skip navigation
Requiem for a Heavyweight

Requiem for a Heavyweight(1962)


FOR Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) YOU CAN


TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


user reviews

See Detailed Ratings
    Acting of Lead Performers
    Acting of Supporting Cast
    Music Score
    Title Sequence
  • No Ratings Available Add Yours Now
    Historical Importance
    Would You Recommend?
  • 0 Member Ratings

Add your ratings! Each of the detailed ratings you select will result in a cumulative score for this film.

You can also write a review by clicking here. Your review will then be posted for everyone to read.

Thank You!

We have received your ratings and calculated them into the overall user ratings for this title.

You can also write a review by clicking here. Your review will then be posted for everyone to read.

    Rate the acting of the Lead Performers
    Rate the acting of the Supporting Cast
    Rate the Director
    Rating of the Music Score
    Rating of the Title Sequence
    Creatively uses the camera to tell the story
    Importance in Cinema history
    Would you recommend for fans of this genre
Submit Ratings Cancel Write a Review Read Reviews

*By submitting your contribution, you agree to TCM's Terms of Use. TCM will use your personal information consistent with our Privacy Policy


The title has not been reviewed. Be the first to write a review by clicking here to start.

  • Requiem for a Heavyweight

    • Laurie Brown
    • 12/29/17

    I've always loved Rod Serling so this movie has long been on my 'must see' list. Like most of his work, this movie is rooted in themes of social justice and the often tragic consequences of the human condition. He had such a talent for delving into the souls of his characters, it was always so effortless, his characters were accessible and evoke sympathy no matter how unusual they may appear on the surface. In this case Anthony Quinn plays an old boxer who was nearly a champion but finds himself obsolete after health issues force him from the ring. We may not all be boxers, but we can identify with the ravages of time and lost dreams. Much of the strength of the film resides in Quinn's performance, his portrayal of Mountain Rivera is as memorable as any you'll see at the movies, his face seems permanently swollen and bruised, and his mind seems lost in a punch drunk fog. The rest of the cast is nearly as good, the always reliable Jackie Gleason evokes both sympathy and disdain as Quinn's crooked manager, Julie Harris is just plain authentic as a social worker and even Mickey Rooney, who I generally abhor, is good as the trainer. Muhammad Ali even shows in a small cameo as one of Quinn's opponents in the ring. With his recent passing his appearance almost serves as a historical document. Nice cinematography too, bringing the world of sweaty locker rooms and cheap rooming houses to life in glorious black and white. Nearly a five star knock out, but we'll go with a four and half star decision.

  • Read Kate D's March 2015 post

    • Jeff Boston
    • 12/6/17

    It is excellent. Indeed, Mountain sacrifices himself in more ways than one for the sins of his manager to save his life so that one day he will redeem himself, and you believe that he will. This is a unique boxing film in that it is almost all dialogue. I love the scene where Mountain tells the social worker in the bare bones boxer hangout bar that the only music he knows is what was played before the main event on fight night: the Star-Spangled Banner.

  • Tuned in late and glad I did.

    • Linda
    • 12/5/17

    Anthony Quinn gives a touching performance in this film. I tuned in late but was just pulling for him to be able to turn his life around when he meets Julie Harris. It's a perfectly cast movie, Harris, Gleason and Rooney all convincing in their roles.

  • A TEASE!!!

    • 3/6/16


  • The Mountain isn't Gleason.

    • Tom
    • 10/6/15

    Quinn gives one of if not the greatest performances of his career in this melodrama that plays out like a Greek tragedy. This is unquestionably Gleason's finest dramatic role. Gleason plays one of the sleaziest characters you'll ever meet yet there is something so human about him you still hope he gets away with his skin. If you like a movie about something watch this film.

  • Requiem for a Heavyweight

    • Kate D
    • 3/4/15

    One of the best movies ever. Nuanced performances by Quinn, Gleason, Rooney and Harris. Redemption theme: Mountain Rivera pays a debt he doesn't owe to save a life; the headdress at the end looks much like a crown of thorns. You gotta love Rod Serling! And the musical score underlines the gritty setting.

  • surprisingly good

    • minnie fleur
    • 1/10/15

    I'm a girl, & this is a great film! It's an excellent dramatic play. Mr. Quinn's touching portrayal captures every high & low for "Mountain," & the viewers feel them too. His dance along the sidewalk is truly endearing, from such a masculine man. These 4 actors are so good in presence, voice, and speech, that it's intimidating; & so is the script, as the relationships unfold. Mr. Rooney's work is heartfelt, & subtle at times. You'll hope that all cast & crew were proud of this special project, & that people in the industry were impressed.

  • Operatic

    • R Bland
    • 1/5/15

    Not having any reference to the movie other than the writer Rod Serling of Twilight fame, I was intrigued by this film noir because of the casting which included well established actors but also cameos from real boxers. I have never seen fully Raging Bull as noted by other viewers so I can't compare. If I had to pick THE boxing movie for me it would be Rocky. Nevertheless, this movie is an "opera" on film.This is a portrait of a tragic figure. You can not help but to be deeply saddened by the plight of this hapless boxer who lacks the intelligence to make a difference in his life, along with poor company, despite the efforts of what is essentially an angel on earth played by Julie Harris. The imagery will stay with you well after the movie. The fiction I'm sure parallel many actual "almost famous" athletes.

  • Requiem for a Heavyweight

    • Goetan
    • 8/15/13

    Ranks along "Rocky" and "Raging Bull" as one of Hollywood's best boxing movies. Quinn is excellent, even if it can be taxing to understand him, and Rooney and Gleason give solid work as his trainer and pathetic manager, respectively. Screenwriter Serling adapted his own teleplay, but the ending for this film is bleaker, matching the overall grim world of Quinn's character. Muhammad Ali appears as Quinn's opponent in the opening scene. I give it a 4/5.

  • Comparison

    • Bonnie
    • 8/20/12

    I've recently read about a 1930's boxer, Primo Carnera; very sad story. Could Requium for a Heavyweightpossibly been loosely based on Carnera's life?

  • One of the best

    • Demetrius Pace
    • 2/3/12

    I've seen some great fight films, Raging Bull, being among the best.This film with it's all-star cast ranks right up there with the best.Anthony Quinn's portrayal of Mountain Rivera, is just as convincingas De Niro as Jake La Motta, no small accompishement.

  • "Requiem" Packs A One-Two Punch

    • Bruce Reber
    • 2/2/12

    "Requiem For A Heavyweight" is a powerful story about a prizefighter facing the end of his career. Anthony Quinn stars as punch-drunk boxer Mountain Rivera, who's trying to start his life over again after a long and brutal 17 years in the ring (a performance that should have gotten him an Oscar nomination BTW). Jackie Gleason is Mountain's callous and uncaring manager Maish Rennick, Mickey Rooney is his compassionate trainer Army, and Julie Harris is the employment agency worker Grace Miller who tries to help Mountain. However, Mountain soon finds himself in a bad situation when his supposedly best friend/manager Maish plots to make some quick cash by exploiting Mountain as a professional wrestler. Mountain and Grace form an ill-fated romance, and she tries to build up his self-confidence by telling him there are better things in store, and suggests that he could be a kids camp counselor. But Maish sabotages Mountain's chance at a new life, and while Mountain agrees to wrestle to keep Maish from getting beaten up by bookies, he feels Maish's betrayal after Maish tells Mountain he's no longer a winner, that he bet against him in his fight against Cassius Clay, and now they're going to try to make money from "the losing end". The final scene says it all - trainer Army watching with tears in his eyes as Mountain enters the ring as wrestler Big Chief Rivera and the crowd booing and jeering, realizing the sad reality of Mountain's being sold out. Four Stars!


    • william gauslow
    • 1/31/12

    How could this NOT receive at least one Academy nomination ???

  • In the top 10 of all time

    • Big Ed
    • 1/31/12

    This is a great film. A top notch performance from the best of the best. An excellent script and storyline about loyalty, betrayal, friendship, and people who REALLY care. Oh, and how to tell the difference. This is an adult theme but fit for most ALL the family. It should be a part of YOUR DVD collection. Yes, I have it.

  • Anthony Quinn, Great performance

    • Billy Wells
    • 11/6/11

    This is a fantastic and moving movie with a great performance from Anthony Quinn , Gleason and Rooney. Thanks for airing it again.

  • A Profile of Courage and Redemption.

    • Frank Harris Horn
    • 1/3/10

    Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone, brings his Emmy Award-winning TV melodrama to the big screen. This grim sports drama stars Anthony Quinn as a veteran prizefighter, whose professional career is on the verge of going down the drain. Thus, forcing him down a path of corruption and degradation. Jackie Gleason also stars as his sleazy manager, Mickey Rooney as his sympathetic trainer, and Julie Harris as a concerned social worker. With Nancy Cushman, Madame Spivy, Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali), Jack Dempsey, Stanley Adams, Herbie Faye, Michael Conrad, Val Avery & Rory Calhoun.

  • Requiem Great But Short.

    • James Mills
    • 5/12/09

    Greatest sports movie I've ever seen but missing critical scenes from original theatrical release.

  • Sports & Tragedy of Aging

    • Elaine
    • 5/8/09

    This is a great sports movie for any man, but I'm a woman. I usually don't like sports movies of any kind, But this isn't your normal sports movie. It shows the problems many sports figures face when aging. From the thrill of winning, losing and regrets of having to find a different career path with almost no qualifications other than being just a sports figure. The depression, problem and inadequaties of age and lost limelight in the sports world. It will make anyone feel his pain. Anthony Quinn is magnificent in this movie and it is one both men and women can really understand and enjoy.

  • Your Name
  • Your Email (optional)
  • Your Location (optional)
      Rate the acting of the Lead Performers
      Rate the acting of the Supporting Cast
      Rate the Director
      Rating of the Music Score
      Rating of the Title Sequence
      Creatively uses the camera to tell the story
      Importance in Cinema history
      Would you recommend for fans of this genre

  • Title of your Review
  • Your Review

    Character Limit! You have reached the 2,000 word character limit for this review.

  • Preview & Submit Cancel Submit Review Go Back
Thank You!

We have received your ratings and calculated them into the overall user ratings for this title.

Click the button below to read reviews and see your posting:

Close Detailed Ratings (optional)

*We protect your personal infortmation and will not provide it to anyone without your consent. For a complete explanation, please refer to TCM's Privacy Policy. By submitting your contribution, you agree to TCM's Terms of Use.