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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film went into production in August 1931 and finished shooting in October. It was ready for theatres by November. See more »
When the Champ Andy Purcell punches the wall in the locker room, the wall has blood on it before Andy strikes it, and the bloody area gets larger as Andy continues punching and his own fist gets bloody. 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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Wallace Beery Should Have Shared The Oscar With Jackie Cooper
Probably the greatest disconnect among film personalities in history is that of Wallace Beery. On the screen he played these lovable oaf types, even when he was a bad guy. Off the screen he was a violent man, given to fits of temper and I can't recall anyone having a good word to say about him. Possibly for that reason Beery could lay claim to the fact he was the greatest actor in films. The crowning achievement of his career was his Oscar winning performance in The Champ.
Of course Beery could not have done it without little Jackie Cooper as well. It's their scenes together that make the film as memorable as it is. Instead of splitting the Academy Award with Fredric March who was also awarded The Best Actor for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, possibly Beery should have given half of his half to Cooper.
Beery is actually a former champ in this film. He's an over the hill, alcoholic pug who lives a hand to mouth existence with his young son Cooper. He split from his wife Irene Rich years ago, taking Cooper and she'd like to get him back. She's pretty well fixed now with a new and rich husband and a daughter by that marriage.
The fly in the ointment is that Cooper is really attached to his father and blind to the faults he has. And Beery really does love his son, the only really happy part about his life. He's probably way too old to be seriously in the fight game, but he needs the dough for his kid.
The Champ is guaranteed four handkerchief film even now almost eighty years after its debut. A remake was done in 1979 with Jon Voight and Rick Schroder in the main two roles, but it wasn't a patch on this one.
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