IMDb > Champion (1949)
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

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.


User Rating:
7.4/10   2,261 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 61% 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:
A gritty melodrama – not great but good See more (47 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?

"Screen Director's Playhouse" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on March 17, 1950 with Kirk Douglas reprising his film role.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 »
Midge Kelly:For the first time in my life, people cheering for me. Were you deaf? Didn't you hear 'em? We're not hitchhiking any more. We're riding!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Diamonds (1999)See more »
Never Be It SaidSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
15 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
A gritty melodrama – not great but good, 5 April 2003
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

As the commentator announces the entrance of World Champion boxer Midge Kelly as he prepares to defend his title for the 4th of 5th time, we flashback to many years before, where Midge and his brother are riding trains looking for work. Midge is renown for having pulled himself up from the gutter through boxing, however his story is one littered with hurts and damage he has caused in his relentless pursuit of success.

This is a solid boxer film, even if it is really more of a melodrama than the hard nosed thriller that the pictures of a battered Kirk Douglas suggest it might be. The plot is good in the way we first see the image of a triumphant boxer but then flash back to add meat to the bare bones of the legend. Along it is a melodrama the boxing scenes and some tough male confrontation give it a grittier edge. The weakness is that we aren't allowed to judge Midge ourselves, with some boxing noirs the boxer is laid bare – if he's brutal then we're allowed to see that. Here we're allowed to see the damage he does but from the get-go it is excused by a harsh background, poor childhood etc. Even at the end Midge is allowed redemption of a sort. This gives it a sappy edge that takes away from the drama and grit.

The main reason it works so well is a great performance by Douglas. He hogs the attention when he is onscreen and really paints a realistic character for us to digest. Although the script gives Midge excuses, Douglas does not – he shows Midge at his best and at his most brutal and self seeking with equal measure, forcing neither side to the fore. He is well supported by good understated performances by Kennedy as his brother and Stewart as his manager. The women are important in Midge's story but none of the actresses really made an impression. When they are all in one scene towards the end I struggled to remember who was who.

Overall this is not the gritty noir I'd hoped it would be, more a melodrama. The script is weakened by defending the character but Douglas carries the film over any weakness by the strength of his performance.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (47 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Champion (1949)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
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
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Cinderella Man The Fighter Crash Rocky III Giant
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.