IMDb > Champion (1949)
Champion
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Champion (1949) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   1,982 votes »
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Down 33% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Carl Foreman (screenplay)
Ring Lardner (story)
Contact:
View company contact information for Champion on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 April 1949 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
This is the only sport in the world where two guys get paid for doing something they'd be arrested for if they got drunk and did it for nothing.
Plot:
Boxer Midge Kelly rises to fame...mainly by stepping on other people. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 1 win & 9 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(33 articles)
New on Video: ‘Out of the Past’
 (From SoundOnSight. 1 September 2014, 8:53 PM, PDT)

New on Video: ‘Ace in the Hole’
 (From SoundOnSight. 15 May 2014, 9:25 PM, PDT)

Criterion Collection: Ace in the Hole | Blu-ray Review
 (From ioncinema. 13 May 2014, 8:00 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Breakthrough film for Kirk Douglas See more (45 total) »

Cast

  (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)
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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


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
99 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
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?

Trivia:
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 13, 1949 with Kirk Douglas and Marilyn Maxwell reprising their film roles.See more »
Goofs:
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 »
Quotes:
Connie Kelly:Oh, this rotten business!
Midge Kelly:Awww, lay off the business. It's like any other business, only here the blood shows.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Never Be It SaidSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 10 people found the following review useful.
Breakthrough film for Kirk Douglas, 14 January 2007
Author: blanche-2 from United States

Hollywood loves prize fighting stories. The films about this subject are too numerous to mention, but encompass nearly all decades and include "The Crowd Roars," "The Prizefighter and the Lady," "Golden Boy," "Humoresque," "Body and Soul," "The Harder They Fall," "Million Dollar Baby," "Raging Bull," "Cinderella Man" - I could go on and on. "Champion" is the story of a prize fighter who makes it to the big time by stepping on those who care about him - also not a new topic for Hollywood. This film was the one that made Kirk Douglas a star, winning him an Oscar nomination. Like the character he plays here, Midge Kelly, Douglas was on his way to the top.

The story begins at the fight for the championship as Midge reflects on his life. The story is then told in flashback. At the last minute, with the promise of $50, Midge (real name Michael) steps into a prize fight. A manager thinks he has talent and gives Midge his card. Midge and his lame brother Connie (Arthur Kennedy) make their way to Los Angeles, believing they have purchased an interest in a coffee shop there. When they arrive, they learn that their cousin has bilked them and someone else owns the place. The owner gives them both a job and they both fall for the waitress there, Emma (Ruth Roman), the daughter of the owner. When dad catches Emma with Midge, he forces them to marry, after which Connie and Midge take off. They seek out the fight manager but by now, he is retired. However, Midge convinces him to take him as a client.

Along the way, Midge gets involved with a tough blond, Grace (Marilyn Maxwell), fires his manager and goes with someone else, dumps Grace for another woman (Lola Albright), spends money like water, and basically gets everyone to hate him. Connie talks Emma into moving to Chicago and staying with Connie and Midge's mother who is ill; Midge of course never shows up until he learns she's dying. He then has his final confrontation with Emma, which gets ugly.

This is a dark, absorbing film - two brothers who deal with life very differently, one with anger and the other with gentleness. The focus is on Midge who as he rises higher and higher becomes colder and colder. Strangely, because we understand the genesis of his need for applause and power, we can't hate him, only feel pity.

Kirk Douglas, with his fantastic build, the tight jaw, the dimples and the cleft chin made an ideal movie star. Watching him at this age (32) you can see Michael's resemblance to him. Douglas' intense way of speaking and tense jaw have made him easily imitated for years. Though his acting is often dismissed today, he is a very good actor, even if now he seems at times a little over the top. The style of acting has changed, that's all. He gives a very complete performance as Midge - passionate, tough, angry, and needy. Arthur Kennedy, a more subtle actor and one much more appreciated even now, is wonderful as Connie. Young Ruth Roman does a good job as Emma but perhaps is too classy for the role.

Be advised one of the fights is particularly gruesome, and the director, Mark Robson, sought to give a realistic picture of the fight game using real announcers and referees.

Recommended as good drama, good early Kirk Douglas, and if you like boxing.

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