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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Interesting cast in "tried and true" boxing yarn with humorous overtones
"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.
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