The Square Jungle
|The Square Jungle|
|Directed by||Jerry Hopper|
|Box office||$1 million (US)|
Pat Quaid, an alcoholic San Francisco widower, ends up in jail. His grocery-clerk son, Eddie, needs $25 to bail him out. When he can't borrow it, Eddie enters an amateur fight contest and wins it.
Julie Walsh is in love with Eddie, but her father disapproves of the Quaid family, particularly the boy's father, so he makes Julie stay away. Pat Quaid, once a promising prizefighter, urges his son to give it a try professionally. Eddie agrees on the condition that Pat quit drinking.
Eddie decides to adopt his dad's old ring name, Packy Glennon. To train him, the Quaids go to Bernie Browne, who also has had a problem with booze. Bernie's work with Eddie eventually leads to a fight with Al Gorski for the middleweight championship. Julie shows up, but Eddie angrily dismisses her. Pat explains that Julie's dad has recently committed suicide. Eddie chases after her.
Eddie wins the fight and becomes increasingly arrogant. He trains lazily for the rematch with Gorski and is beaten badly. A referee's decision to stop the fight might have saved Eddie from permanent damage or death, but instead of being grateful, Eddie complains publicly that Tommy Dillon stopped it too soon and should be banned as a referee.
In a third and final bout, Eddie beats Gorski mercilessly. Dillon, the ref, doesn't stop it this time. The crowd jeers Eddie when he leaves the ring as Gorski lies unconscious. A depressed Eddie goes on an alcoholic bender with another woman at a motel. He feels "dead inside," but when Julie is able to get him back to a boxing arena, Eddie finds that Gorski and the spectators all have forgiven him.
- Tony Curtis as Eddie Quaid/Packy Glennon
- Patricia Crowley as Julie
- Ernest Borgnine as Bernie Browne
- Jim Backus as Pat Quaid
- John Marley as Tommy Dillon
- John Day as Al Gorski
- David Janssen as Jack
- Joe Louis as Himself
- Carmen McRae as Singer
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