WEIRDLAND: "Right Cross" (1950): romantic rivalry in a boxing drama by John Sturges

Thursday, May 10, 2012

"Right Cross" (1950): romantic rivalry in a boxing drama by John Sturges

"Right Cross" (1950) directed by John Sturges stars Dick Powell as cynical sportswriter Rick Gavery and Powell's wife June Allyson as boxing manager Pat O'Malley. Subbing for her incapacitated father (Lionel Barrymore), Pat grooms prizefighter Johnny Monterez (Ricardo Montalban) for the championship. Johnny holds a grudge against the world because he feels that his Mexican heritage has made him an outcast, though curiously the audience never sees any prejudice levelled against him.

Gradually, Pat falls in love with the tempestuous Monterez, while Gavery, who's always carried a torch for Pat, observes from the sidelines. The film wisely avoids the usual boxing-flick cliches, most commendably during the climactic Big Bout. With Lionel Barrymore (as Sean O'Malley): I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired and Teresa Celli as Marina Monterez.

The romantic rivalry between a boxing champ and a sports writer for the love of daughter of the fighter's wheelchair bound manager. This off-beat drama chronicles the results of that rivalry and is particularly interesting for avoiding most of the stereotypical situations that usually plague boxing movies.

Marilyn Monroe appears unbilled in the opening scene as Dick Powell's dinner companion.

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