7*; Pariah: …Sonny Liston (2019)

-Showtime Network
-Documentary or tragedy?

You may not like them, but sometimes you need a doc. This might be that time and that documentary. If you crave information and intrigue, or pugilism and pugnacity, engross yourself for ninety minutes.

Information: Liston was famous, so I’ve heard. I briefly caught the force of heavyweight boxing only in the days of Clay, Ali, Frazier, and Foreman, after Sonny’s time at the top, which now I know.

Intrigue: What better setting than Las Vegas for an infamous death? Was he done in? Who done it? Writer Shaun Assael did not need central casting to compose a character list in Sin City.

Pugilism: The toughest men in the world couldn’t stand on their own. It was not a lack of strength. Rather strings were pulled in the world of boxing that rendered them puppets, with the masters being sports commissioners, organized crime, government entities, and public perception.

Pugnacity: Liston had the determination to rise to the top. Demonstrate yours by reading Sean Assael’s thorough book from which this film was developed. I previously reviewed the author’s work at this link. Satisfaction with the printed page drove me to watch a film I would otherwise skip, and I’m glad it did.

*(star) rating in the title is mine; e.g. 7*=Seven Stars (maximum 10)

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