As with most of our current information on opening dates and world premieres, The Set-Up, was seen a few days prior to the anointed date of, April 2, that has been listed for a few decades. The bell rang for, The Set-Up, on Tuesday, March 29, 1949. Then the real-time story-line fight film opened in Syracuse, New York, on Wednesday, March 30.
A host of trade shows, nation-wide, were scheduled for the exhibitors on March 21-22; the vast majority of theaters did not run the pugilistic picture until May of 1949, as can be seen from a simple search of any number of newspapers from coast to coast.
Director Robert Wise was in for the full 10-count of victory for The Set-Up (his tenth film as director), a Film-Noir excursion, following up on the promise of his earlier works such as The Magnificent Ambersons, (additional sequences, uncredited) 1942, The Curse of the Cat People, 1944, The Body Snatcher, 1945 and Criminal Court, 1946. Milton R. Krasner handled the photography, former welterweight amateur and professional boxer, turned boxing referee, turned film-boxing-advisor John Indrisano took care of the fight sequences. The Set-Up starred the ever rugged, the always looking older than he was (see his childhood picture 1) Robert Ryan and the perpetually-clever, distinctly-beautiful Audrey Totter; who apparently was the champion of The Set-Up.
By C. S. Williams
1 This photo appeared in the Chicago Reader which was provided to the Reader by the family of Robert Ryan.