RARA-AVIS: Re: Sports Noir

From: Richard Moore ( moorich@aol.com)
Date: 13 Feb 2007

I second your recommendation of both Gardmer's FAT CITY and Kersh's NIGHT AND THE CITY, both of which had interesting movie adaptations with John Houston's "Fat City" one of his small scale classics. I have always been intrigued that he cast former world welterweight champion Curtis Cokes in the non-athletic role as a bar patron and boyfriend of the girl who took up with Stacy Keach. Cokes was excellent in a difficult role. Sometimes watching the television program "My Name Is Earl" I think the actor playing The Crab Man is channeling the Cokes portrayal. Another former boxer in the film is former light heavyweight Sixto Rodriquez who is Keach's opponent in his big comeback film. With little or no dialogue, Rodriquez is shown arriving by bus from Mexico, sitting alone in his hotel room, preparing for his battle among strangers and grimacing at old and new pains and wounds. It is a great performance as is that of Nicholas Colasanto as a trainer/manager.

But back to your question. It is easier to come up with hardboiled novels in a sports setting than noir. William Campbell Gault did several (such as DAY OF THE RAM featuring football and more than one with boxers).

Richard Moore

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Channing" <filmtroll@...> wrote:
> I'm currently enjoying Leonard Gardner's "Fat City" about the seedy
boxing world in Stockton,
> CA. And I recently read and loved Gerald Kersh's "Night And the
City" which had a good
> amount of seedy wrestling. Does anyone recommend any other sports
noir books? Or if
> there even are any? There's nothing more low-down and gritty than a
locker room, in a world
> where winning and losing is everything. Why aren't there more noir
sports stories? There
> have been quite a few noirish boxing movies, but where are the books?
> Chan

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