The Champ (1931) - Plot Summary Poster

(I) (1931)


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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.

  • A little rough around the edges and currently living in Tijuana, Andy Purcell, also known as Champ, is an ex-world heavyweight boxing champion who is trying to make a comeback. His career ended as a result of drinking, a vice which may thwart his chances at the comeback. Andy's adolescent son, nicknamed Dink, is his father's protector. Dink loves his father and does whatever he can for him. Despite vowing to lay off his other vice, gambling, Andy comes into a gambling windfall and based on a dream that Dink has, Andy buys him a race horse, who they rename Little Champ. At the racetrack, Dink meets a fellow race horse owner, the elegant and kindly Linda Carleton, who he eventually learns is his biological mother. She believes that the life that Andy has provided for their son is not the type of life an impressionable young boy should have. She holds no grudges against her ex-husband, but she, with her wealthy husband Tony at her side, want custody of Dink. The foursome, collectively and individually, need to decide what is best for all, including if Andy should pursue his boxing comeback.

  • Alcoholic ex-boxer struggles to provide a good living for his son.


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