight scene. Guardino went on to a long acting career in film, stage and television. The film also marked the first screenplay of writer Bernard Gordon (1918--2007).
       According to an Oct 1951 HR news item, Tony Curtis broke his thumb during a boxing workout before the production began, but director Joseph Pevney was able to start the film on time by postponing fight scenes until the end of the shooting schedule. Some scenes were shot on location in New York City. Flesh and Fury was Pevney's second boxing picture, after 1951's Iron Man (see ... More Less

The working title of this film was Hear No Evil . Universal borrowed Jan Sterling and Mona Freeman from Paramount for the film. The studio cast real figures from the boxing world, including fighter Harry Guardino, who played "Paul's" brother "Lou," and referee Frankie Van, who acted as the film's technical advisor and played the referee in the "Logan" fight scene. Guardino went on to a long acting career in film, stage and television. The film also marked the first screenplay of writer Bernard Gordon (1918--2007).
       According to an Oct 1951 HR news item, Tony Curtis broke his thumb during a boxing workout before the production began, but director Joseph Pevney was able to start the film on time by postponing fight scenes until the end of the shooting schedule. Some scenes were shot on location in New York City. Flesh and Fury was Pevney's second boxing picture, after 1951's Iron Man (see below). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Mar 1952.
---
Daily Variety
7 Mar 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Mar 52
p. 12.
Hollywood Citizen-News
23 Apr 1952.
---
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 51
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Sep 51
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Sep 51
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Oct 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Oct 51
p. 2, 4
Hollywood Reporter
16 Nov 51
p. 15.
Hollywood Reporter
23 Nov 51
p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter
18 Jan 52
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 52
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Mar 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Mar 52
p. 1261.
New York Times
28 Mar 52
p. 27.
Variety
12 Mar 52
p. 16.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Tom Herman
Chuck Hamilton
Edwin Parker
Don Kerr
Sam Finn
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Dial dir
PRODUCER
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns
MAKEUP
Hairstylist
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Boxing adv
Unit prod mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Hear No Evil
Release Date:
March 1952
Premiere Information:
World premiere in New Orleans, LA: 12 March 1952
New York opening: 27 March 1952
Production Date:
19 October--21 November 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Universal Pictures Co., inc.
Copyright Date:
18 February 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1529
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
82
Length(in reels):
9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15697
SYNOPSIS

While amateur boxer Paul Callan pummels his opponent, the crowd, which includes boxing fan Sonya Bartow and manager Jack "Pop" Richardson, watches in amazement. In the locker room after the fight, Sonya visits and is at first disgusted to discover that Paul is deaf and does not speak, but, sensing that he is a future champ, asks him to take her out. When she kisses him, Paul falls in love. After his next fight, Sonya learns that Pop has signed Paul to be his first fighter since his beloved champ, Jackie Lawrence, died in the ring. Paul wins all his early fights and soon becomes like a son to Pop. Although Pop wants to groom Paul slowly for the championship, Sonya pushes him to put Paul in as many fights as possible so they will make more money. Paul asks Sonya to marry him, but she will not until he wins the championship. He tours the country, still winning every fight, and upon his return, Sonya tells Pop either to set Paul up in a fight with crooked boxer Joe Burns or leave. Pop walks away but, upon overhearing other managers discussing how easy it would be to take advantage of Paul, returns. Over the next weeks, Pop teaches Paul various defenses against dirty fighting, but worries that if Burns gouges Paul in the eyes, the deaf boy will have nothing. As Paul trains, reporter Ann Hollis arrives to interview him. Ann, who learned sign language from her father, a successful architect, tries to speak to him using her hands. Paul is drawn to the kind Ann and admits to her that he knows sign language, but is reluctant ... +


While amateur boxer Paul Callan pummels his opponent, the crowd, which includes boxing fan Sonya Bartow and manager Jack "Pop" Richardson, watches in amazement. In the locker room after the fight, Sonya visits and is at first disgusted to discover that Paul is deaf and does not speak, but, sensing that he is a future champ, asks him to take her out. When she kisses him, Paul falls in love. After his next fight, Sonya learns that Pop has signed Paul to be his first fighter since his beloved champ, Jackie Lawrence, died in the ring. Paul wins all his early fights and soon becomes like a son to Pop. Although Pop wants to groom Paul slowly for the championship, Sonya pushes him to put Paul in as many fights as possible so they will make more money. Paul asks Sonya to marry him, but she will not until he wins the championship. He tours the country, still winning every fight, and upon his return, Sonya tells Pop either to set Paul up in a fight with crooked boxer Joe Burns or leave. Pop walks away but, upon overhearing other managers discussing how easy it would be to take advantage of Paul, returns. Over the next weeks, Pop teaches Paul various defenses against dirty fighting, but worries that if Burns gouges Paul in the eyes, the deaf boy will have nothing. As Paul trains, reporter Ann Hollis arrives to interview him. Ann, who learned sign language from her father, a successful architect, tries to speak to him using her hands. Paul is drawn to the kind Ann and admits to her that he knows sign language, but is reluctant to use it because when he does, people call him names. When Sonya, who is jealous of Ann, laughs at Paul for using "the dummy language," Ann chastises her. Ann and Paul begin spending time together and soon fall in love. She brings him to her upper-class home and he is astonished to discover that her deaf father could have accomplished so much. During the Burns fight, Ann cringes while Sonya cheers until Paul, badly battered, finally wins. Soon after, Ann brings Paul to a school for deaf children, and they kiss. When he returns home, a drunken Sonya insists that he marry her immediately, then threatens to kill him when he pushes her away. Confused, Paul visits an ear doctor Ann recommended and learns about an operation that might restore his hearing, and secretly sequesters himself in the hospital to try the procedure. Days later, as Sonya and Pop grow worried over Paul's disappearance, Paul wakes from the operation and hears rain at the window. The doctor encourages him to talk and he slowly learns to speak perfectly. He races to Ann's, where a society party is in progress. He and Ann embrace joyfully, but she is obliged to tend to her guests, and as Paul wanders through the party, the guests's inane, noisy banter overwhelms and upsets him. After he runs out, Ann's mother consoles her, noting that he needs to learn how to survive in the world of words. Despondent, Paul returns to Sonya and his training, but every noise distracts him and he fights poorly. He nonetheless insists on fighting Logan, the champ, and on the day of the fight, Sonya bets all her money on Logan. Just before the fight begins, Paul finds out that Sonya is hiding a telegram from his doctor stating that the fight may make him lose his hearing again, and throws her out. The fight is long and punishing, and with every hit Paul loses more of his hearing, until he is deaf again. As soon as the roar of the fans no longer distracts him, he wins the championship. Ann finds him in the locker room, where he tells her that he was scared of the world, but now realizes that everyone else is also frightened and he is no different from anyone around him. They walk out hand in hand, and in the street Paul is thrilled to find that he can hear people talking. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.