Classic Cinema #40: Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) – By Jason S. Lockard

My name is Jason S. Lockard and I love films that are filled with real human conflict. Well, this month I’m bringing you a true classic from the pen of famed Sci-Fi writer Rod Serling 1958’s Requim for a Heavyweight starring Anthony Quinn!

Anthony Quinn was born Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca in Chihuahua, Mexico on April 21, 1915. Anthony’s father Frank rode with Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. At the age of six Anthony Quinn dreamed of becoming a Catholic priest. At the age eleven, however, he joined the Pentecostals in the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

As a young man, Quinn boxed professionally to earn money, then studied art and architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright. When Quinn told Wright he was offered $300 a week by a film studio Wright encouraged him to take it and in 1936 Anthony Quinn made his uncredited film debut in Harold Lloyd’s The Milky Way.

Anthony Quinn would go on to act in many great films over his illustrious career including; 1943s The Ox-Bow Incident, 1952s Viva Zapata, 1956’s Lust for Life, 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia, 1964s Zorba the Greek, just to name a few. Than in the the same year of the release of Lawrence of Arabia Anthony Quinn starred in our film this month Requim for a Heayweight.

Requiem boasts an a cast of "heavyweights" including Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney and Anthony Quinn. Quinn stars as a boxer effectionatly known as "Mountian" who just lost a fight, but feels he is just one win away from getting back on track. When the doctor breaks the bad news that one more blow to the head could be fatal; Mountain is left with a life without boxing.

Mountian soon finds out that his manager [Gleason] blew all his winnings over the years on gambling and now they’re all broke, Mountain is forced to go to an employment agency to try and find work…. An employment agency worker the plain Grace Carney, finds Mountain charming and the two soon begin to fall for one another and just as Mountain is about to get his life on track Gleason shows up with a plan to get back on top. This time its a wrestling ring which Mountian finds deplurable! Will Mountain and Grace lives happily ever after? Will Mountain take his life in his hands and step back into the ring? Find out when you watch Requim for a heavyweight. Requim scores on all accounts; it’s not only a Contender it’s The Champion!

Anthony Quinn was blessed with a full and productive life. He won two oscars and had a big family. Quinn spent the last years of his life in Bristol, Rhode Island. Than on June 3, 2001 at the age 86 in Boston, Massachusetts Anthony Quinn passed away from pneumonia and respiratory failure while suffering from throat cancer shortly after completing his role in his last film, Avenging Angelo.

So check out some of Anthony Quinn’s work, you won’t be disappointed! Until next time this is Jason Lockard reminding you if you want to see a good movie; check out a classic.

Moral Rating: Nothing Offensive
Audience: All Ages
Genre: Sports Drama
Length: 1 hr. 45 min.
Released: 1962
Our Rating: A+