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Janne the Director’s Favorite Rare Movies Top 100 List #48: The Set-Up (1949)

April 10, 2011

Janne the Director with a Space Mahoney t-shirt from the movie No Law 400048. The Set-Up (1949)

I don’t like films about sports since I don’t understand the need for sports in today’s world when we have Biggest Loser. At least there is some mortal danger in Biggest Loser when they run, or walk up a flight of stairs, or just walk.

This is a movie about boxing but what makes it work for me is that it’s not really about boxing – it’s about boxers (the athlete – not the underwear).

I also don’t like “gimmick movies” – i.e. movies that solely exist because the director wants to make a movie in one take (like The Rope) or a in a close set (Buried) or with an all-animal cast (The Expendables).

This is a gimmick movie where the whole movie is played out in real time and in the hands of director Robert Wise (who also directed #54 in this list as well as the “Keanu Reeves“-free version of The Day the Earth Stood Still) it stays classy. So it’s a classy gimmick movie with great characters with dilemmas and boxing scenes that Martin Scorsese later claimed as his own.

This clip is way too long but I couldn’t find a trailer or a shorter clip that didn’t just show boxing and that would be misleading. I would never mislead you! So have a peek at the clip and then just trust me and see the entire movie.

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 49. Stuart Little (1999)

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