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Fight promoter Nick Donati grooms a bellhop as a future champ, but has second thoughts when the 'kid' falls for his sister.

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(screen play), (from the story by: Saturday Evening Post)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Soledad Jiménez ...
Mrs. Donati (as Soledad Jiminez)
Joe Cunningham ...
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Joseph Crehan ...
Veda Ann Borg ...
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Harland Tucker ...
Bob Evans ...
Sam
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Storyline

When a bellhop knocks out fighter Chuck McGraw, promoter Nick Donati realizes he's a potential champ. "Kid Galahad" justifies Nick's confidence, but Nick's mistress Fluff falls for him; in turn, the Kid falls for Nick's young sister. Now overprotective brother Nick turns against his new fighter, leading to a near- disastrous title fight and a murderous confrontation. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

29 May 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Battling Bellhop  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 19, 1938 with Edward G. Robinson reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

When Turkey confronts Fluff, Ward and Silver in front of the New York hotel, he is seen in long shot leaning against the building, then begins to advance toward the trio. When we cut to the medium shot, he once again is leaning against the wall and then again starts to move toward the three of them. See more »

Quotes

Louise 'Fluff' Phillips: Nick, you don't notice a lot of things. You're so wrapped up in the game that, well, you forget people have... have feelings and are human.
Nick 'Nicky' Donati: Well, there isn't any room for feelings in this game. A fighter's a machine, not a human being.
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Soundtracks

Swing for Sale
(1937) (uncredited)
Music by Saul Chaplin
First tune played at the party
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A great movie, not just a great boxing movie
27 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Kid Galahad (1937)

A strong boxing world drama with Bette Davis and Edward G. Robinson? This can hardly go wrong, and it doesn't. It's also directed by the dependable Michael Curtiz, and has a smaller but strong role for Humphrey Bogart. The result if a full blown and rather complex drama going far beyond fixing fights and a boxer's improbable rise to the top.

Davis in particular blows me away, playing both the sophisticated and wise wife of the great promoter, but also a sweet kid torn by love, a "dizzy fool." Her performance alone makes the movie a gem. I only wish she was in it more. Robinson is his dependable self, the nuanced strong guy with doubts and a big heart. Bogart, for those following him, plays a role he almost got typecast in, the tough guy criminal, and he's really good, if not very well-rounded type.

Curtiz, of course, gets a different kind of admiration here, making the movie great, avoiding some clichés that were begging to be reused in any boxing story. He even gets the boxer, played with the emotion of a tree stump by Wayne Morris, to hold up his innocent simplicity well enough to fit into the rest of it. The crossed affections of the main characters is more convincing than it needed to be. It's good stuff. Watch how Curtiz, as always, complex scenes with amazing fluidity (an odd but amazing example is the series of scenes after the last fight in the back rooms).

The one thing I can't judge is how convincing the boxing is, but it looks good to me, and since there is a bit of time spent watching the fighting in the ring this matters. The idea of the "good" fighter unwilling to throw a fight he can win fairly is built up here to the key climax, and Bogart and Robinson clash in the end in classic style. For the adventurous, this was remade in 1962 as an Elvis Presley vehicle. (And a sidebar trivia —the best Elvis movie is the 1970 "King Creole" directed by, yes, Michael Curtiz.)

But back in 1937 came this feisty, complex, richly envisioned drama around the boxing world of the Great Depression, and it's a terrific one.


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