The Boxer (Ripped Off)

The Boxer (Ripped Off)

Drama, Mystery, Crime | 83 Mins | Released: 1972
Director: Franco Prosperi
Starring: Robert Blake, Ernest Borgnine, Katherine Spaak, Gabriele Ferzetti, Orazio Orlando, Emilio Messina, Felicita Fanny
Our Rating: 5

The Boxer (Ripped Off) (also known Un uomo dalla pelle dura ) is a 1972 Italian crime film directed by Franco Prosperi and starring Robert Blake and Ernest Borgnine.

Boxer Teddy Wilcox (Robert Blake) leaves his manager and relocates. He finds Nick, a manager/trainer. Before Wilcox’s first fight, Nick receives a threat– Wilcox loses, or Nick will die. Despite Nick’s efforts to sabotage the fight, Wilcox wins. Enraged, Wilcox orders Nick to keep away from him. Later that night, Nick is murdered. Of course, Wilcox is the primary suspect. Wilcox then tries to clear his name and find Nick’s killer.

Movie Notes:

Actual Pulp Fiction: Cheap, Vapid, & Entertaining
by slavejuan – 17 November 2003

Quentin Tarantino made it seem like Pulp Fiction meant GREAT!!! no folks, it means cheap & bad & stupidly entertaining… Pulp Fiction was about Pulpy characters stuck in real situations… it was a sort of a mockery of itself…

This movie (basically the same story as Bruce Willis’ sans the gold watch) is actual Pulp Fiction-Movie Style, for it looks cheap and it was cheap, obviously, to make. Robert Blake is the main star, a boxer who’s been ripped off by his trainer, sold out to a thrown fight. This happens in every boxing movie, or most of them. it’s even mentioned in ON THE WATERFRONT, a boxer getting sold to throw a fight and thus, dismissing a promising career of being a champion.

That’s sort of what this movie is about, but mostly it’s a wrongfully accused piece of fluff-antique, pulpish entertainment that, although it looked as if it cost ten dollars to make, kept me somewhat interested. it’s sort of fun to watch. the parts that are corny, like the overdubbed voices (of everyone ‘cept the two leads), are a funny as hell, like watching those old kung fu movies only now it’s boxing and it’s Italian in lieu of Asian.

Ernest Borgnine gets second billing but he’s not in the movie much. He’s a cop who’s after Blake and appears after about forty-five minutes. the second main character is Blake’s buddy, some Italian actor no one’s ever heard of (in this country), whose low, tuff voice doesn’t fit his meek appearance – as often happens with dubbed movies.

All in all RIPPED OFF had me watching – and hooked – from start to finish. Robert Blake is underrated as an actor and this isn’t one of his best (see IN COLD BLOOD, BUSTING, ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE, TELL THEM WILLIE BOY IS HERE, & LOST HIGHWAY)… but in fact this isn’t one of his worst either… It’s really not even a classified ‘movie’… Instead, it’s a film you find on the floor in some video store in the middle of purgatory, and you watch it when there’s nothing else to watch… having seen everything else and having nothing else to do…