Learning Difficulty





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Recommended by Disability

Deaf: Major Films   no photo.
TitleFlesh and Fury (1952)
Alternative/Original Title
DisabilityDeaf Speaking Impaired
DirectorJoseph Pevney
CastTony Curtis Jan Sterling Mona Freeman Wallace Ford Harry Guardino
NotesCurtis plays fighter who happens to be deaf and speaking impaired. There's a blond after him and his money but then along comes a classy reporter and there are three of them in the ring. Not a good start to this film. Curtis decides to become a fighter because he can't hold down a decent job. When he's successful a 'gold-digging' stereotype blonde is after his money in the guise of looking out for his interests. During this period the dialogue goes way over the top and the music soars to meet it. Curtis unable to speak and apparently without any form of communication, though he can lip read, is totally inexpressive with his hands and face. And when his girlfriend is speaking it's to the audience rather than him. Then a reporter arrives who is able to use sign language because her father was deaf. At first Curtis doesn't appear to understand but then he tells her that he does know sign but doesn't use it because people laughed at him and called him "dummy". Of course he falls for the genteel reporter and when she takes him home there is for a moment a whole new world opened up to him. Though how she feels about his world of boxing we're not sure. At the end of a winning fight there is a quick edit to a school for the deaf where he learns that an operation on the auditory nerve gives him a chance of hearing again. (Familiar territory here). After the operation he goes to a school to learn to speak. A big surprise this because the tone of the film has been such that one expects him to start speaking immediately. In a melodramatic twist he finds all this talking business too much and goes back to the blonde. Warned by his doctor he will risk losing his hearing if he fights, he does fight, flails around in the rink because he's distracted by the noise of the crowd. Providentially a blow to his head and he loses his hearing again and wins fight (novel twist). But his hearing comes back by the end of the film. An unsatisfying film which contains a number of elements one would expect in the fifties.

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