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Tough Enough (1983) Poster

(1983)

Trivia

This movie, the last film of actor Warren Oates was actually filmed before Oates' penultimate picture, Blue Thunder (1983), but was first released stateside about a week after that movie.
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Dennis Quaid broke his nose during the making of this film, as he had done three years previously on The Long Riders (1980).
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Dennis Quaid had himself in real life been an amateur boxer for eight years.
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The name of the boxing contest was "The Toughman Contest" or "The Toughman Competition". It represented a real life version which had been established about three years earlier in 1979.
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The real life "Toughman Contest" was, according to Wikipedia, "founded in 1979 in Bay City, Michigan by boxing promoter Art Dore, [which] is a chance for the novice amateur fighters (those with no more than 5 sanctioned wins in the past 5 years) to test themselves in the ring".
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Part of a cycle of ring fighter movies, mostly boxing, some wrestling, initiated by the box-office and critical success of the Academy Award Best Picture winning boxing movie Rocky (1976). The films include Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Tough Enough (1983), Title Shot (1979), Raging Bull (1980), The Champ (1979), Matilda (1978), The Main Event (1979), The Prize Fighter (1979), The Greatest (1977), Body and Soul (1981), Paradise Alley (1978), ...All the Marbles (1981) (aka "The California Dolls"), The One and Only (1978), Every Which Way but Loose (1978) and Any Which Way You Can (1980).
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Some movie posters for this film upon release declared that this picture was (at least at the time) "the movie that got the highest audience preview ratings in 20th Century-Fox History".
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The film's closing credits declare that: "The Producer gratefully acknowledges the invaluable assistance of Art Dore and Joe Goldring of Ardore, Ltd., the originators of the actual Toughman contests".
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Star Dennis Quaid once said of this film: "The movie is about courage. Not the kind of courage it takes to get in the ring with some gorilla, but the kind that stems from a belief in yourself".
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Final feature film of actor Warren Oates. The picture was released posthumously.
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Publicity for this picture in slogans memorably boasted that the movie was "Rocky (1976) Without Rules!".
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Dennis Quaid's lead central character, the singer tough-man fighter Art Long, had the same first name as Art Dore, the man who founded the real life Toughman Contest.
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Top billed lead actor and star Dennis Quaid sang and performed two songs on the movie's soundtrack these being "Rainbows Never Touch The Ground" and "Don't They Know Who I'm Gonna Be?".
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Dennis Quaid sings in this movie as he had done in the then recent picture The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (1981) about two years earlier.
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Some promotional title logos featured an animated "Tough Enough" wording with a pair of gloves hanging of the serif of the letter "g" of the title's first word.
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The nickname of boxer Paul Thomas Coolidge (Stan Shaw) was "P.T" whilst the nick-name / stage-name of boxer Art Long (Dennis Quaid) was "The Country Western Warrior".
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The picture's plot was reminiscent of Rouben Mamoulian's 1939 film of Clifford Odets's play Golden Boy (1939) which had a storyline where despite musical talent the central character wanted to be a boxer. In Tough Enough (1983), this is the reverse, the central character is a country and western singer who needs to support his family and gets into the boxing ring to do so.
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The value of the prize-winning stakes for the local fight was US $5,000 whilst the amount for the big bout was US $100,000.
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Star Billing: Dennis Quaid (1st), Stan Shaw (2nd), Carlene Watkins (3rd), Pam Grier (4th) and Warren Oates (5th).
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Unusually, director Richard Fleischer was billed as "Richard O. Fleischer", the first time since his earlier career.
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This was Carlene Watkins's only film.
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Actress Carlene Watkins played a character, Caroline Long, who had a similar first name to her own.
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