Armstrong Circle Theatre (1950–1963)
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The Contender 

Paul Newman plays a boxer who begins to question his career path.


Marc Daniels


Edmund Morris (television play)


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Episode credited cast:
Paul Newman ... Jimmy Polo
Frank McHugh ... Willy Skokes
Inger Stevens ... Bess Polo
Don Keefer ... Tony
Charles Mendick Charles Mendick ... Maxie - Trainer
Maurice Shrog Maurice Shrog ... Alex - Manager
Sid Raymond Sid Raymond ... Trainer
Nehemiah Persoff ... Jeff Gardell
Dickie Belton Dickie Belton ... Jackie Polo
Sidney Bassler Sidney Bassler ... Foyle
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sandy Becker Sandy Becker ... Himself - Host


Paul Newman plays a boxer who begins to question his career path.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

30 November 1954 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Talent Associates See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Jimmy Polo: He was a contender when I was a kid, too dumb to be afraid, now he's selling handkerchiefs on the street. Stood there like a schmoe, I felt like crying. I wanted to buy two thousand... I gave him some dough.
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User Reviews

A nice look at the flip-side of boxing.
27 August 2012 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Hollywood has made a ton of films that dramatize boxing--and very few which haven't. Because this film dares to show the flip-side of boxing, I strongly recommend you see it.

The film begins with a high-ranked boxer (Paul Newman) meeting up with a guy who he had a fight with a few years earlier. This other boxer (Nehemiah Persoff) didn't even recognize him--even when Newman told him about their earlier fight. It's sad--but the guy was now a punchy-drunk bum--with a lousy job and no future. This really, really shakes Newman, as he is about to have a chance at winning the title--and he wonders is it even worth it. He vows to quit and not even take the title match--and his wife (Inger Stevens) and manager (Frank McHugh) try very hard to get him to relent. Overall, it's well-acted and very thought-provoking. Well worth seeing and very unusual.

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