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 »
Owen Waterbury, bestselling novelist, recruits aspiring writer Stephanie 'Steve' Gaylord as his latest of many secretaries. The stars in her eyes fade when she finds she is to work in his ... See full summary »
Hans Muller is a Jewish refugee from Germany. Relocating to Israel after World War II, he can not overcome the psychological effects of the war. After attacking a policeman, Hans becomes a ... See full summary »
Eugene O'Neill's updated version of the Orestaia. In New England, after the American Civil War, a war-weary Agamem--er, Ezra Mannon comes home to his unhappy wife (Christine) and loving ... See full summary »
In North Africa during World War II, Sergeant Larry Nevins is blinded by a German sniper's bullet. Rehabilitation at the military hospital presents many challenges, but accepting his ... See full summary »
After County Attorney Dave Connors helps Julian Norman with her shiftless father, Jefferson Norman, she leaves Jericho, Kansas to college to study for a law degree.A few years later, ... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
Hal March, a popular 50s stage, film and TV personality, is seen here, as a mob enforcer meeting out punishment against Midge Kelly (Kirk Douglas) for Kelly's failure to "throw" a fight. March would later be implicated in a real life "fix", as he was host of the popular but ill fated TV quiz show "The $64,000 Questiion"(1955-57). This quiz show was cited in the 50s "Quiz Show Scandal", where some former contestants testified under oath that they were given information pertaining to the questions that they may be asked, in advance of their appearances on the show. See more »
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 »
This is a celebration. Midge is getting a shot at the title, and he's got a new manager... a blonde.
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During the three years just following World War II, Kirk Douglas had completed seven feature films. He already had caught the attention of key motion picture executives, such as producer Hal Wallis. Success was gradually coming Douglas' way. But, with "Champion", like a sudden knockout punch, Douglas instantly achieved his lofty aim. In this low-budget film gem, populated by outstanding character portrayals, Kirk Douglas' performance as boxer Midge Kelly is the bravura centerpiece. Though the multi-textured character of Kelly, as created by Ring Lardner in his short story, lends itself to a strong performance, it is Douglas who lifts the character into the stratosphere. At age 33, and having been a wrestler while attending New York's St. Lawrence University a decade earlier, Douglas still possessed the phyical tools for this role. His work in the fight and training scenes are accurate and strongly believeable. But it is his performance as Midge Kelly the individual that is stunningly riveting. During "Champion", Douglas becomes the character until it is virtually impossible to separate actor and role. He eagerly assimilates Kelly's various nuances and attitudes. Passion has always been a Kirk Douglas hallmark. Never has he been so powerfully passionate as in this performance. Contemporary audiences may like to compare the screen work of son, Michael, with that of his father. But after seeing Kirk Douglas' unforgettable performance in "Champion", comparisons fade.
In his biography, "Ragman's Son," Douglas tells of watching a screening of "Champion" in the home of a studio mogul who had invited numerous people unknown to the actor...who himself was unknown to the guests. After the screening, Douglas relates, the guests---as one---turned back toward him with overwhelmed expressions. They now had a startled new knowledge of the young actor whose presence at the back of the room they only vaguely had acknowledged.
Joining Douglas, with excellent performances of their own, were Paul Stewart, Marilyn Maxwell, Luis Van Ruten, Ruth Roman, John Day, Arthur Kennedy and Lola Albright. Each was highly believeable.
Even if Carl Foreman's adaptation of Lardner's story was sometimes predictable, the combination of Douglas' volatile performance, and the high-calibre work of the supporting actors make "Champion" a mini-masterpiece.
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