We should be thankful the genre survived Sylvester Stallone. The movie features a dying Humphrey Bogart in his last role as a weary sportswriter. Rod Steiger is customarily brilliant as the inevitable, rotten-to-the-core fight promoter. These are more studies of human character than the sweet science but what they most have in common is masterful title-role performances. The premise, about female boxers, is shaky and the tearful denouement is far-fetched.
But it had impact, lots of it, with Mr. Eastwood at the very top of his game.
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May be the most realistic of them all. But John Garfield, reeking of the scent and feel of the sidewalks of New York that he knew so well, is wonderful and very believable as the pug. It simply works! The performance is almost eerie in its greatness. Lardner is said to have modeled his nasty anti-hero after the equally grim and tragic Stanley Ketchel, who was gunned down in the kitchen of a Michigan farm house at age And it still works! Anthony Quinn as the faltering and illiterate Mountain Rivera, a human punching-bag.
Jackie Gleason as his ruthless manager. Mickey Rooney as his tender-hearted trainer. The mix is matchless and the story heart-breaking. But then the material they had to work with was priceless. The portrait of hardscrabble Lowell is unnerving. Above all, the performances -- especially by Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Melissa Leo, who tries to steal the show as their wacky cinematic momma -- are outstanding, all of which might be affirmed come awards nights. He pounded himself into a level of conditioning and polished his boxing skills to a degree that makes him highly believable in the ring.
Washington returned to Great Meadows and in the following weeks readied for battle. Fearing that the French and Indians would attack in retribution for his earlier attack on them, he pushed his men to complete the small, palisaded fort called Fort Necessity and deepen the trenches that radiated out from the fort.
Two hundred additional Virginia troops marched in. Washington hoped to convince the Delawares, Shawnees, and Iroquois to join his attack on the French.
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All of the tribes were polite but refused to join him. Word began to trickle in that the French were readying to attack the British force. Washington hoped that promised and badly needed supplies would have arrived at the Fort. At Necessity, Washington concentrated on readying the fort for a fight. The men deepened and extended the trenches and connected a trench to the water supply. They had already cleared brush to prepare the field for battle.
The ground was very marshy; the fort was located so that only one side had ground firm enough to support an attack. He assumed that the French would meet on the field in the traditional, European way of battle. It began to rain early in the morning on July 3. The French troops appeared about 11 that morning and advanced in three columns.
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Washington ordered his men out of the fort and lined up to fight. The French fired from about yards and the British took their positions in trenches, now full of rainwater, to defend the fort. When they had advanced to within about 60 yards, the French scattered to the surrounding hillsides. The French began an eight-hour bombardment of the little fort and the exposed British soldiers. Washington was immediately suspicious as to why the French would want to negotiate when they were so clearly winning. He took stock of his resources. All of his horses and livestock had been killed.
One third of his men were dead or wounded. Some of the men had broken into the rum supply and were rapidly getting drunk. After several exchanges, van Braam brought back the written terms. The terms were difficult to make out. They were written in French in very bad handwriting on a piece of paper rapidly getting wet from the rain. It was dark and the British officers had only a little candlelight with which to make out the terms.
No one but van Braam spoke or read French, and he had poor English skills. The terms seemed especially liberal and generous; Mackay and Washington signed them. On July 4, Washington and all the British troops left Fort Necessity headed for the frontier town of Winchester, Virginia to regroup. Along the way and for months afterwards, men deserted in droves. Washington did not want to serve at a lower rank than before, even if it came with a regular commission. Washington returned to military life in March He had renewed hope for a regular commission, although he denied it to several correspondents.
Washington helped to organize the retreat. Braddock died of his wounds, and Washington ordered him buried under the road he had cut. Even though it was only July, the next in command, Colonel Thomas Dunbar, put the regulars into winter quarters. Dinwiddie refused to accept that the remains of the British forces were unwilling to return to the field.
He petitioned the House of Burgesses for funds and determined to send his Virginians out again.
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He offered Washington the command. Dinwiddie agreed. Washington set out to establish his headquarters at Winchester, Virginia. Washington had a Herculean task ahead of him in recruiting and supplying troops. He spent a tremendous amount of time coordinating these efforts. He also had difficulty keeping men in the service once recruited or drafted; they deserted in large numbers.
He wrote to the governor and members of the House of Burgesses pleading for a revision in the militia law. He decried that the laws were written so as to exempt wealthy or even middle-class men from military service. The laws were disproportionately aimed at drafting the extremely poor: men who were a charge on the community. Washington was frustrated by the quality of the soldiers he could obtain. I can plainly see that under our present Establishment we shall become a Nusance: an insupportable charge to our Country, and never answer any one expectation of the Assembly.
Supporting to the war was unpopular among the people in the countryside. Deserters were routinely hidden from the military. Washington wrote of a local mob that freed several men from jail who had been drafted and were being held until they could be attached to a regiment. This was not an isolated act. Indians mounted attacks on frontier settlements and isolated towns. Washington said that the settlers were leaving the backcountry in droves for fear of Indian attack; the settlers were quickly abandoning their farms and retreating to more secure areas.
They were meant to provide a wall of protection against Indian raids and French incursion. Very few could be considered forts in the true sense of the word. Most were small, poorly constructed affairs that offered little protection and were difficult to defend. This left the settlers unprotected.
If the settlers took refuge in a fort, their farms were vulnerable. Then, in , the British frontier strategy changed.
The army in America was reorganized to undertake three major campaigns. Washington agreed with the strategy of marching a well-supplied, powerful force to Fort Duquesne. The Forbes expedition was carefully planned and executed. He also insisted that his underlings not act independently, but follow his orders exactly.
He was furious when he found out that several hundred men had been lost in an unauthorized, pre-emptive attack on Duquesne. The campaign ended in November when the British forces finally took Fort Duquesne. As the British moved closer, the French commander grew more concerned about his ability to defend his post. He had few men and resources, his supply lines having been cut off a few months before when the British took Fort Frontenac. He elected to abandon his post, and on November 23 he ordered the magazines blown up and the fort burned down.
Leading an advance group, Washington reached the smoking remains of the fort on November 24, The French were now losing the war. Forbes was fortunate in his timing as the colonial enlistments were due to expire at the end of November. He ended his campaigns having achieved his original military goal. Washington began the war with the expedition to the French, ordering them to leave British-claimed territory.
He ended the war when the French were quickly losing territory and in retreat.
Washington would return to Williamsburg at the end of the year and, finally, permanently resign his commission in the Virginia forces. He had successfully stood for election to the House of Burgesses that year and would take his seat in February.
TO BENJAMIN STODDERT.
His proposal to the widow Martha Dandridge Custis had been accepted, and their wedding date was set for January. Washington was ready for new challenges as a legislator and a planter. He had several offers of a captaincy,  but taking a lower rank than what he had held in the Virginia forces was unacceptable.