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Cast: Andrea Iaia,Anna Valle,Antonio Cupo,Burt Young,Kasia Smutniak,F. Murray Abraham,Paolo Seganti,Paul Sorvino
In 1933, Primo Carnera became the first and only Italian to win the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. He was a man who endured hardships with dignity and triumphs with humility. He was a husband who adored his wife until the day he died and a father who taught his children that, no matter how hard life may sometimes get, giving up is not an option. He led an extraordinary life with extraordinary courage. He had principles and values that were never compromised and that followed him through his professional and personal life, principles and values that he passed on to his children and that will be forever treasured in their hearts.
Primo Carnera lived pretty much a fairy tale life, as a young boy in Italy he was already different. Much bigger than all the other kids his, he could hardly fit in his desk at school and there were other kids looking to pick on him for being different but even then he had courage to battle against adversity. As he grew to an amazing 6 ft 5.5 inches he still carried the values he was taught and never forgot about his homeland or his roots. Carnera worked in a circus for a number of years before he was lured into the world of boxing, when he became ready he was handed over to boxing manager, Leon See. See stole most of Primo's money and left him pretty much broke as far as cash and spirit went he was a defeated man that walked away from boxing. Later he returned and went on to become the Heavyweight Champion in a title fight against Jack Sharkey in 1933 under his new manager, Lou Soresi who also stole most of Primo's earnings. He retained the title against Paulino Uzcudun (who was attempting to become the first Spaniard world heavyweight champion) and Tommy Loughran, both by decision in 15 rounds, but in his next fight June 14, 1934 against Max Baer, Carnera was knocked down 11 times and was defeated in 11 rounds. As a side note which is not mentioned in the film some say that Lou Soresi who had connections to the underworld at the time had many of Primo's fights fixed but there was never any real evidence to back it up. The film is as big an epic as the man himself, the story not only shows the fighter but it also shows us the man, a loving husband and father and a man that was devoted to all those that were a part of his life. Carnera is both entertaining and captivating, I was inspired by this man that had a heart of gold and the courage to never back down to anyone or anything. Carnera died in 1967 of a combination of liver disease and complications from diabetes. The film was made for Italian Television but it had a small Theatrical run in Europe before hand. Despite it's low budget the film looks fantastic, the settings, costumes and locations are all very authentic looking for the time period. The cast was terrific as well, Andrea Iaia is a huge man himself and did a great job playing Carnera in his acting debut. Other notable cast members are Burt Young and the always dependable F. Murray Abraham. As the film closes out there is a disclaimer saying that the film took liberties with the story for entertainment reasons but to me that does not take away from the story. I was amazed at how good this film looked and was very impressed with the cast. The fighting scenes I thought could of been staged a bit better but the story made up for it. If you like boxing movies or are just looking to be entertained then Carnera is the film to see. Inspirational, Carnera is a knock-out of a film and an amazing tribute to a true legend. Be sure to this film down as it gets a DVD release in the U.S. in February of 2010.
Released by Monarch Home Video **** Out Of *****