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The Big Chance (1933)

Passed  |   |  Action, Adventure, Crime  |  29 August 1933 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 86 users  
Reviews: 8 user

Gangsters try to get a boxer to throw an important fight.



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Complete credited cast:
John Darrow ...
Merna Kennedy ...
Matthew Betz ...
J. Carrol Naish ...
Undetermined Role (scenes deleted)
Hank Mann ...


Frankie, a young prizefighter, wins a fixed boxing match as part of a crime boss's plan to have him build up a following and then have him throw a championship fight. Later, while training, Frankie meets Mary as she is going to church with her family, and he begins a romance with her. The crime boss orders Frankie to stay away from Mary, while continuing to arrange for Frankie to win more fights. Just before Frankie's fight with the champion, he and the boss have an argument. Their plans to fix the fight are overheard by Mary's young brother, which soon leads to a tense situation. Written by Snow Leopard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

29 August 1933 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Balsley & Phillips Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The American Film Institute Catalog erroneously credits Eleanor Boardman as "Singer". Eleanor Boardman is not in the film. Virginia True Boardman plays Mrs. Wilson, and Marian Mansfield is the Singer; AFI also credits 6th billed J. Carrol Naish as "Mr. Wilson." Naish, through credited in the film's opening credits, does not appear in the film; Frank LaRue (uncredited) plays "Mr. Wilson." See more »

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User Reviews

Solid Setup, But Could Easily Have Been Better In A Number Of Respects
9 January 2006 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This B-feature has a solid if largely familiar setup, and the story line is all right, though rather predictable. But in many other respects, this could have been a better movie. The production values are quite weak, and most of the characters are strictly one-dimensional cardboard figures. The script has a couple of good moments, but many more dry stretches.

The story centers on a young boxer who is made the beneficiary of a series of fixed fights, so that a crime boss can get him a championship fight. Along the way, the boxer gets a girlfriend of whom the boss disapproves, and she and her younger brother cause complications as the big fight approaches.

There's little new in the story, but such a story can easily lead to enjoyable drama with a decent cast and production. But except for Hank Mann, who does a solid job as the boxer's loyal trainer, and a very young Mickey Rooney, who shows some energy as the girlfriend's younger brother, the cast is adequate but generally nondescript.

The production values are also noticeably low. Except for a briefly entertaining verbal exchange during the opening bout, the boxing scenes don't work well at all, as they consist mostly of low-quality stock footage being edited together in a generally unconvincing fashion with shots of the actors attempting to look as if they are boxing. The script also misses some opportunities, prematurely resolving some potentially interesting tensions, and wasting time on a digression with a vamp hired by the boss, which leads to little of dramatic interest.

It does move fairly quickly, and it lasts less than an hour. And there are certainly worse things you could do with your time. But there are a great many movies, even those with limited budgets, that work much better than this one does.

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