The Opponent (1988)

R   |    |  Action, Drama

The Opponent (1988) Poster

In order to prove himself to his girlfriend's father, a young man takes up boxing professionally. The father becomes his trainer and a sleazy promoter gets interested in him, but the road to the title won't be easy.


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12 March 2011 | asgard-5
| Qualcuno paghera, aku several other titles
This is the second Sergio Martino movie after Hands of Steel with Daniel Greene as his star. Greene plays an up and coming boxer with a powerful right hand and a heart of gold. He works night shifts in a bar and has a girlfriend whose father played by Ernest Borgnine disapproves of the relationship thinking Greene is a no good for nothing loser. To prove himself Greene catches the attention of a local boxing promoter played by Giuliano Gemma who decides to make a champion out of his newfound protégé. Then some other stuff happens... Martino gets a lot of flack for his 80s movies, like they're no match for his gialli. I think it's uncalled for because they're certainly more memorable. Cheesy, yes, but entertaining in many ways. In this Gemma plays his character almost like he's suicidal, which works. Borgnine can't do much with the lines he has, but still kind of fits the picture. Greene has a strange appeal with his looks of a thug and voice of a saint. Technically the film is very well done on what I suppose is a very low budget. The boxing bits aren't disastrous - they're short and to the point (unlike Rocky). The pace is fine, there's never a slow moment, plus the movie has one of the catchiest theme songs I've ever heard and that's always a big bonus. Ultimately the film suffers from the strange things the writers made the characters do in order to have an act three when all was resolved in act two. A flawed but fun Italian Rocky knock-off.

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Plot Summary


Action | Drama


Release Date:

8 July 1988



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