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Joe Palooka, Champ (1946)

Passed  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Sport  |  28 May 1946 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 18 users  
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Manager Knobby Walsh discovers young hunk Joe Palooka and trains him to fight the champ. Mobsters try to make life tough for Joe and his socialite girlfriend Anne. Cameos by several boxing stars.



(screenplay) (as Cyril Endfield) , (screenplay) (as Albert de Pina) , 2 more credits »
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Knobby discovers young hunk Palooka and trains him to fight the reigning champ, also drunken sot, Al McSwatt.

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Joe and Anne go off on their honeymoon while Knobby books him into a charity fight which Lord Cecil tries to wreck.

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Stars: Leon Errol, Joe Kirkwood Jr., Robert Coogan
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A crooked mayor and fight promoter conspire to sign slow-witted Humphrey to a contract. Their goal is to use Humphrey to get Joe Palooka to sign. As things develop, Humphrey becomes mayor.

Director: Jean Yarbrough
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Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Joe Palooka goes blind during a fight. An operation restores his vision, but he's told not to fight for a year. His trainer Knobby has picked up another fighter, but gangsters are pressing ... See full summary »

Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Joe Kirkwood Jr., Leon Errol, Elyse Knox
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Joe is witness to a mob killing. Two of the killers are after him. He is drugged before the big fight which is watched on TV by his manager Knobby and the thugs who are holding Knobby hostage.

Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Joe Kirkwood Jr., James Gleason, Lois Hall
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

In the second film of Monogram's Joe Palooka series, Joe is 'used', by two state senators scheming to obtain oil-rich lands, in a publicity campaign to get the land transferred to the state... See full summary »

Director: Cy Endfield
Stars: Leon Errol, Joe Kirkwood Jr., Guy Kibbee


Cast overview, first billed only:
Leon Errol ...
Joe Kirkwood Jr. ...
Elyse Knox ...
Eduardo Ciannelli ...
Joe Sawyer ...
Warren Hymer ...
Ira Eyler
Robert Kent ...
Ronnie Brewster
Sam McDaniel ...
Sarah Padden ...
Michael Mark ...
Herman (Pop) Palooka
Dave Willock ...
Mr. Rodney (as Dave 'Tugwell' Willock)
Lou Nova ...
Al Costa
Eddie Gribbon ...
Louie, the Louisiana Lion
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Long-Count Bowman


In this first entry of the Monogram features based on the comic-strip character created by Ham Fisher (while not the first use of the character on the screen), fight manager and promoter Knobby Walsh trains Al Costa to fight for the heavyweight championship, but gangster Florini, with the help of his henchmen, Lefty and Curly, takes the budding champion away from him. Knobby begins the search for a new fighter by taking four fighters and handler Smoky on a tour of tank towns. He finds Joe Palooka, a natural boxer, in a small town. Anne Howe, a society girl passing through town, helps persuade the shy-and-gentle farm boy to sign a contract with Knobby. Joe wins a string of sensational matches and, while training for the championship match with the recently-crowned champion Costa, Anne invites him to a party where her snobby society friend Ronnie Brewster makes a fool of Joe. The latter's training suffers as a result of this and estrangements from Knobby and Anne, but he rebuffs the ... Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


OUT OF THE COMICS...INTO YOUR HEART! Everybody's Favorites Brought To Life In A Rousing Action-Romance!


Comedy | Drama | Sport


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 May 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Joe Palooka, champion  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Followed by Joe Palooka in the Big Fight (1949) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting cast in "tried and true" boxing yarn with humorous overtones
12 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Joe Palooka, Champ" is the first in a series of 11 black and white movies cranked out by Monogram Pictures (from 1946 through 1951) based on comic strip characters created by Ham Fisher.

Producer Hal E. Chester (formerly a "Dead End Kid" in in films) corralled a far better-than-average cast (for a Monogram production ) which included Leon Errol, Elyse Knox, Eduardo Cianelli, Joe Sawyer, Elisha Cook, Jr., Warren Hymer, Robert Kent, Sarah Padden, Dave Willock, J. Farrell McDonald, Phillip Van Zandt, Betty Blythe, Carol Hughes and Jeff Corey! 6'1" blonde haired golfer Joe Kirkwood, Jr. was selected to play Joe Palooka. He essayed an easy-going charm which was quite ingratiating.

Walk-on cameos by boxing greats Joe Louis, Henry Armstrong and Manuel Ortiz provided added allure to veteran director Reginald LeBorg's 70 minute "B" comedy/drama.

The "tried and true" premise of this yarn involved fight manager Knobby Walsh discovering hick Joe Palooka and developing him into a prize-winning contender.

Enjoyable, but immediately forgettable, opener for a popular series from a poverty row studio.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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