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Boxing Wednesdays. Wrestling on Fridays. Stoker Thompson is on Paradise City's Wednesday card, fighting after the main event. He's been 20 years in the game and is sure he's just one punch away from big paydays. But there's one thing Stoker doesn't yet know: his manager wants him to take a dive tonight.
The Set-Up comes out swinging as one of the great films about the so-called sweet science. Robert Wise directs, shaping real-time events into an acclaimed and unsparing film-noir look at the stale-air venues, bloodthirsty fans, ring savagery and delusional dreams of boxing's palooka world. Robert Ryan embraces perhaps his fi nest screen hour as Stoker. Audrey Totter, an icon of the noir genre like Ryan, plays Stoker's steadfast wife. In a sport that would take their last flicker of dignity, the Thompsons are reclaiming theirs.