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W.S. Van Dyke
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Steve is just a heavy duty bartender when Edwin J. Bennett, known as the Professor, starts training him for the ring. While doing road work, he is almost killed by a speeding car which crashes into a ditch. In the car is Belle Mercer and her driver. Steve takes Belle to a farmhouse and is smitten by her, but she is Willie Ryan's Girl. The fight is a breeze and later, Steve again meets Belle with Willie. That night, Steve and Belle disappear and return married, much to the disappointment of Ryan. Then Steve starts training in ernest and is 19 for 19 in the ring. However, he has an eye for the women and an expanding ego to match. Written by
Tony Fontana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Primo Carnera was the world's heavyweight boxing champion when this film was made and released. He refused to make the movie using the first script, which had him knocked out in the end, but agreed to a revised script with an additional $10,000 salary. See more »
Steve buttons up his sweater, straightens the bottom and puts his hands in his pockets in one shot with the Professor. In the next shot, when he's facing Belle, he buttons the bottom buttons again (before putting his hands in his pockets again). See more »
That's the first time I ever knew I was stronger than Strangler Lewis.
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Max Baer is the prizefighter and Myrna Loy is the lady in "The Prizefighter and the Lady," a 1933 film also starring Walter Huston and Otto Kruger. Loy plays a singer who's seeing Otto Kruger and singing in his club - she has a rich mezzo voice (courtesy of Bernice Alstock). She meets handsome Baer, who pursues her until she marries him. It's not all roses once she learns that he plays around.
This is a fascinating as well as entertaining film. Loy is extremely beautiful and lovely in her role, and Huston is his usual excellent self, as is Otto Kruger. The fascinating part is Baer, the champion fighter whose character was unfairly decimated in "Cinderella Man" - I hope his family objected. Baer was an extremely colorful character out of the ring but never got over killing Frank Campbell during a fight - he put Campbell's children through college. Here he plays something closer to himself, an amiable playboy with a mean punch. His appearance in a vaudeville act is almost as impressive as his fighting. In "The Prizefighter and the Lady," as in real life, he fights Primo Carnera, as he would a year later. Carnera refused to appear in the film as originally written, where he would be knocked out. I thought Baer was big until I saw Carnera - WHOA. The screen fight is very effective.
There are several real sports figures in the film besides Carnero - Jack Dempsey, who helped Baer make a comeback later on when he started telegraphing his punches, and also James Jeffries and Frank Moran. If you're a prize fighter historian, this is the movie for you.
Baer went on to make other movies, in fact, he was known as a frustrated performer. His most notable appearance was in Bogart's last film, "The Harder They Fall." By then, of course, his screen persona was a little different. I don't actually agree with one of the comments about the film - I think "The Prizefighter and the Lady," despite the star performances, would have been fairly routine without him. As an added plus for baby boomers - he's Jethro's dad, after all.
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