7.5/10
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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")
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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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
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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 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The address, 49 Eagle Street, that Kirk Douglas mentions, was actually the address of where he grew up as a child. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Kirk Douglas: Before I Forget (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
A Tour-de-force acting of Douglas as boxer desperately fights his way to the success.
29 April 2010 | by See all my reviews

A selfish boxer (Kirk Douglas in the title role playing one of his earliest characters as main star) alienates the people around him , his captivating wife (Ruth Roman as the victimized spouse), his loving brother (a restrained Arthur Kennedy) ,trainer (a moderate Paul Stewart) and other women (Marilyn Maxwell, Lola Albright).

This interesting movie based on a screenplay by prestigious Carl Foreman is a noir drama about boxing world with an ambitious starring well personified by Kirk Douglas. The violent boxing images shocked audiences of the 40s and still retains quite power nowadays. It's a grueling boxing tale with tough realism full of face-blistering, punch, knocks until ¨Raging Bull¨ surpassed it years later. Top-notch acting by Kirk Douglas as merciless, ruthless boxer in his usual hard-driving style and winning a deservedly best actor Academy Award nomination. Dark cinematography in black and white plenty of of lights and shades by Franz Planer. Atmospheric musical score by the classic Dimitri Tiomkin.

The motion picture is well realized by Mark Robson. In the early 40s Robson was much involved with the low-budget terror unit in charge of producer Val Lewton , for whom made ¨Seventh victim¨, ¨The ghost ship¨, and ¨Island of the dead¨. In the late 1940s Robson joined Stanley Kramer's independent company and directed his biggest commercial hit to date with ¨The champion¨. Years later Robson made another good film about corruption in boxing world titled ¨The harder they fall¨ with Humphrey Bogart. In the late 1960s, his work did decline . His last movie was a jinx one titled ¨Avalancha express¨. Robson and his main star, Robert Shaw, died suddenly from heart attacks. Rating : Above average, well worth seeing. This is certainly one of the best movies ever made about boxing world


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