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Norman Z. McLeod
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"The Crowd Roars" is 1938 black and white boxing film starring Robert Taylor as "Killer" McCoy. It was remade (less successfully) in 1947 with Mickey Rooney.
Good looking Robert Taylor (1911-69) plays a boxer in an attempt by MGM to move him away from his "pretty boy" image in films like "Magnificent Obsession" (1935) and "Camille" (1936). He followed this one with two of his most memorable - "Ivanhoe" (1952), and "Knights of the Round Table" (1953). If you're a Taylor fan, you'll enjoy his role as a tough guy.
Maureen O'Sullivan (1911-1998) plays Taylor's love interest. She teamed with Taylor the same year in "A Yank in Oxford" (1938). She's most famous for playing Jane 6 times in the Tarzan films (1932-1942) but unlike Weissmuller, she played many other roles during that time, including "Tugboat Annie" (1933), "The Thin Man" (1934), "A Day at the Races" (1937), and "Pride and Prejudice" (1940). She slowed down in the 40s to devote time to her husband and 7 children, one of whom is the actress Mia Farrow.
Edward Arnold (1890 1956) plays the crime boss. He appeared in more than 100 films from 1916 to 1956. He's best known for playing Daniel Webster in "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1941) and Diamond Jim Brady in "Diamond Jim". He's one of the few hefty men who were ever able to achieve leading man status, but staying "hefty" (and not going to fat) was such a problem for him that he ultimately decided to let his girth expand while his stardom faded. This earned him many meaty character roles.
Frank Morgan (1890-1949) plays Taylors' father. Morgan will forever be remembered as the "Wizard of Oz" (1939) but this was only 1 of nearly 100 film performances between 1916 and 1950, including Oscar nominations for "The Affairs of Cellini" (1934) and "Tortilla Flat" (1942).
Beautiful Jane Wyman (1917-2007) plays O'Sullivan's friend. She is best known for her Oscar winning performance in "Johnny Belinda" and her recurring role as Angela Channing on "Falcon Crest" (1981-90). Other notable roles include "Lost Weekend" (1945), "The Yearling" (1946), "The Glass Menagerie" (1950), and "Magnificent Obsession" (1954). She racked up 4 Oscar nominations, 2 Emmy nominations, and won the Golden Globe 3 times. She was Ronald Reagan's first wife (1940-48).
Well known boxers Maxie Rosenblum, Jim McLarin, and Jack Roper also appear.
Variety called it exciting melodrama with plenty of ring action, some plausible romance and several corking good characterizations."
Richard Thorpe (1896-1991) was a busy director with MGM, with more than 185 films between 1924 and 1967, receiving critical praise for his work on "The Great Caruso" (1951), "Ivanhoe" (1952), and "Knights of the Round Table" (1953).
There are dozens of boxing films. My favorites are "The Champ" (1931), "Champion" (1949), "Cinderella Man" (2005), "The Fighter" (2010), "Raging Bull" (1980), "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (1956), and "Rocky" (1976). Not included in this list are several films about fighters but the fight action is secondary (e.g., "On the Waterfront", "The Quiet Man", "The Great White Hope", "Snatch").
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