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Champion (1949) More at IMDbPro »

Champion -- A boxer alienates all those around him until he enters the ring with his ultimate foe, himself. His greed for glory causes his ultimate downfall.  A colorized version was released on home video in 1990.


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7.4/10   2,236 votes »
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Down 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Carl Foreman (screenplay)
Ring Lardner (story)
View company contact information for Champion on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 April 1949 (USA) See more »
Every woman goes for a Champion. See more »
Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame...mainly by stepping on other people. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Won Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Riveting role for Douglas, unrealistic boxing scenes. See more (46 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kirk Douglas ... Midge
Marilyn Maxwell ... Grace

Arthur Kennedy ... Connie

Paul Stewart ... Haley

Ruth Roman ... Emma

Lola Albright ... Palmer
Luis Van Rooten ... Harris
Harry Shannon ... Lew
John Daheim ... Dunne (as John Day)
Ralph Sanford ... Hammond
Esther Howard ... Mrs. Kelly
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bill Baldwin ... Bill Brown - Ringside Broadcaster (uncredited)
Sam Balter ... Championship Fight Announcer (uncredited)

Polly Bergen ... Radio and Jukebox Singer (voice) (uncredited)
Don Brodie ... Reporter (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Reporter at Benefit (uncredited)
Sayre Dearing ... Reporter at Benefit (uncredited)
Paul Dubov ... Gangster (uncredited)
Jimmie Dundee ... Tough Tramp in Boxcar (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Fight Stadium Guard (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Well-Wisher in Nightclub (uncredited)
Hal March ... Mobster (uncredited)
George Meader ... Fight Doctor (uncredited)
Ralph Montgomery ... Reporter (uncredited)
Forbes Murray ... Speaker at Benefit (uncredited)
Jack Perry ... Referee (uncredited)
Tim Ryan ... Al - Kansas City Manager (uncredited)
Court Shepard ... Fighter (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Dunne's Cornerman (uncredited)
Charles Sullivan ... Kansas City Referee (uncredited)

Directed by
Mark Robson 
Writing credits
Carl Foreman (screenplay)

Ring Lardner (story "Champion")

Produced by
Stanley Kramer .... producer
Robert Stillman .... associate producer
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin 
Cinematography by
Franz Planer (director of photography) (as Frank Planer)
Film Editing by
Harry W. Gerstad  (as Harry Gerstad)
Production Design by
Rudolph Sternad 
Set Decoration by
Edward G. Boyle 
Makeup Department
Gustaf Norin .... makeup supervisor (as Gus Norin)
Gertrude Wheeler .... hair stylist
Production Management
Clem Beauchamp .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ivan Volkman .... assistant director
Art Department
Saul Bass .... poster designer (uncredited)
Sound Department
Jean L. Speak .... sound engineer (as Jean Speak)
Camera and Electrical Department
Perry Finnerman .... second camera operator (uncredited)
Tom Ouellette .... gaffer (uncredited)
Dave Ragin .... camera operator (uncredited)
Morris Rosen .... grip (uncredited)
Scotty Welbourne .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joe King .... wardrobe: men
Adele Parmenter .... wardrobe: ladies
Music Department
Dimitri Tiomkin .... music director
Joseph Dubin .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Manuel Emanuel .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herbert Taylor .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Mushy Callahan .... technical adviser
Don Weis .... dialogue director
Sally Hamilton .... executive secretary (uncredited)
Ace Hudkins .... boxing coach (uncredited)
Stanley Kramer .... presenter (uncredited)
Dale Tate .... title designer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:Atp | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:12 | Portugal:M/12 | UK:PG | UK:A (original rating) | USA:TV-PG | USA:Approved (certificate #13642) | West Germany:16

Did You Know?

Director Mark Robson reused variation of Midge's workout montage sequence nearly 20 years later for Neely's (Patty Duke) career montage in Valley of the Dolls.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Tommy Haley:You know what a "Golem" is? I think I knew all the time I was building one.See more »
Never Be It SaidSee more »


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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Riveting role for Douglas, unrealistic boxing scenes., 18 July 2004
Author: louis-king from Watertown, Massachusetts

Douglas must have felt this film was his big chance at a starring role. His intensity is bruising and as riveting as Cagney in 'White Heat' or Pacino in 'Scarface'. Imagine what Kirk Douglas would have done with the part of Gordon Gekko in 'Wall Street'!

I was disappointed that the character Midge Kelly was never convincing as a skilled boxer. He never slips a single punch, never shows any footwork, never shows any combinations. In the training sequences you see him skip roping expertly with speed & timing, but whenever he gets in the ring he just walks straight toward his opponent with no bobbing or weaving, taking 2 or 3 hits to deliver 1. In a real fight he would have been taken out in the first round.

I noticed that early in the movie before Midge becomes a boxer, he gets in the ring out of desperation for some quick money and gets beaten badly. The boxer who skillfully beats him to a pulp looks very much like Courtland Shepard, who played boxer Tony Zale vs Paul Newman's Rocky Graziano in 'Somebody Up There Likes Me' Unfortunately, this boxer-actor, who actually has a spoken line, is never credited.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (46 total) »

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Tarantino, the gold watch, and champion sly_3
What is a Golem? yj270
anyone else just watched this on ch4? thePaleface
Hal March cameo efffee
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