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Palooka (1934)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Music  |  26 January 1934 (USA)
6.0
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 212 users  
Reviews: 10 user | 3 critic

Knobby discovers young hunk Palooka and trains him to fight the reigning champ, also drunken sot, Al McSwatt.

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(comic strip creator), (screen play), 4 more credits »
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Title: Palooka (1934)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Marjorie Rambeau ...
Mayme Palooka
Robert Armstrong ...
Pete Palooka
...
William Cagney ...
Al McSwatt
...
Trixie
Franklyn Ardell ...
Doc Wise
Tom Dugan ...
Whitey
Louise Beavers ...
Crystal
Fred 'Snowflake' Toones ...
Smokey (as Snowflake)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gus Arnheim ...
Orchestra Bandleader
Edit

Storyline

Mayme walks out on her husband, Pete Palooka, after he wins the middleweight championship and shows his proclivity for life in the fast lane. She raises son Joe on a farm, by herself. When slippery fight manager Knobby Walsh happens to discover Joe's surprising punching power, he signs him. With current champion Al McSwatt needing an easy opponent, Walsh gets Joe the fight. Palooka steals the championship( and girlfriend Nina Madero) from McSwatt when McSwatt shows up for the fight drunk. Now it's Joe's turn to live in the fast lane, winning fights(that are set ups by Walsh) and drinking hard with vamp Nina. However, when McSwatt and his manager trick Joe into a rematch, it's time to test his real boxing talent. Written by Gary Jackson <garyjack5@cogeco.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Music

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 January 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Joe Palooka  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Knobby Walsh: You'll find it different here than down on the farm, Mrs. Palooka.
Mayme Palooka: Don't small-town me. I shook a hip-load of beads in this burg while it was still teethin'
See more »

Connections

Followed by Joe Palooka in Humphrey Takes a Chance (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Palooka, It's a Grand Old Name
(1933) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph A. Burke
Played as background music
See more »

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User Reviews

palooka OK
19 August 2007 | by (NYC, US OF A) – See all my reviews

Surprisingly spry given that this film is a premise to film antiquity. I always knew who Jimmy Durante was as a late boomer, but I had never seen him in his prime until this movie. I'm glad I did. He doesn't pretend to be an actor and delivers his lines with a uniform delivery. He's not a very funny man, but a weird oddity as an entertainer, the likes of whom would never ever be taken seriously in today's world of commodified entertainers. What's another point of interest in this film is the appearance of a William Cagney,brother of James....I assume the older of the two. Cagney's first scene when he shows up to his fight pie-eyed is a rather realistic and understated portrayal of drunkenness. There is plenty of drinking in this movie and many people get drunk. What's also an unexpectedly nice touch to this film is that the RELATIONSHIPS ARE BELIEVABLE. Filial conflict peppers this film in that the protagonist has to wrestle with his divided loyalty as cornered by his mother and father. Sometimes the film veers off into unbelievable ridicularity that could never respect the viewer; like when Durante wobbles drunkenly down the street, smashes a showcase window, then enters the display and starts his riinka-dinnk routine on the display's piano The least acquired appreciation for the film is its presence of Runyan-esquire toughs. These actors are CHARACTERS, not celebrities acting in obvious vehicles. Worth a look.


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