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Dink Purcell loves his alcoholic father, ex-heavyweight champion Andy "Champ" Purcell, despite his frequent binges, his frequent gambling and their squalid living conditions. And there's nothing Andy wouldn't do for Dink. When Andy wins a race horse gambling, he gives it to Dink and they race it at a Tijuana track. There, Dink meets Linda Carleton, a race horse owner herself, and they have an immediate rapport. But Linda's rich husband sees Andy and realizes Dink is Linda's son, who she gave up when she and Andy divorced. Andy is bribed $200 to allow Dink to visit with Linda, but refuses to allow Dink to spend six months with the Carletons. When Andy loses the horse gambling and winds up in jail after a drunken tirade, he realizes Dink's place is with his mother. Dink tearfully goes but sneaks out and returns at his first opportunity, filling a depressed Andy with a desire to make good. So Andy goes into training after his managers arrange a boxing match with the Mexican champion. Written by
Arthur Hausner <email@example.com>
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 29, 1942 with Wallace Beery reprising his film role. See more »
As Dink plays on the balcony awaiting his meeting with Linda, he steals chewing gum and candy for himself off of a table on the balcony. He then steals the contents of a box of cigarettes, saying that he'll "bring some home for the Champ", and stuffs them into his right jacket pocket. However, during the ride home, Andy reaches into Dink's right jacket pocket and finds cigars rather than the cigarettes which we clearly saw Dink steal. See more »
[Dink compares the swanky home to his own]
The Champ and I ain't fixed up swell as this, but our joint's more lively.
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Former heavyweight champ Andy Purcell goes down to Tijuana in hopes of getting a fight. Andy's son, Dink, watches his father train, but Andy gives into his vices of gin and gambling, which constantly gets him in trouble. Andy wins Dink a race horse, which is entered in a race, where Andy meets his ex-wife Linda (with her current husband Tony) at the track and wants to be reunited with her son (Dink) and give him a better life outside of the one Andy gives him. Andy gets arrested and thrown in jail, where he decides that Dink would be best living with his mother, which devastates Dink (who idolizes his father). Andy is released from jail (thanks to Tony & Linda)and gets a bout with the Mexican heavyweight champ, where Dink runs back to his father to watch him hopefully win the fight, even though he is out of shape and not at the level of his opponent. The film is a toughing piece of cinematic brilliance, despite the static camera-work (very uncharacteristic of King Vidor). Beery and Cooper work so well together and their performances are what makes this film a classic. The script does not lose anything in the 70 plus years since its release. If the ending doesn't make you shed tears, you have to be a robot. Rating, 8.
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