Brendan Gill

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 131

"Requiem for a Heavyweight" is a real movie, dominated by a camera that, like our own eyes, picks its way through a profusion of helter-skelter objects to see clearly, as if without effort, precisely what it needs to see. It's a picture so nearly perfect of its kind that my...

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"Requiem for a Heavyweight" is a real movie, dominated by a camera that, like our own eyes, picks its way through a profusion of helter-skelter objects to see clearly, as if without effort, precisely what it needs to see. It's a picture so nearly perfect of its kind that my temptation is to dwell on the "perfect" and forget the question of kind, but I mustn't lose my head; what we have here is a prizefighters-and-gangsters melodrama of exceptional humanity and finesse…. The script, by Rod Serling, is a sentimental pastiche, as the soft-hard title indicates. No matter—the sources from which it borrows being first-rate, the end product is a distillation of the first-rate…. (p. 216)

Brendan Gill, "Ways and Means," in The New Yorker, Vol. XXXVIII, No. 35, October 20, 1962, pp. 215-17.∗

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