The Champ (1979)

PG  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  4 April 1979 (USA)
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Billy Flynn, a former boxing champion, is now horse trainer in Hialeah. He makes just enough money to raise his little boy T.J., over whom he got custody after his wife Annie left him seven... See full summary »



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Arthur Hill ...
Dolly Kenyon
Georgie (as Elisha Cook)
Charlie Goodman
Joe Tornatore ...
Shirlee Kong ...
Donna Mae
Jeff Blum ...


Billy Flynn, a former boxing champion, is now horse trainer in Hialeah. He makes just enough money to raise his little boy T.J., over whom he got custody after his wife Annie left him seven years ago. T.J. worships The Champ who is now working on his come-back in order to give his boy a better future. But suddenly Annie shows up again ... Written by Willy Vanhaelen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The More You Love, The Harder You Fight. See more »


Drama | Sport


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

4 April 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El campeón  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Whilst in London directing William Shakespeare plays for the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company, director Franco Zeffirelli chanced seeing a TV re-run of the old MGM The Champ (1931) in his hotel one night. The film had made a big impression on him as a child. Zefirelli then rang his producer business associate Dyson Lovell and said "Turn on your TV and look at the movie we are going to make in the United States". See more »


When The Champ slaps T.J. he slaps him while standing up but, in the very next shot, he's kneeling down by T.J. See more »


Billy: [the Champ is dying after winning the big fight] TJ - TJ, where are you?
T.J.: Here I am.
Billy: Yeah. TJ - Annie was here tonight, TJ. Wasn't that a nice thing?
T.J.: Yeah.
Billy: You invited her, didn't you? Huh?
T.J.: I wrote to her. You said to.
Billy: Yeah. It was nice of her to come. You know, TJ, you know, you're... Annie and me. We did some silly things. Who knows why people do what they do? Nobody knows that, but she's... she's a good person. You know that. You happy, kid? I won the fight. You happy?
T.J.: Yeah.
Billy: Yeah.
T.J.: The Champ...
See more »


Referenced in On Location with the Champ (1979) See more »

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User Reviews

Another Classic !
13 February 1999 | by (Washington) – See all my reviews

In the whelm of movies that typify that perfect father-son relationship, this is one of the best. The emotions were incredibly well played out, and I can feel the anger and frustration of being the father in T.J.'s situation. Ricky Schroder's performance is convincing beyond many other young talents, and the drama is a stunning contrast of conflict, but not necessarily any resolution. The Champ is truly the quintessential example of the love between father and son, one which I can only hope to be able to show with my children.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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