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 ... See full summary »
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>
Although the AFI Catalogue specifies the world premiere was in Hollywood (at Grauman's Chinese Theater) on 13 November 1931, the New York Times review of 10 November 1931 says "last night [it] succeeded in stirring the emotions of an audience in the Astor..." Since the review concludes that the film is AT THE ASTOR, it seems likely that it was ready for public viewing immediately. The AFI Catalogue world premiere statement is probably wrong, and that it was just a Hollywood premiere. See more »
From 25:57 to 26:15, camera shadow in tracking shot. 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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Along the California-Mexico border, boxer Wallace Beery (as Andy "Champ" Purcell) is alcoholic, out-of-shape, and unable to fight professionally. Consequently, he and cute son Jackie Cooper (as Dink) are poverty-stricken. Another problem is Mr. Beery's gambling. But, after winning some money, Beery gets young Cooper a racehorse they call "Little Champ" (formerly "Butterfly"). At the track, Cooper meets his mother, Irene Rich (as Linda). Small world. Now married to wealthy Hale Hamilton (as Tony), Ms. Rich decides she wants her son back. Beery refuses to give up Cooper, but his addictions make things difficult...
Directed by King Vidor, this won Beery his "Best Actor" Oscar. During the "Academy Award" presentations, Fredric March won for "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" (1931). Near the end, there was some discord about the award, so they announced Beery had also won by declaring contests finishing within three votes would be considered a tie. March won by a vote and was arguably a more accomplished actor, but Beery's performance here is better. Later, the Academy stopped revealing vote totals, making the new rule moot. He and Cooper, a nominee for the recent "Skippy" (1931), have great chemistry. The ending is classic.
******* The Champ (11/0/31) King Vidor ~ Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Irene Rich, Roscoe Ates
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