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"Slag" McGurk, a former boxing champ living on memories of glories past, spends his days and nights as a bouncer/braggert/boozer at Glenson's saloon. But when "Slag" stumbles upon a young orphaned lad and agrees to help him find a relative, his life takes on a whole new meaning. Written by
Chris Stone <email@example.com>
A very, very typical sort of film with Wallace Beery
According to one of his young co-stars (Jackie Cooper), despite making a career out of playing avuncular but rough characters who love kids, he was, quite the opposite. But the public loved his film image and despite apparently disliking kids, he co-starred with a bunch of them*. In this very formulaic film, he's paired with a young Dean Stockwell.
The film finds Slag McGurk (Beery) a bit of a blow-hard. While he lives on his public image as an ex-boxing champ and all around swell guy, he's a bit of a phoney--though few know the truth. But his boss (Edward Arnold) does and keeps it to himself. One day the boss sends McGurk on an errand and the guy ends up getting stuck with a cute British kid whose accent seems to come and go like the wind (Stockwell). The kid, 'Nipper', takes an almost instant like to the guy and believes all his tales of boxing and manliness. However, McGurk only hangs on to the kid because he mistakenly thinks the boy's uncle wants him and will handsomely reward McGurk for caring for him. But when the uncle turns out to be a crook, what is to become of Nipper and McGurk?
As I mentioned above, this is a standard Beery formula. This is not only because of the kid (as many Beery films did NOT have kids) but because Beery plays pretty much the same sort of rogue who eventually proves he has a heart of gold. Enjoyable but also not particularly new or unique if you've seen a few of his films.
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