The Set-Up

Watch The Set-Up

"I want a man...not a human punching bag!"
  • Approved
  • 1949
  • 1 hr 13 min
  • 7.8  (10,001)

The Set-Up is an American film noir released in 1949, directed by Robert Wise and starring Robert Ryan, Audrey Totter, and George Tobias. The movie follows Stoker Thompson (Robert Ryan), a washed-up boxer who is about to fight one last fight before retiring. His wife Julie (Audrey Totter) wants him to quit boxing and start a new life, but Stoker is determined to prove his worth one more time.

The story takes place in a seedy part of an unnamed city, where Stoker is set to fight against a younger and stronger opponent. The fight is already fixed, and Stoker is unaware of it. Nevertheless, Stoker has a chance to win, but he starts to doubt himself when he finds out about the scheme.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Julie, who is worried sick about her husband, meets Little Boy (Alan Baxter), a two-bit hoodlum who used to be a boxing promoter. Little Boy is now running a gambling racket and knows about the fix. Julie overhears them discussing the rigged match and tries to get a message to her husband, but she can't get through.

As the night progresses, Stoker's opponent, Tiger Nelson (Hal Fieberling), learns that Stoker knows about the fix, so he decides to take matters into his own hands, leading to an intense and brutal fight between the two boxers. As the fight continues, Stoker realizes that there is no escape from the fix, and he must fight for his life.

The Set-Up is a remarkable movie for several reasons. First of all, it has no musical score throughout the movie. Instead, the filmmakers chose to use ambient noise to create a realistic atmosphere. Secondly, the film is told in real-time, meaning that the story takes place in the same amount of time it takes to watch the movie. This unusual storytelling technique was groundbreaking at the time and has become a staple of modern cinema.

The Set-Up also features brilliant performances by the lead actors. Robert Ryan gives a masterful portrayal of a washed-up boxer trying to prove his worth, while Audrey Totter delivers a powerful performance as his wife, torn between her love for her husband and her desire for a better life. The supporting cast, including George Tobias as Stoker's trainer and Wallace Ford as a down-on-his-luck boxer, also provides excellent performances that add depth to the story.

The movie's themes revolve around the loneliness and desperation of ordinary people who are struggling to survive in a harsh world. The Set-Up shows the corrupt side of boxing and how it can destroy people's lives. It also portrays the struggles of women in the 1940s, who are often marginalized and treated as second-class citizens.

Robert Wise's direction is excellent, with inventive camera work and pacing that keeps the tension high throughout the movie. The film's climax is a tour de force of action and drama, as Stoker fights for his life in an intense and brutal brawl.

In conclusion, The Set-Up is a movie that deserves wider recognition. It is a groundbreaking film that broke new ground in storytelling and features excellent performances by its lead actors. The movie is a testament to the power of cinema and a must-see for fans of film noir and boxing movies.

The Set-Up is a 1949 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 13 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.8.

The Set-Up
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The Set-Up is available to watch free on Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Set-Up for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 13 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.8  (10,001)