7.5/10
2,582
51 user 28 critic

Champion (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Film-Noir, Sport | 9 April 1949 (USA)
Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame...mainly by stepping on other people.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story "Champion")
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success.

Director: Vincente Minnelli
Stars: Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Walter Pidgeon
Lust for Life (1956)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The life of brilliant but tortured artist Vincent van Gogh.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, George Cukor
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Anthony Quinn, James Donald
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend" Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands: but she does not say which one.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Jeanne Crain, Linda Darnell, Ann Sothern
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On one day in the 21st Precinct squad room, assorted characters form a backdrop for the troubles of hard-nosed Detective Jim McLeod.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix
I Walk Alone (1948)
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Frankie Madison leaves prison expecting a share from his ex-partner. But Prohibition bootlegging didn't prepare Frankie for Big Business.

Director: Byron Haskin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A ruthless, domineering woman is married to an alcoholic D.A., her childhood companion and the only living witness to her murder of her rich aunt seventeen years earlier.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Barbara Stanwyck, Van Heflin, Lizabeth Scott
Body and Soul (1947)
Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Charley Davis wins an amateur boxing match and is taken on by promoter Quinn. Charley's mother doesn't want him to fight, but when Charley's father is accidentally killed, Charley sets up a... See full summary »

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: John Garfield, Lilli Palmer, Hazel Brooks
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A fiercely independent cowboy arranges to have himself locked up in jail in order to then escape with an old friend who has been sentenced to the penitentiary.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Walter Matthau
Comedy | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The black sheep of a family and the local minister discover their true vocations during the Revolutionary War.

Directors: Guy Hamilton, Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier
The Victors (1963)
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Intelligent, sprawling saga of a squad of American soldiers, following them through Europe during World War II.

Director: Carl Foreman
Stars: Vince Edwards, Albert Finney, George Hamilton
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Lawman Wyatt Earp and outlaw Doc Holliday form an unlikely alliance which culminates in their participation in the legendary Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Haley
...
Emma
...
Palmer
Luis Van Rooten ...
Harris
Harry Shannon ...
Lew
John Daheim ...
Dunne (as John Day)
...
Hammond
Esther Howard ...
Mrs. Kelly
Edit

Storyline

Midge Kelly, hitchhiking west with lame brother Connie, is hustled unprepared into a pro boxing match. Though he's severely beaten, manager Tommy Haley finds him promising. Arrived in California, Midge and Connie find nothing but a menial job from which Midge gets relief by seducing Emma, a lovely young waitress. One shotgun marriage later, ambitious Midge falls back on the only option he knows: boxing. Seduced by cheering crowds, money, and a succession of blondes, Midge becomes more and more of a hero in public...and a heel in private. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Every woman goes for a Champion. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Film-Noir | Sport

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 April 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

De kampioen  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Kirk Douglas reached stardom when Champion was released. He is still very found of this movie. See more »

Goofs

Midge mangles the sculpture that Palmer has made of him, twisting the head out of alignment. In next shot, the head of statue is back in its original location. See more »

Quotes

Grace: Where are you going?
Midge Kelly: Out. I got a date with a lady. You know what a lady is? Nah, how could you?
See more »


Soundtracks

Never Be It Said
By Dimitri Tiomkin and Goldie Goldmark (as "Goldie" Goldmark)
Sung by Polly Bergen (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Kirk Knew What He Wanted
9 December 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

According to the Films of Kirk Douglas book, Douglas was offered a choice between a big budget MGM loan out The Great Sinner and this small independent film Champion about boxing. For the first time in his career Douglas was able to show what a shrewd judge of stories that were tailor made for him.

He chose Champion and for his efforts earned his first trip to the Oscar Sweepstakes. He lost the big prize to Broderick Crawford for All the Kings Men. But from then on in Kirk Douglas was taken seriously as an actor. Douglas was also determined to break free of studio contracts and chart his own career. Some actors can and some are terrible judges of screen property. Kirk Douglas has always been in the first category.

The story involved two brothers, Kirk Douglas and Arthur Kennedy, who when we first meet them are bumming their way across the country to take possession of a diner that was sold to them bogusly. To earn some eating money, Kirk had gone the distance in a four round preliminary fight and came to the attention of fight manager Paul Stewart. Now dead broke, Douglas turns to Stewart who takes him on as a prize fighter, for real.

Douglas can't forget those days in the hobo jungle and is willing to do anything, use anybody to rise to the top of his profession. His role is a complex one, he's ruthless and tough, but he also has to have enough charm to fool the three women who enter his life, Ruth Roman, Marilyn Maxwell, and Lola Albright.

Arthur Kennedy got an Oscar nomination in the Supporting Actor category as Douglas's brother and conscience. Paul Stewart is every inch the wise professional fight manager who steps out of his league when Douglas gets into the big money in the fight game.

There's not a moviegoer who's ever seen Champion who will forget the primeval look on Kirk Douglas's face in the climatic fight scene in defense of his championship as he gets back up from the last of several knockdowns. Like something out of a Hammer horror picture, it's that frightening. You won't forget it either.


33 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
anyone else just watched this on ch4? thePaleface
Hal March cameo efffee
What is a Golem? yj270
Tarantino, the gold watch, and champion sly_3
b-movie info-60775
Discuss Champion (1949) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?